We've all seen the stories where Harry discovers his magic at an earlier age. He takes control and learns from his parents old schoolbooks, or a tome from a kind old man that either recognizes him for who he is or sees some form of potential in him, or fantasy novels, or even rules for rpg games. But what if he discovered his magic... only he didn't immediately realize that it was magic? What if he thought it was something else, or simply couldn't decide what he thought it was?
And for the clincher... what if before he'd discovered his magic, he'd somehow gotten ahold of manga and anime?
Lets find out.
Harry Potter: Otaku
Of those people in his chosen profession, there were those who viewed their job as an art form, and those who viewed it as an exact science. Alejandro Merrifoot was one of those who subscribed to the science discipline. He was a thief, and a damned good one.
Unfortunately, every so often even he made false calculations, in this case being the approximate time it would take for the police to respond. He had estimated ten minutes, but it had been scarcely five before a police van had made its appearance and he'd had to go out the back door with what swag he'd been able to gather as his getaway driver ditched him in favor of saving his own skin.
It was ironic, as he hadn't been the one to choose the target this time, a comic shop. Neither he nor his partner cared much for the things, but selling the comics and DVDs for less than the store prices would generate a tidy profit.
Of course that would only be if he could escape the cops, and would definitely come after taking something sturdy and heavy to the coward that had left him in this position. He darted around a corner and glanced around. Suburbia... every house looked the same and had a white picket fence or hedges surrounding the lawn. A flash of inspiration hit him and he quickly stuffed the sack into a trash can, memorizing the address... not that it was difficult. Number four, privet drive. Then he hopped over a couple hedges, vaulted a fence, and slipped in through an unlocked back door a few more houses down. He would change into something that the person who lived here kept in his closet, ditching the mask and jacket under a bush, and he would casually walk to the car, take the keys out of the pocket of the slacks he had put on, and drive off. Forget the comics... grand theft auto paid off much better, and these people made it so easy. If it was still there when he came back, then fine. If not, he would assume that the police had found it and would lose no sleep over the failed heist.
What should have happened after that was simple and clear cut. The police, looking for a man wearing a specific set of clothes and a mask, gave up after a few hours... Alejandro accidentally beat his partner to death and fled the country... and a sack of loot sat in a garbage can for a couple of days before it was carted off to a dump. However, there was one small snag. The Dursleys had chosen to go on a month of vacation over the summer and, rather than drag Harry along with them and leaving him to stay in the hotel room, they had decided to simply leave him home with enough food in the refridgerator to last them a few days. Harry alone could perhaps consume half of it by the time they returned.
Only a few minutes after the thief left his package, young Harry stepped out the front door, dragging a plastic bag of garbage behind him. He was small for his age, seven, looking to be maybe four, and frail at that... but he was stronger than he looked. He lifted the lid from the trash can and paused. That was odd... he was sure he hadn't taken any garbage out yet, so what was a full sack doing here? At length, and with careful prodding, he decided to bring the sack inside, and opened it to find the bounty hidden within.
Dudley had a small collection of interesting comic books and movies, which Harry would be beaten for trying to touch, or even looking at the wrong way. His collection was nothing compared to this treasure trove. Harry's gaze slowly swung to the Dursleys new wide screen TV and DVD player.
Most of the rest of the month was spent watching anime or reading manga... he hid the entire sack under a section of loose floorboards when he wasn't using them. For every series he had his favorite characters. For Naruto it had originally been the main character, the loud and outgoing blonde. Later on, that changed as he came to prefer a quieter, but more menacing character, without noticing or wondering why. All he knew was that his favorite character was suddenly Gaara. Although a certain explosive individual came a close second.
He found himself laughing at the hilarious, but slightly confusing, exploits of Ranma and company. Dimly, he wondered just why Ranma was so upset about changing into a girl when everyone else had more or less adapted to their curse. He shrank a little, his hair changed color, and his chest got really big all of a sudden... who cared? Ah the wonders of a pre-puberty mindset.
