Ch 18 Scolded
Notes: I'm sure you're all curious about Harry's pov and what Harry sees at this point. I am planning a sister fic for this fan fiction titled: Potter Files: Ninja Apprentice. I'm debating if I should do it though. That story will encircle around Harry's point of view and deal with his own version of how he sees things and it will be in third person view, not first person. So all those sections where Harry doesn't appear, that story will show what he was doing I guess. It's still in the brainstorming phase so I just wanted an opinion…or maybe I should set up a poll?
On other news: Been so swamped with work, its killing me... D:|
…Oh how I have faced many enemies, but what lay before me is one nemesis that blocked me from my path; with the large frame on her seemingly painted youth and her colored eyes that held no remorse as I could only stare and wait for my enemy to drop.
"So, I can't enter?"
She sighed as this was my fifth time asking her after countless minutes of arguing and persuading; only to fail once again as she snapped shut that fan she had with her and placed it calmly on her lap…although her pink robe that shined like silk irritated my eyes.
"As I said," Her lips moved slowly in my mind when she said it, and I imagined a lady with a baritone voice speak, "no password, no entry."
Disappointed, I started to scratch at my head, trying to brainstorm some ideas. It was early in the morning, way too early as the sun hadn't risen yet. I guess the lady in the portrait was grumpy for having to be woken up so early in the morning, until a thought occurred to me.
"Hey," I interrupted her chance at sleeping as her annoyance was felt and shared
"What is it now?"
"Being grumpy is unbefitting a proper lady."
"Yes, yes, keep it up and we'll see if I let you in, even if you acquire the password," she batted off my teasing like nothing.
"Just one question, is there a window inside the Gryffindor rooms?"
Her head tilted questionably as her eyes were un-too sure before she replied in a suspicious voice, "yes…but why?"
"No reason," I saluted to her with one hand before I hopped onto the ledge of the staircase. There was a window straight across me as I jumped from my position and stuck my feet to those walls. My feet nearly slid down a few paces but I gained control and quickly climbed the window before turning back and blowing the portrait a kiss then exited through the window.
From there on, I traveled along the outside wall to where I thought the rooms would be, but from this position, scaling the castle walls, I was nearly breath taken from the sight. From this view, I was high above on the tower, staring across the land. The dark trees from the forest ahead reminded me of my forest of death back home, with the green, fresh land from this countryside view, and the hills that created a sexy curve on the land…it was beautiful. I stared ahead to the top of the tower, wondering where the highest point of this castle was until I remembered what I was doing.
"Some other time, I suppose," I sighed before continuing my trek through the stone wall with my tree climbing technique, or should I say, chakra sticking technique. It wasn't long until I found the window, but it was a bit tiny and narrow as I had to angle my-self and jump in through with my feet first. It was very tricky to do without falling from his angle.
With success, I burst through the window, landed on my feet on the red carpets before taking a glance around me. This place felt homey, with the fire place near the chimney which was lit up, and the drapery, very elegant while this area favored the red and gold colors. The portraits that surrounded this place were either asleep or non-moving but they were mostly portraits of old people. There were book cases, chairs, tables, and everything you could think of for a home while I spotted someone sitting on the large comfy chair with several books set across the table.
As soon as I saw the edge of that bushy, brown hair of hers I had to smile as I crept towards her position.
"You're up early," I commented when I was near enough while picking up one of the books. Her reaction was priceless as she jumped up from the couch, dropping the book she was reading onto the floor.
"T-teacher! I didn't see you get in," her face was frantic and filled with fright as I had to chuckle.
"The portrait didn't let me in so I had to use the window," I pointed back to the wall with the small window as her eyes followed and she spotted the narrow top open window. I saw her sigh as she calmed down and picked up her book while I started reading the one I had taken up.
"Normally, I would say that's impossible, but since it's you, Naruto, it's possible," she said as she sat down and waited patiently. I was just glad she started calling me by my first name.
"Thanks kiddo," I flipped the page of the book, "so, doing some early reading?"
She nodded her head, "I am preparing myself for my classes, there's just so much knowledge out there," I watched as her eyes gleamed in anticipation, much like a child in Christmas, "I want to learn it all, it's so fascinating."
"Hmm," she turned to me as if she sensed my discomfort before I asked, "would you have preferred if what I teach you were in books instead?"
"Uh, no, teacher, I didn't mean it like that," she was apologetic as I waved it off before explaining.
"I had books to learn from too, you know."
"Really?" she was interested as I nodded and took a seat on the chair facing her.
"Yeah, but most of the books I had were based on the history of my village, and calculations involving the radius of a thrown kunai…a lot of math stuff," I scratched at my head since I was never really good with math. She seemed to get it while she smiled along as I continued, "but when the physical education part came in, my body learned it faster than anyone else could, even the smartest girl in my class couldn't beat me in a physical test and the smartest boy in my class, he preferred the physical aspects instead of the books," I saw her look as I quickly added, "I'm not saying books are bad, it's just, I was taught this way, so I want to apologize if I can't give you any more books to read related to what I'm teaching."
From her facial expression, she understood as she stood up from her seat before giving me a soft hug. I patted her back before she released and faced me, "it's ok teacher, I want to be physically adept as well. I guess we need to get to training, right?"
I nodded to her as she headed off to the stair way. She was a good girl, and a good student that I could be proud of. I glanced at the book once again, the page I was on described a creature called the Nymph while also relating it to other classes of the same kind. Suddenly, I was reminded of Tonks before I chuckled and closed the book then made my way to the opposite stairway.
Up the stairway, following the dark gravel stone walls, I entered the student's room. The sound of children sleeping buzzed in my ears as I wondered which bed Harry would be in. My nose twitched as the familiar scent of the boy directed me towards his position. High senses, and a greater sense of smell, thanks to Kyuubi proved beneficial to me in more ways than one…it was very useful for sniffing out gun powder from hidden weapons.
Soon, I spotted Harry sleeping tidily on his bed. Sneaking up to him, I shook his shoulder, "Harry, wake up." I said.
He didn't move, actually, he clung tighter to his bed. By now, he should be used to waking up early. Maybe he wasn't used to this atmosphere yet, I mean, this place was a new world for him.
"Harry, time to train," I spoke lightly this time.
His body moved while his hand slightly lifted in the air off of his pillow. From this position, I could hear his voice clearly.
"I don't want too…"
Ah…I see. I could feel my face grinning as I lifted the scruff of his neck. His body was pulled up in the air by my hand as I saw him squirm; his eyes wide open while he flailed around with his arms and legs, causing some disturbance as he made a couple of incoherent noises, most of them the sound of being choked while others started to stir from their sleep.
"Hey there Harry," I turned him to face me as I could clearly see his wide green eyes without those glasses of his, "wake up or…I'm throwing you out the window," I gave him my widest smile. At this lighting, I could see his face turn pale as he nodded in defeat.
I released him on his bed before turning around, "I'll meet you downstairs in a few minutes," my foot led me out the same path as I waved at the other students waking up before I turned around to face Harry once more, "oh, and good morning," I nodded as I could see his awkward smile…
That was how the mornings started out as Harry dejectedly entered the common rooms, as they call it, with a comforting Hermione to greet him. The first step, I actually enjoyed jumping down the stair cases with my students, it was a good experience as I was sure to jump down first just in case I needed to catch them…I may be partially crazy to others, but I am very considerate, at least to my apprentices.
We headed out of the castle while taking a light jogging pace through the corridors and stairs. It was early so I figured there wouldn't be so many people out as I was actually up earlier in search for an exit. I found one and it was through a paved courtyard, following a long viaduct entrance which was like a stone bridge heading down to the lake that the first years arrived from, oh, and there were two hideous, talking stone statues near here that we ignored for the time being.
Once we reached the lake, it had taken half an hour, which was alright, but it could have been faster as I took out my scrolls from my pouch.
"Begin stretches, you'll do your endurance training tomorrow morning," they started helping each other with their stretches but I saw Harry's face slightly falter when I spoke of the endurance training, "I hope you continue training even when I'm not around," I saw that they both stiffened slightly as I released a sigh of disappointment.
It took ten minutes for them to finish before I summoned two pouches from my scroll and tossed it at them. They caught it and looked inside at the contents.
"Today, I want to start you with your kunai throwing technique."
Their eyes were surprised as Harry actually smiled while Herm had this uncomfortable look on her. They both held a kunai in their hands as I pointed at two trees near the forest. Like I said, I had woken up earlier so at that time, I was able to set up two targets attached to the trees. The targets where similar to the gun's shooting range targets, except I added a location for the head, body, arms, and legs. The tree was large enough, so it helped.
"Um, Sir," Hermione raised her hand up as I called on her, she asked, "isn't this a bit dangerous?"
"Yes, yes it is. So was jumping down those interchangeable stairs and performing hand seals in an environment filled with chakra and magic," I smirked as she had an embarrass look on her, "point is, don't poke your eyes out, don't throw it at each other, and don't run with it like they're scissors. You'll be fine."
"Point taken sir," Harry spoke up.
"Alright," I took out a kunai and started explaining the concept to them, "wind and angle will be very important with accuracy, but right now, I am more concerned about your precision to hit your target rather than how accurate you can be," I threw the first kunai with my right hand as it landed dead straight on target, "now, let's begin…"
From there on, I watched them train like a strict sensei, always behind them as they continued practicing their forms with the kunai throwing. I might have been a little strict on them, because personally, I was a bit apprehensive with my meeting with the headmaster. They trained, maybe for an hour and an half until the sun started kicking in. That was when I determined that it was time to finish. I didn't really expect any progress today but I considered it a success since they were able to actually hit the target.
My mind became occupied as we made our ways back to the castle. I kept thinking on what I would tell that old man. Should I tell him everything about me, he seemed so kind and yet, I knew there was something he was hiding. Sometimes, you can't trust the people who appear the most kind to you; a lot of serial killers have this niceness trait as well…not like I was comparing the headmaster to a serial killer or anything.
"Was the path always this long!" Harry groaned as we were crossing the long, viaduct stone bridge. I noticed they were both tired and sweating. An arm can get fairly worn out quickly from throwing the kunai, kind of like throwing a baseball repeatedly, but what the body does is adapt to it, it makes it stronger…albeit you'll be in pain, but still, pain is just weakness leaving the body…unless you're shot or stabbed, then you got a problem.
I believe they were both exhausted to a point that they ignored the greetings from those talking stone statues again. I just waved at them, I think I grew tired of being surprised by this place, since there were talking hats, talking portraits, and now talking stones, at this point, a talking plant or a talking stick wouldn't faze me.
Once we climbed our way to the castle, we separated as they headed towards their rooms but I headed towards someplace else. I knew they would use the bathrooms to wash up with a shower so I decided to do the same as I spotted a bathroom earlier near my room. The bathroom was typically used not only for apparent reasons, but it was also the common bathing place for most students.
Heading straight away to the bath room near my room and I was very happy that there were towels placed conveniently for use. It took me roughly thirty minutes to wash up, partly because I spotted the huge bath tub and couldn't resist making a make shift hot springs scenario. I loved it and part of me tempted to stay there for the rest of the day, but, I had to quickly get over it as I knew the students would wake up soon.
Making my way to the room, I was aware that only a towel was wrapped around my waste while I was holding on to my dirty clothes. I started to wonder where to place my clothes but decided on leaving it in my room and dealing with it later. It's funny how it's the smallest inconvenience that always worries you, even when you're stuck in a magical world filled with new dangers lurking around every corner.
A student popped by around the corner as I spotted her unkempt hair that made me grin in humor. She spotted me as I gave a little morning greeting. Her face flushed before she quickly scattered down the hall with her head down as I wondered what was up with her. A sigh escaped me as I felt partially naked with my towel on before I found my room and entered.
It took only five minutes until I heard a knock on the door. I had already placed on my pants while debating if I should wear my trench coat or not.