He liked the Slayers, he really did. All the mindless destruction from Lina's overpowered spells... what was not to like? But the one he liked best, Xellos, rarely had to use his own power, instead relying on manipulating the other characters into doing his work for him.
He watched a few episodes of Sailor Moon, but didn't like it much. It was too romantically sappy for him. The monsters were interesting, though, even if he could tell that they were ridiculously over-endowed, and he was only seven.
Weiss Kruez on the other hand was fun to watch, even if the idea of killing people made him slightly queasy at first. He was similarly dubious of the vampires of Hellsing, but grew to love the tale.
There were at least a dozen other titles in the sack, and before long Harry was familiar with all of them, watching every video at least twice, and thumbing through the manga so often that the covers had begun to show signs of wear.
It was like a paradise for the small boy... but of course, all good things come to an end, and so it was that near the end of the month Harry woke up from the cot in his cupboard to the sound of the Dursley's expensive company car pulling into the drive.
That day was... painful to say the least. Uncle Vernon had decided that since 'the freak' had been alone so long he was sure to have done something wrong, and, rather than wait to discover what, had removed his belt to give him the punishment for everything that he might have done right then.
At first it was just a normal beating. Then it continued to the point where it began to bruise heavily, and then to where the belt began to break the skin. And he just kept swinging. Harry grit his teeth, refusing to scream, even as the pain grew worse and worse. Perversely, that seemed to encourage his uncle to try harder. Eventually he passed out from the pain, back bleeding freely as his loving uncle spit on him and hurled him back into the cupboard.
He woke that night with a flinch as he moved and the wounds on his back reopened all at once. He clenched his teeth, nearly biting his tongue with the effort to keep from screaming. If he screamed, he would wake his uncle, and he would be beaten again. Instead, he allowed tears to pool and spill forth from his eyes as he clenched his fists so tightly that tiny trails of blood trickled out from where his nails pierced the skin of his palms.
At that moment everything he wanted, all he needed, his utmost desire was for it to just stop hurting.
He felt a slight tingle as his entire back suddenly went completely and totally numb. His eyes snapped open as he realized that the pain had left.
Had he... wished it away?
For a moment, the wild thought of wishing his injuries completely away sprang to mind, but the jaded boy banished it. Even if it did work... and that was a large if... Uncle Vernon would just beat him again for the unnaturalness of healing so fast. Probably worse.
Even so, he couldn't deny that the pain from the open wounds on his back were completely gone, and it couldn't be coincidence that it had happened the same instant that he had wanted it to. This bore thinking on... and perhaps an experiment.
He sat up and screwed his eyes shut, ignoring the soft flow of blood on his back... and wished for a light, the same way he had wished for the pain to stop. At first he thought it hadn't worked, until he opened his eyes.
A soft green glow filled the cupboard, shining from a marble sized sphere of green light.
For a few minutes he could only gape at it. Then he snapped out of his stupor and began analyzing it, prodding fingers doing nothing to move the marble or block the light shining from it.
It was at this point that he realized just what could happen if one of his relatives decided to go for a midnight snack and saw an eerie glow coming out from the cracks in his cupboard. Panicking, he wished for the light to be visible only to him and, while he couldn't see any difference, the sudden dizzyness as he felt something flow out of him seemed to quietly assure him that he was safe.
He passed out.
In the morning he woke to find his dear aunt Petunia banging on the cupboard door and shrieking at him to make breakfast. He sat up, his tiny orb of green light following him as he slowly left the cupboard, wincing all the way. Whatever it was he had done to numb the pain seemed to have partially worn off, leaving his entire back with a dull, throbbing ache.
The day fascinated Harry, in that nobody noticed the small ball of light hovering about his head. After a few hours, he began goofing off with it and mentally moving it around and changing its shape to everything from dirty words to vulgar pictures which would hover in front of their faces. The most difficult part of the whole thing was not breaking out into laughter whenever the chosen victim would get an odd, confused, cross-eyed look, as though they thought they saw something for a moment.
After being locked back in his cupboard with a crust of bread after making dinner for the Dursley's, his mind drifted back to the wishes. Why had it been that the ball of light had stuck around for so long, while the numbing effect had gone fairly quickly? He didn't know... there had to be a reason, but he couldn't think of one.
After scarfing the crust down, his stomach growled in protest, wanting a more substantial meal. Then the idea hit him... why not? If he could make pain go away, or create a light, why couldn't he create food? A now familiar twist of his focus, and a sandwich faded into view. He took a bite out of it, and his brow crinkled. It looked like a sandwich... but it was completely flavorless, as though he was eating air, and had no texture. He ate it anyway, and then considered for a moment before trying again, focusing harder. This time the sandwich took a little longer to appear, and had some noticable texture and the slightest hint of flavor. Not the right texture by any means, but still an improvement.
He willed it away as he tried to think of what he was doing wrong... The thumps from above indicated that the Dursleys were retiring, leaving him plenty of time to work on this.
"Sandwich." He muttered under his breath, deciding to clearly picture everything that made up the sandwich before he actually willed it into existence. "Sandwich, sandwich, sandwich..."
And this time, as sweat sprouted from Harry's face, the sandwich took a much longer time to slowly fade into existence. But this time, it was perfect in every way. And delicious.
After finishing it, Harry decided to postpone further experimenting as he tried to decide what this power he had was. So far he had used it to numb pain, create light, and make food appear.
The numbing pain seemed similar to the medical jutsus in Naruto... so was it chakra? But then it could also be healing magic from one of the fantasy manga with elves and sorcerors.
But there had been no telltale green glow of medic jutsus, and he hadn't had to chant a spell or beg for power from a diety. And while the light spell was similar to the one in Slayers, he hadn't had to speak a rhyme aloud in order to call the light into being, and he hadn't seen anything in his collection that could explain the creation of food.
So... what was it then? Magic? Chakra? Ki? Something else? All of the above?
After thinking long and hard about it, a different question came to Harry's mind.
Did it matter? As long as it worked, did the nature of the power really matter at all? Of course he would have to conduct more experiments with it... discover his limits, so to speak. And discover if those limits could be bent... or broken.
For a moment, he had the wild idea to see if he could fire a giga slave. The thought was swiftly beaten back and locked away. That spell was dangerous, and difficult for even Lina to perform. He had no doubts that the drain would kill him immediately. Also was the fact that if he did manage to pull the spell off, it would doubtlessly destroy a good chunk of the earth. While a dark, sadistic part of him didn't mind the thought of the Dursleys dying, blowing up the planet to get rid of them just seemed like it was going a little overboard.
Quietly, he opened the secret space beneath the floor where he kept his stash of manga. This time, when he flipped through them, he would be taking special note of things that looked interesting, and making note to later see if he could mimic them with this strange energy. Beginning with Mousse's Hidden Weapons technique.
That way, once he left... and he would definitely have to leave to figure out the tricks to some of these things, as while launching a fireball in the middle of the Dursley's house might be satisfying in the short term, in the long run it would be a very stupid thing to do... he could carry everything he needed in his pockets or something.
With any luck, he would have at least a basic form of the technique mastered by the time the wounds on his back had fully healed.
In reality, it took quite a bit longer than that to make the trick work, and even when it did he wasn't quite sure that it was exactly the same thing as what Mousse was portrayed as doing... but it was close enough. Most of the problem had been that he would pass out from exhaustion when he almost had it, leaving him back at square one. A less determined person would have given up after the first few failures, or at least postponed it until he figured out a way to keep from passing out.
As stubborn as Harry was, he kept wearing himself to the point of passing out until his reserves of the unknown power were forced to expand enough for him to finish what he was trying to do. Then he passed out, but by that time the work was finished so it didn't matter.