"I'm coming in," the familiar voice belonged to Tonks, that interesting metamorphmagus who was also visiting Hogwarts to see the Headmaster.
"Yeah, yeah," I responded. I seriously wanted to wear my trench coat before I decided to place on my shirt.
The door creaked open as I pulled open my bag once again and picked out one of those regular grey shirts.
"W-what the hell, put a bloody shirt on," I spotted her near the door as her face flushed and she covered it with one of her hands while her hair turned into a bright pink color.
I rolled my eyes, "Relax. Don't tell me you've never seen a half naked man before."
A growled response came my way, a muttered curse I presumed as I placed the shirt on before turning to her. She still had her hands covering her eyes while I stared on amusedly, "you can look now."
She removed her hands before giving me an annoyed look. "That is not something I wanted to see in the morning, you buffoon."
"I'm used to it, so sorry if my customs are different from yours," I argued back before heading to my bag again and pulling out the trench coat. I finally decided I would wear it.
"Well, anyways," her face had a red tint to it while her hair returned to being brown but it had pink streaks on the bangs, "I just thought you needed help going back to the great hall for some breakfast."
I guess I was surprised at the kind gesture as she finally looked me in the eyes before turning away again. I thought it strange, but at least I knew now that she had a nice side to her as well.
"Sure, let's go," I agreed happily as she nodded and didn't say a word as we left my room.
We made our way to the Great hall while I was patting down my trench coat. The reason I loved it was because It had so many pockets for my stuff, the sleeves were able to hide my portable kunai extractors which I didn't bring, and sometimes I would wear my vest underneath to hide my other items. I left all my weapons in my room, but I still cherished my trench coat.
"H-hey, Naruto," Tonks voice spoke beside me as I turned to face her. She seemed to be embarrassed before she asked, "I saw those marks on your back. What kind of scars were those?"
I suddenly felt cold as my body stiffened. She stared back at me as I couldn't face her. I had several scars in my body, because for one thing, I had to learn the hard way how much ingenuity a lot of my human assassins had. I had several scars on my back. One was a huge slash wound I had received when I let my guard down, trusting one of my partners. After we had completed our mission, he had decided to keep my share as well and tried to stab me with that knife of his. Luckily, I avoided it, but it turned into a slashing motion that cut pretty deep. That was the first betrayal I faced in the underground world, when I was naïve enough to believe that people could be trusted. The other wound she might be referring to might be that bullet hole running through my back…I learned the hard way that different guns had different firing power, and that even your clients could betray you.
"Are you okay, Naruto?"
"Yeah, and, I'd rather not talk about it," the conversation was dropped as it started to reopen dark memories from my first jobs in this world. I didn't let Kyuubi heal those scar wounds, since I wanted to keep them as a reminder that sometimes, it's better to trust nobody, and also as a reminder at how naïve I used to be.
We reached the Great Hall and true enough, there were some plates of food to be had. Most of the students had awoken from their slumber, but it wasn't a lot. I decided to try the ham and eggs with a glass of orange juice before I spotted both my students, sitting comfortably on the table as well. When we spotted each other, it was Hermione who waved for me to come sit as I could see Harry, instead of eating, laying his head on the table.
We made our way to the table before I introduced everyone to Tonks.
"Harry, Herm, this is Tonks," I made a gesture to my partner as Harry sat up straight to greet her. The lady was surprised at first as I assumed she found it weird how close I was to THE Harry Potter.
"A pleasure to meet you," Tonks greeted them before taking a seat with me next to her.
"Oh, my name is Hermione Granger, but I guess my friends call me Herm for short," the bushy haired girl commented as I dug into my food.
Tonks had nodded in understanding as she seemed curious when she spotted my tired student, Harry, with his head on the table, "what's bugging you?" she asked.
"Can't talk…need to rest…before first period," he mumbled as I chuckled while taking a sip from my orange juice.
"He's just tired because apparently, there was a party last night at the Gryffindor common rooms, with Harry being the main guest of honor," Hermione provided the information as I was beginning to understand why he was so dead tired. Tonks just laughed as they had begun to click; especially with Tonk's story telling once again about her dorm days…even Harry awoke just to hear them.
I listened to them for a while as Tonk's was saying something about portraits and changing passwords before I asked.
"Hey, by the way, what's the password to your room, that portrait lady wouldn't let me in at all."
"Oh," Hermione perked up, "right, the password is Abstinence."
'Abstinence huh,' I felt like someone was making fun of me as I couldn't really agree with that password.
"You didn't know the password?" Harry asked curiously, "then how did you get inside the common room?"
"Heh, funny story, I used the window," I grinned while scratching the back of my head. I 'm sure that was a weird thing I did as Harry and even Tonks were giving me strange looks.
"The window, you mean the window outside the tower, are you crazy!" Tonks started to get it as her hair turned red while I made a shushing noise as other people in the Hall turned to our direction, "what kind of idiot are you? Do you know how far down a drop from that height is?"
"But, it was a fantastic view," I added as she sighed and shook her head.
"Sometimes, I wonder about you…"
"Well, let's change the topic," I clapped my hands and stared at them gleefully, "did you guys know that Tonks is a hermaphrodite."
I could see Harry and Hermione's jaws literally drop as Tonks turned a lighter shade of red. Her hand shot out of her robe as I spotted her wand on her hand, then suddenly, a flash blinded my eyes for a second before I heard a laugh from the table around me.
Blinking, I wondered what happed as Herm suddenly had a pink tint on her face with her hand on her mouth that prevented her from laughing loud. Harry and Tonks laughed the loudest as others around joined them as I continued to wonder what was wrong.
"Erm…N-Naruto," Hermione tried not to laugh as I saw her summon a mirror with her wand. I would be impressed but I was more curious about why they were laughing.
I glanced at the mirror before spotting my face; there was nothing wrong with it as I saw something pink from the corner of the small mirror. I turned it up until I spotted the color of my hair. I shot up from my seat before rubbing at my hair, it was pink, the color was pink! And not just any pink, it was damn hot pink!