What the thing was was actually fascinating. It was a mobile tear in the very fabric of reality. And he had created it by simply willing it into being... It would have been a heady experience, had he actually realized just how impossible such a thing was supposed to be. Instead, he stuck his arm through it, not caring about the danger of such an action, or what the consequences could be if someone saw his arm disappear up to the shoulder into a hole in the air. The tips of his fingers nudged something. After a moment of working at it, he managed to get his hand around the thing and pulled it out.
It was a potato.
Harry stared at it for a moment, then tossed it back in, making a note to not think to hard about just why a potato, of all things... He spent another few minutes fumbling around through the hole, trying to figure out how it worked, and wondering what would happen if something slid out of his reach. After a moment he realized the potato would work to test that out, as he couldn't find it anymore, but he knew it was in here. He focused, and called it to his hand, the way Luke would call his lightsaber, or knights with magic blades were sometimes depicted as calling their weapons to them, ignoring the ridiculousness of doing such with a potato.
It smacked into his hand, and he grinned. Now... how to attach the thing to his pockets?
In the end, he'd given up on attaching the hole in the air to anything, although he'd learned how to move it around, and come to the conclusion that, like the light, nobody but him could see it.
So he gave up and just stuffed the thing down his shirt after emptying the contents of the fridge and pantry into it in the middle of the night. Let the Dursleys go hungry until they restocked... it would only be a taste of the many times he had been denied meals.
Naturally, the door was locked. He fixed the problem by placing his hand on the knob and wishing. The lock clicked open almost immediately. With near constant practice, the wishing came easier and with less effort.
He didn't look back as he walked off through the dimly lit streets, wandering aimlessly until he was thoroughly lost. Lost was good. Like Ryoga, if he got lost enough, he wouldn't be able to find his way back, and nobody could find him to bring him back. But he wasn't lost enough yet...
A stray cat watched curiously as Harry walked behind a lamppost and didnt come out the other side.
In a certain old man's office, one of the may whirling and buzzing trinkets began flashing red. The old man would not discover this, however, as he would not return from his vacation until weeks later.
By then, it would be far too late, as the alert only had enough stored magic to continue flashing for twenty four hours.
Harry glanced around. He was in a park... hadn't he just been on a street? He glanced around... he had no idea where he was.
Good. He'd stay here tonight.
As he sat down next to a tree, he finally began wondering about what he'd do now, and rumors about the kind of people who lived on the streets. He had no way of protecting himself. Then something caught his eyes.
When he looked back on what he did next, he would freely admit how foolish doing such a thing was, and that he should at least have taken care to mind his wording. But at this moment he was alone, somewhat frightened, and had no idea of the consequence of his actions.
He got up and stood in the middle of a large sandbox and focused.
He wanted to be like Gaara.
The sand began whirling madly around him, and menacing laughter rang in his ears. A tendril rose up and began slamming into his forehead. He screamed, but nobody was there to hear him... how had he thought this had been a good idea? He whimpered as his eyes began to burn and his glasses fell off the bridge of his nose... but he could still see. The sand formed itself into a large gourd and hooked itself to his back. He almost fell over from the weight, but managed to keep standing somehow. He staggered out of the park and stood in front of a puddle on the street.
The kanji 'Ai' had been sandblasted into his forehead, leaving his original lightning bolt scar barely visible behind it. His pupils were gone completely, leaving only a circle of green. And in the dark recesses of his mind, something was screaming for blood.
So yeah, this probably wasn't going to end up on his top ten 'Best Ideas EVER' list. To top that off, now he was really drained and tired, but had just remembered what the consequences of Gaara sleeping were, and was now terrified of so much as closing his eyes. If he did... he doubted anyone would figure out that the giant Tanuki made of sand rampaging through town was his fault, but he would probably feel really guilty about it afterwards.
Unless he managed to smash the Dursleys during the little rampage, in which case he'd give it a pass.