"What did you do to my hair!" I roared out as Hermione couldn't hold it in anymore and started laughing with the others. To them, I must have looked like one of those very flamboyant gentlemen that I do not wish to discuss on.
"Serves you right," Tonks started as I quickly sat down and sighed for a second. I placed one of my hands up and formed a seal.
"Illusion technique," I spoke before my body whirled in a pool of smoke. The silence soon afterwards had me satisfied as I changed my hair back to its blond roots with my illusion.
"Ha, in your face!" I pointed at Tonks who only shrugged it off.
"That trick again, I wonder which will wear off first, your illusion, or my charm," her demeanor was so challenging me as I stood on top of the table and stared down at her.
"Oi, oi, oi, this had better not be permanent, or else I will pay you back in full."
"Oh yeah," she countered as she leaned forward in challenge, "brink it on, pinky."
We stared for a full minute; my challenging grin was placed on while her devious smile was set until we heard the voice that interrupted us.
"What's going on here!" we turned to the source who was someone I was already familiar with. I started to wonder if she wore the same thing every day, even in the morning as she wore the same robes from last night with the same color and with the same witch's hat as before. She spotted us with her piercing eyes that narrowed slightly towards me. I sat down.
"Class is about to begin, student's who have first period, please prepare yourselves," she headed straight towards me as I quickly glanced at Hermione and Harry who had gotten off their seats and started to leave.
"I'll see you later Naruto," Harry spoke as he seemed to be awake now. He nodded towards Tonks, "I hope to see you again, Tonks, it was," he grinned, "fun." I stared at him as he chuckled and went along with Hermione who bade us a good bye as well.
"Mr. Uzumaki, I kindly ask you if you can refrain yourself from stepping on the tables," her strict voice was unmistakable as I stood, along with Tonks, "The Headmaster is ready to see the both of you, but please, , may I have a word with you?"
I glanced at Tonks. Her lips quirked into a grin before she nodded and left without another word, leaving me to my fate as I had no other choice but follow along as I believe her name was McGonagall, who led me elsewhere.
A couple of minutes later, we ended up walking down a hall in which she explained it was another way to the Headmaster's office.
"I cannot tolerate any perilous actions against my students," she started, "and that includes influencing a young boy to go to such extremities as to risk his life just for the sake of thrill."
She stopped walking as my face twisted to something uncomfortable, "I guess you heard about that."
"That isn't the problem, Uzumaki," with her eyes, I believed she was able to cut anyone down as they were directed towards me, "the problem is that you would allow such an incident to occur. Where is your common sense? Must the boy risk death just for your personal amusement?"
"Hey, what I do for him has nothing to do with personal amusement. He is my student, and I trust that he is capable of handling it," I argued back, "I watched over him yesterday, I kept him safe by taking account of any scenarios that would endanger Harry and eliminated them by leading the way."
"You call that handling it? Then what happens when you are not around and he feels the need to, act as reckless as before. What then Uzumaki, will you take responsibility for any injuries he would sustain, even the possibility of death?"
"I trust Harry; he will not attempt that again, not without more training and not without me."
"More training? Are you actually suggesting he would do this again?" Her astonishment only grew as I didn't deny it. Instead, her expression grew angry as I sensed she was deeply furious, "frankly, I am disappointed in you. You did not think this through, and instead, you risked the life of one of my students, I cannot have it," she sighed as she turned around to move on. I didn't feel ashamed as I listened to her words, from the tone of it, I knew she was concerned mostly on the boy's safety, I couldn't get angry at that.
"Mr. Uzumaki, you need to know that Harry looks up to you as his mentor," she started speaking again as we continued to move on through the hallway, "you need to be more careful with him, but something like this, I cannot over look it. From our first meeting, I believed you to be a dangerous adult, but now, I only see a dangerous child leading another child, and that's what worries me."
"Lady," I commented quite abruptly as she stopped walking and turned to face me. I could already feel myself growing angry, but I had to calm down. I knew her intentions were good, but, I was still annoyed, "when I found Harry, he was living in a cupboard for mostly all his life," her face actually seemed shocked at the news, "I was the one who rescued him from that prison and started teaching him how to defend himself and harness his potential. If there is one thing I know, I can trust my students. He will not disobey my orders unless it was a life or death situation," I watched her proudly as I witnessed her features softened. She turned away as not another word was spoken. It seemed I had made my point as we continued our walk in silence.
When we grew close to our destination, she had suddenly stopped before pointing at the end of the hallway.
"Go to the end and take the stairway to the tower. You'll find the Headmaster waiting for you," I nodded to her in gratitude as I made my way but stopped once more as I noticed she wanted to say something.
"You are still his role model, Uzumaki, what he sees you do, he will copy," she faced her back to me as she stood up poised and collected, "do remember that they are still children, always adventurous and sometimes, unaware of the naivety of their youth. That is all."
I nodded to her but I understood now what kind of person she was. She had a passion for her student's safety, and here I was, an unknown in this whole picture as I felt myself smiling softly, "you really care for him."
She stopped but didn't glanced back as I started heading out but spoke once more, "like you said, he is still a kid, but so were you and me," I glanced back at the professor as she seemed to understand what I was saying, "I'll guide him on the path to protect those most precious to him, you can count on it" I finished and headed down the hallway. Harry will someday grow out of his naivety, just like how I did, but hopefully, it won't be under the same circumstances.
I was almost past the stairway as I landed in a partially spacious area that I figured was the tower for the headmaster. Just past the corner I would soon see the entrance to his room but I had to stop once someone had turned from the corner and appeared in front of me.
His gaze was briefly surprised before it became normal, dark, stoic. It was that man from before who was with the Headmaster at the gated entrance. Same as ever, even up close I could see that he was a dark fellow, dark meaning he wore nothing but black. His hair was still greasy, which made me wonder if it really was a hygiene problem but I didn't really smell a dirty scent on him, in fact, there actually were several lingering scents I couldn't identify that came from his clothes as I soon noticed that hooked nose of his. It seemed like he had broken his nose before.
"Ah, who do we have here, a new student, or perhaps, that new wizard the others have been going on about," I couldn't tell what he was thinking with that facial expression. His eyes dull but penetrating, his voice spoke in a deep monotone voice that showed he wasn't impressed or he didn't care.
"I have to thank you," he went on as I watched curiously, "yes, for reverting Potter back to a degenerate…'oaf'," the emphasis on those words weren't necessary as I was finding myself not liking his tone as he walked past me but stopped. I got a look on that overly extended dark cape of his that bellowed behind him, "I would thank you, but then again, having a child monkey jumping around the corridors is rather unsafe, even if it is our…'little celebrity'." again with the emphasis.
"You got a problem with Harry?" I asked him. His nose sniffed with distaste, as if I had actually spoken back to him.
"…No…not yet…but I hear you are teaching that boy," His face was devoid of any emotion, something I noticed as he seemed to be appraising me before he suddenly turned around as if he was leaving, "I see the boy wastes no time in receiving special treatment," he glanced back at me while his lips twitched in a sort of slight amusement, "that is…. if you really are teaching him something useful, now if you excuse me, I have an actual class to teach." He moved quickly down the stairs as I suddenly thought of a phantom creature moving in the darkness.
"Ch," I felt myself growing irritated as I wondered who the hell that guy was. I made my way past the corner of the stairs until I found myself face to face with a stone statue that was similar to the ones I past this morning, except this one was a different creature. It was more human like, except for the wings, the fangs, the horns, the claws, and the face. Ok, maybe not at all similar to a human but it had a human's male torso…if that counts.
This statue was the only object in this vicinity. Although it shared similar traits to the talking statues at the stone bridge, this one didn't share the same talking charisma, nor did it move as much.
"So, you alive?" I asked
The thing popped open both of its stony eyes then glanced towards me. With my hand lifted up in a wave, I didn't get to greet it when the eyes suddenly closed again, but that didn't stop me from staying in that awkward pose with my hand up.
"D-did you just," I placed my hand before scratching my cheek as if I had an itch, "you ignored me…you bastard."
No use complaining as the detail surrounding this area could make do without a statue. The problem faced at the moment was locating the Headmaster's room. There was a brown wall that formed the background behind the stone statue. The wall had a wooden texture to it but that was the only thing out of ordinary as I started to wonder if I was given false information by that old lady, maybe as a joke for payback.
It wasn't until I heard a lock unhinging that I noticed that there was a parting spot appearing on the wooden texture. A square shaped entrance popped out and opened once more. The person behind the door was the same person I had a pleasure of bumping into almost every hour as I recognized her pink hair.
"Why do I always bump into you…"it was a mumbled breath as her expression turned curious and annoyed with her eyebrows scrunched up.
"And what does that mean, exactly?" a dangerous tone meant the question should be avoided.
"Nothing," I commented before remembering that man who passed by, "oh, did you see a dirty man earlier. Pale man, likes dark things, has some serious hygiene issues, and an aforementioned item stuck deep in his ass."
Her nose flared in humor as her grin was too apparent before she nodded her head with a small laugh, "nice description, but yeah, he was here earlier with the Headmaster," she took a step out of the hidden door and leaned on the side wooden entrance with her expression turning stoic, "his name is Severus Snape, the potions professor of Hogwarts."
'Potions?' I needed more information.
"He's like that, well, its not hard to see how much of a sod he is since he used to serve, you-know-who, as his personal death eater …and he probably did some unspeakable crimes in the past."
Her eyes were nervous when she made that kind of reference again. It partly annoyed me at how much a name can bring about so much nervousness and fear, but then again, I had never met the guy with a cursed name before.
"If that's so, then why does the Headmaster keep him around?"
She shrugged with her arms still folded, "who knows what the Headmaster is thinking, so at the moment, if the Headmaster trusts him, then I guess we all have to give him some credit."
Just then, we heard the voice from the said person call out from behind Tonks before she decided to let me in. Entering inside with Tonks in tow, I was treated to a sight of perpetual books stacked in rows from the first to second floor, even along the stair case. There was a huge portrait on top of the large fire place in the front of the entrance with a wide desk in front of the fire place which should be considered a fire hazard, and a shelf filled with little objects that seemed interesting. The Headmaster was currently sitting behind the said fire hazard position, on the chair behind the desk, while I spotted the bird-like creature that stood on its perch and was an arm's length away from the wizened wizard.
"Mr. Uzumaki, it is a pleasure to have you," the old man started with his greeting as he stood up from his chair.
"Yes," I bowed briefly, "it is a pleasure," my hand pointed towards the bird as the curiosity was eating at me, "what kind of bird is that?"
"Ah, Fawkes here is a phoenix," Dumbledore answered as his eyes stared at the bird fondly, "a very rare species of birds, mythical, and powerful…I still wonder how I have ever earned his trust."
"Interesting pet, I wonder what it could do."
From what I just said, the old wizard shook his head as if disagreeing with my words.
"Fawkes is not my pet, he is a partner that I am lucky to have, now then," he turned to the fireplace and picked up something off of the shelf. He seemed to be chanting something unfamiliar with me as I felt a nudge to my sides.
"You offended him," it was Tonks who pointed at the bird. True enough, the phoenix was staring directly at me. I waved at him before whispering back to Tonks.
"Sorry if I offended the chicken but I didn't know," the sharp click on its beak was enough to make me and Tonks flinch before the creature flapped his wings in the air and released a cry from his voice.
The sound I heard soon after was something quite beautiful. The song of the phoenix relaxed these ears as I watched Tonks. Her face smiled brightly while her eyes were closed, the music emanating from the creature was enough to put anyone's mind at ease.
Huh, my stomach started to burn as I could feel the seal pulsing. That voice was Kyuubi's, the demon that resided in my body, the demon behind the seal within my stomach. It was a nice song, but my face twisted into something painful as I grabbed at my stomach and started falling to my knees.
'What the hell Kyuubi,' the burning pain continued as I felt a hand on my shoulder. Squinting slightly, Tonk's face seemed pale as the creature went on as if we wanted an encore. Even Dumbledore watched with such inquisitive eyes that I nearly felt that something was wrong.