The demon he'd accidentally bonded to his soul roared in laughter
Four long years later, an owl landed at an open window and began hooting for attention. Silence answered it. Not liking the fact that it was being ignored, it hooted louder. And louder... until.
The moth that was fluttering next to the owl's head exploded, blasting away a baseball sized chunk of feathery meat as the shocked owl remained standing for a moment before toppling inwards and landing in a feathery heap on the floor.
"Art is a bang... yeah. I love saying that."
Several thick tendrils of sand oozed out of the dark corner where a set of pupilless green eyes reflected the moonlight outside. The covered the body, and if you listened closely you could almost hear a slurping noise. Then they withdrew to the darkness, carrying with them a thick parchment envelope.
Harry opened it curiously, and read the contents.
Then he moved to the window and looked out to the night sky. He still looked much the same as that night when he'd run from the Dursleys, with only a few key differences. He was a few inches taller. His hands, if one could see them through his pockets, had mouths in their palms... a much more well thought out addition. And he'd rimmed his eyes with kohl to cover the dark rings circling them from lack of sleep.
He considered. On the one hand, learning magic sounded interesting, and possibly fun. On the other, it sounded stupid... all pointless brooms and robes and cauldrons and wands.
On the third hand, in order to keep Shukaku appeased, he had to kill people every once in a while. He usually went out of his way to pick out rapists or child molestors, seasoned with the occasional idiot who tried to mug him in the back alleys. The bodies in this place's basement were starting to get really ripe, and he wasn't sure when the owners were supposed to be returning. Having forced the mechanism of the door's lock with his sand, it hadn't mattered to him at the time.
So it was probably time to move on anyway, before the inquisitive neighbors started poking their noses where they didn't belong.
"Hogwarts huh? And Diagon Alley. Weird names... Aw crap, they didn't send a map. And I've got no idea where the owl came from... shit. Probably shouldn't have killed it, they must have meant me to send back a reply. Oh well... I'll figure it out as I go. Things are always more fun that way."
He jumped out the window and began wandering off into London, trusting to skill, intuition, and random chance to lead him to this Diagon Alley. Eventually.
Incidentally, as the sun rose policemen swarmed the house he'd left and found the crushed remains of no less than one dozen wanted criminals in various states of decomposition. All the blood in their bodies, according to the morticians, had been wrung out like water from a sponge. Where it had gone was a question they tried not to ponder. The traces of sand in the room went relatively unnoticed. After all, what kind of murderer killed his victims with sand?
Alright... this is for the guy who wanted to see Harry with the Shukaku. Of course, I couldn't just leave things at that, no. Expect Harry to be blatantly and near completely OOC for the purposes of this story.
Now, about the 'Like Gaara' thing... He's not a clone of Gaara, by any means. For that, he'd have to have worded completely differently. He is like Gaara, but not an exact duplicate. The magic just responded to his request by fixing a couple of his most notable features that were similar to Gaara's in the first place. They both have green eyes, for instance. Wildly different colors of green, I'll admit, and Gaara has no pupils, so the magic fixed that by removing his pupils. And if Gaara can see without them, then Harry can too. They also both had scars on their foreheads. The magic just made the scars a closer match... Harry's lightning bolt scar is still there, but you can barely see it behind the big red kanji. You might expect Harry to be paler than normal. However... he is a good bit saner than pre-Chunnin exam Gaara was. Sure he kills people, but only the ones that deserve it, rather than everyone who looks at him funny. His hair is still black too... there'll be enough redheads with the Weasleys.
Yes... Harry is, and will be, blatantly superpowered. If he gets in a fight, don't expect him to whip out the little magic stick and send a tickling charm at the other guy. It's a good bit more likely that he'll feed him to his sand, or demonstrate his explosive art for them. Could be other stuff too, I haven't quite decided. He definitely has Gaara and Deidara's powers at this point, though. In the long run, he'll probably at least use Slayers-brand magic as well.