"Are you ok, Mr. Uzumaki?' his voice was toneless, something I noticed.
"Uh, S-sorry, but can your chicken or partner, whatever, stop singing, it's giving me a stomach ache."
"A stomach ache?" he questioned as the bird finally stopped its music.
"Yeah, weird huh?" I fixed my self up and breathed in, "the music was beautiful, the most beautiful sound I have ever heard, but unless it was designed to give me a stomach ache, I guess I can't listen to it too long," I thought for a moment, "…was it supposed to give me a stomach ache?"
I noticed that Tonks seemed confused as she stared at Dumbledore for the answer.
"I believe that Fawkes' does not do that"
"Really huh," the awkward smile was in place, "weird."
"Yes, given how this is the first I've seen of it, you can describe it as, 'weird.'"
I turned to Tonks only to find that apprehensive stare; it was something that disturbed me before she walked along towards the old wizard. "Will you be alright here, Headmaster?" she asked as the old man nodded.
"Yes, I will be fine," the fire behind him suddenly burned with such a green intensity as I had to shield my eyes briefly, "now go child, you will be late."
She nodded before taking some powder material from the sack that the Headmaster was holding. From her stance, I knew without a doubt, she was wary of me, but why, what caused this distrust; we were doing so well this morning.
"Uzumaki, watch yourself, I do not trust you alone with the Headmaster, but it seems he is alright with it," the fire in her eyes spoke of love, of protection; I wonder what had caused this. She turned around and threw this silver powder into the flames and with a voice so loud, she yelled, "Ministry of Magic!" then suddenly, the bright lights once again had enflamed her. For a moment, I thought the green mystical flames had eaten her up, but as the light died, she was gone, and the fire had returned to its small, normal orange and red hue.
"Wow, what do you call that?"
"Flooing, I suppose. Nymphadora used the Floo network that I had set up to travel instantaneously to the Ministry of Magic's main headquarters," he explained as he sat on his comfy chair behind the desk and signaled for me to sit.
I took the left chair in front of his desk before asking, "So are you the leader of the whole Wizarding world."
His grin was too apparent as he chuckled in humor and shook his head, "why no, Mr. Uzumaki, the Wizarding world stretches as far as muggle populations grow. There is no one entity that controls the whole wizarding world."
"How about this community? Are you its leader?"
Again he shook his head, "I am but the Headmaster of this school who can only give advice to others when asked. I am not the leader. I believe the person you are speaking of is the Ministry of Magic and the holder of the title Minister of Magic," his body shifted curiously as he stroked his beard and watched, "do you have an interest in this topic?"
My head shook in reply before I settled down on this chair. I was trying to figure out this man's role, because I have noticed he is much respected, and I even heard rumors that Dumbledore was supposed to be some kind of level of strong, even Bianca warned me of him.
"You're supposed to be the strongest wizard out there, why aren't you the leader of this area?"
He had leaned his back onto his chair, the action signaled that he was comfortable, or getting into a familiar position that hinted he had answered this countless times. "Then I would have too much power now, wouldn't I?" He suddenly had an enquiring look on his face, "I believe that power can be very tempting for any human. It has the ability to corrupt the mind, to feed the soul, which in turn, makes one pursue a very dark path. My position and power is enough for me, but how about you, Mr. Uzumaki, what do you seek? And really, why so curious with who leads who?
His concept of power, I had to agree with it. It's no question how power can corrupt anyone and how it can be abused. From his enquiring expression, he really was curious to pick my mind about a few ideals of his and figure out what I believe, so, I answered truthfully, "I believe that power can also be used to protect," his body suddenly sat up as I saw a sort of twinkle in the old man's eyes, "is it wrong to seek power if you are weak, just to protect those that you believe are precious?"
"Ah, so what fuels this quest for power is it just for protection, security? Is it for companionship and uniformity? Or is it based on personal justice?"
"Does that really matter when you're just trying to protect your precious persons?" I didn't know there was supposed to be another reason just to protect someone, I've always been following this, it was my mantra, and I believed in it, "what does that have to do with it?"
From his old eyes, he knew what he was talking about, and he made it very clear as he spoke, "because what fuels this protection can sometimes fuel the passion and direction to grow. Anger can fuel personal justice, and it can make way to hate. Companionship can fuel protection, it can stunt growth and push your partner away, and in the process, it can create loneliness. So, what fuels your strength then, Naruto, if you don't mind me calling you that?"
I shook my head as if it was ok to speak comfortable with me as I thought for a moment. Why do I protect my precious people? What fuels it, is it really because I don't want to be alone? But even if they abandoned me, I would still protect them. Then it hit me, is it because, these precious people became my family.
"Family," I whispered out as I stared at my hands for a second, I glanced up as I saw the slightest grin from the oldest man I know, "what fuels my need for power, what fuels the need to protect your family, it's all through…um," I scratched at my chin, trying to think of the word for it…bonds, closeness, together forever?
"Love," he supplied as I thought about it.
Love, is it really because of love, but love is such a strong word and yet, it fits. I could feel myself smiling as I nodded, "yes, I guess it is because of love."
"Ah," now his smile was apparent as that twinkle in his eyes was on full blast. He dangled his outstretched index finger in the air, as if to compliment me, "that is a splendid answer, Naruto," he started to reach towards an object in his desk as I felt myself becoming embarrassed. I saw that he had slid a small silver covered bowl towards the center of us before he explained, "now, before we continue our conversation, might I offer you some lemon drops?"
"Huh?" I swore I heard something about this. Yes I was positive I had as I stared at the yellow, circular shaped little morsels.
"Muggles can invent the most delicious treats," I watched as he reached down and grabbed a piece before popping it into his mouth. He made this face that had me smirking, "it is a tad bit sour, and yet, very delectable."
"I think I'll pass," I did a little stop motion with my right hand, "I've been told never to accept candy from strangers."
He actually nodded as if that was the wisest thing I've said, "Wise words indeed, but I hope, in time, you think of me not as a fellow wizard, but as a friend as well."
My head only nodded in response as he took in another piece of candy, "earlier, you questioned who was the leader of the wizarding world, I understand that anyone would ask such a question, but I cannot help but notice that this information had much interest for you."
"Oh, yeah, because from where I came from, it's usually the strongest nin…uh…wizard in my…uh, community that was selected to lead," one of his eyes brows was raised as a response but I couldn't tell what he was thinking. Great job, Naruto, you awesome liar, you little smooth talker you. I started to sweat a bit.
"I see," he rubbed at his beard once more before speaking, "you seem quite tense, please, try a lemon drop, they are quite good."
"Are you sure? I heard candy can help cure nervousness. It might ease this tension we seem to have placed between us."
"Tension? I don't believe there is any."
"But I do sense a concentrated source of gathered magic that is coming from your head…are you feeling well?" he seemed more curious than concern as I suddenly remembered that I still had my hair illusion placed on, the one that covered the pink hair.
"I'm fine, really," unconsciously, I tugged at my hair and wondered how long that stupid technique was going to last. I could already feel my face heat from embarrassment, next time someone tries to do that to me, I'm just going to punch them in the face.
His eyes were penetrating as I felt uncomfortable until he gave a single nod, "If you say so, Naruto," he placed his hands politely folded on the table, "now it has come to my attention that you have been removing Harry from his home on a regular basis."
"Except Sundays," I added politely with my hand up in an adding gesture which earned a weird stare, "well at least not most Sundays," I placed my hand back down on my lap.
"I see, but now it pains me to say this but Harry, must not leave his family for any given reason unless he is in Hogwarts."
From what he just said, I believed it didn't register with me as my eyes stayed glued to his face. I was waiting for some sort of punch line, or correction. When one didn't come, I responded with a, "What?"
He gave a heavy sigh as his body shifted into something uncomfortable in his chair. The way he stared at me now was actually apologetic, "I believe that Harry needs his family, as you said, the love of family is very important."
"Do you have any idea on what kind of family Harry has?" I was just so surprised this old timer would say this. Was he actually keeping track of the boy at all, "that's not a family, that's just an environment that grows hatred for, for the regulars."
"Yes, regular people," I am not used to calling them muggles, "No offense but they hate that boy's guts and they hate magic even worst. I would hate the guy who dropped him off to a family like."
"I see," he strokes his chin as I noticed that he seemed a little distraught. His eyes turned stoic before he spoke once more, "it pains me to hear that, but we do not choose our family, Naruto, Harry must stay with them."
From my position, I scooted a little forward from my chair and just out right stared at him like he was an idiot, "are you even listening to me? I said that is not a family, especially one as cruel as them. Why are we even arguing about this? I thought there was nothing wrong with me taking him out of that place. The only reason he goes back there is to sleep, and that's it." Although when I think about it, when I had rescued Harry from that little box of his, he wasn't as angry as I expected him to be, he even forgave them, which was surprising but that didn't mean he liked them.
"There is a reason why I sent him to his family," he said as I now knew who was the one that placed him there; "there are forces out there that still threaten the boy's life, dark forces that worries me. The bond he shares with his family will be the bond that strengthens his power. He is there for his protection."
Dark forces? What was he talking about? Was there a reason why Harry was placed in that home of his, why was a family as sick as them able to protect him? It didn't make sense; even my mind had a hard time processing this. I was missing something, something that would connect this together, but, what was it and why was he so insistent on Harry staying at that place.
I remembered why Harry was famous once more before I asked him, "does this have to do with that Voldemort fellow?" the Headmaster blinked, but he didn't flinch, at least he wasn't one of those who took names like that seriously.
"Interesting," he seemed a bit impressed, "In a way, yes, it has to do something with Voldemort. As you know, that dark wizard had many followers, and after his demise, many who want revenge on their master's untimely demise seek the boy, part of the reason as to why I'd rather not he leave an area where help can come faster than expected."
"So that's it, you're only concerned with the boy's safety, fine, I'll handle it," is said it in a very cocky voice, "When he's with me, I won't let anything happen."
"Even so, what do you know about the magical world Naruto? Can you counter a charm, a curse, or combat a dark creature you have never seen before? I believe you are underestimating the abilities of these forces, they can be a bit tricky."
My teeth clicked once before I argued back, "it doesn't matter, I'm not going to give up on Harry, he's my apprentice and I will continue to see to his training."
"Although I believe you are quite strong for someone so young, but what have you been teaching the boy? Out of curiosity?" he spoke in a voice of a sincere old man while staring curiously my way.
"Well, most of the stuff I teach him are techniques to help strengthen him physically," I gave a demonstration of punching my hand, "I teach him to use his magic to strengthen his body so he can become as strong as any creature. He is still young but I do plan on teaching him how to summons a few elemental attacks in battle and to use chakra to even damage the enemy."
"Chakra you say?"
"Oh, I meant magic," it was a little slip up.
"Are you sure, because although I have heard of using magic to strengthen your body, I am not sure I have heard of using it to such a degree and without a wand, are you sure you meant to say magic?"
Shaaaaaarp is all I could say. "Fine, I call it chakra, how I use it is through hand seals, like so," I gave the concentrating hand seal, the one with one hand facing upwards with only the index and middle finger pointed up together while my pinky and ring were folded in with my thumb, "this is how I use the energy. I have yet to determine if there is a relationship to magic though so I'm not sure yet."
I watched as he actually copied the seal with his old hands. He stared at it in fascination while even moving it from side to side with such curiosity, "very interesting," he commented.
"Yeah, it is," I concentrated on my chakra and changed in a pool of smoke with my mind concentrating on the transformation. I could feel the transformation coming into effect before I stared back at the Headmaster, "like that." I had transformed into anexact replica of the headmaster.
His eyes lit up as he rubbed at his beard once more, "that is quite amazing. For us, that is called wand less magic, which is very hard to master, but to be able to go to such a degree," he nodded as if satisfied as I killed off the technique and burst back into my original form, "even with a wand, a spell such as that is quite diffi…hmm," I could see him blinking in surprise as I wondered what was wrong.
"What?" I asked.
"Forgive me but, is that intentional?" he pointed at the top of my head as I touched at my hair. I realized that as soon as I killed the technique, I killed all technique, even the one hiding my pink hair.
"Oh crud, Tonks," I felt my cheeks start to heat as I slapped my face and spoke, "sorry, just a little argument this morning with that Tonks person," I stared back at him, "she did this to my hair, and I have yet to know how to take it off."
"Ah," he chuckled in humor "if I may, would you like me to remove it?"
"Please, go ahead; it would help me out actually."
He simply waved his hand in the air, just like that. I stared up at my hair once more before I noticed it had reverted back to its regular colors. Funny, I didn't sense anything, "thanks."
He nodded, "you mentioned elemental attacks?"
"That's a trade secret, sorry, I can't reveal it yet," I stuck my hand out with the palm facing the ceiling, "but I can show you this," the blue swirl grew bright in color as the vortex created in my hand shined brightly. The Headmaster was watching intently as I smiled proudly, "this is one of my dangerous attacks, the rasengan."
"That is quite fascinating, I feel honored that you would show me," I shrugged as he took out his wand then swished it in the air. Suddenly, my eyes grew as the glowing ball left my hand and floated in the air.
"H-hey, be careful, that technique can destroy a whole side of a building."
"I will be careful," he commented as he twisted his hand that held the wand. The technique continued to float in the air, revealing the whole angle of it to us, "by supplying it with my magic, I can make it as it is, to continue in a indefinite stasis," the bright blue color shifted into a different blue pigment, and I could tell that he was now fueling it with his magic before he spoke again, "it is quite draining actually, but the technique feels very dangerous and yet I can feel that there are three parts to it. The outer cover, the continuous swirl, and the destructive insides, quite amazing," it was weird as it seemed like I saw a trail of blue hue that left from the underside of the floating rasengan. The technique grew smaller and dimmer before finally disappearing in sight, "ah, to cut off the source is to cut off the technique, no need to use it," he chuckled as I stared at the old guy in amazement. Magic seemed very interesting to me now.
"I think I'll have another lemon drop," he took one and popped it into his mouth, "I do hope you try some, they really are good."
"Is there something in them? I mean, this is like what, the third time you asked me and you seem quite persistent in trying to get me to eat one," he stopped chewing as I couldn't tell what his expression was, "I mean, if you're hiding something in them, you're not doing a good job in being inconspicuous."
He continued to chew as I finished, "my apologies if it seems that way. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth and I often want others to enjoy the taste of such candies. I will not bother you on it again," his back leaned into his chair as he folded his hands on top of the table, "now to the main question, do you want to learn magic?"
"What do you mean?"
"It has come to my attention that you lack the knowledge on charms, spells, and the mystic arts, and you seem to be lacking the knowledge to counter act most spells which can be highly dangerous in a world filled with spells."
It was true; I had no understanding of any spells or whatnot, "what are you proposing?"
"I want to offer you a position at Hogwarts as a second caretaker."
"A caretaker, I will have Argus Filch explain the details to you, but as a caretaker, you will be responsible with protecting the students and Hogwarts."
"But how does that help me learn magic?"
"As the caretaker, you will be able to access our wide arrays of books and observe the classes. You can have discussions with the professors, and I will personally help you get comfortable within the wizarding world."
That offer sounded a bit too good for me, "but why? What do you want out of this?"
He grinned as I spotted that mischievous twinkle in his old eyes, "I get peace in mind knowing that Argus has someone helping him and I am curious with your teachings, I would like to observe it a few more times, if you don't mind."
"That, might be a problem," I already had a job.
"How so?" he questioned.
"My job back in the regular world is a detective. I already figured out a way for me to receive information from my office, but I cannot abandon that job."
"A detective? What type of position is that?"
"In the nutshell, it's someone who catches bad people or finds others, but for me, I deal with the problems that most people cannot face. I guess I protect them from creatures."
"Ah, a very noble job," he clapped his hands with that jolly grin on his face, "I do not want you to quit a job such as that, I will see what I can do about the travelling from here to your preferred destination. Anything else?"
I rubbed at my forehead, I don't want to rush into this, but what he had to offer was something I needed. Giving me a job, with so much freedom, and being close to the students, I realized he didn't know a thing about me yet, "you don't even know where I'm from, how can you trust me?"
"Well, Naruto, where are you from?" His straight forward question caught me by surprise as I had to turn away.
"Um, that's, a long story, and a personal story too."
"Ah, then maybe one day, I hope you would share it with me, maybe over a cup of tea?" his old smile was rather comforting as I smiled in return before it turned into a frown.
"But really, you don't know a thing about me? Why offer it so easily?"
"Naruto, in this world, everyone has their secrets, they have something dark to hide, but their beliefs can be pure, and their trust, hard to earn," he reached out and took another piece of lemon drops candy, "I will start by trusting you, as I believe you have something special, a certain quality that I can trust, and in return, no matter how much time it may take, I hope that you would trust me in return."
Those words were comforting, but I had a feeling he was partly telling the truth, as I am sure he wouldn't offer this to just anyone, "can I think about it?"
He nodded his head before standing up from his chair. I followed suit and stood up as well before he placed his right hand forward, "take as many days as you need to think about it, I'll be waiting for your answer," I took his hand and shook it before he smiled once more and said, "it was a pleasure, find me if you have any questions."
"Alright," I couldn't help but grin as I released the handshake then gave a small little bow, "I'll be around, oh, and I think I will try one," I took a couple of lemon drops into my hand before pocketing them "maybe later," my hand waved as I moved to the door way and exited through it. I had to think about what I would do for now, and I also wondered, what would the right choice be.
As I left the old guy's office, I realized that he hadn't really discussed Harry's family situation. I was unsure as to whether it was ok for me to take the boy for training or not as for some reason; we sort of never brought the topic back up. 'Maybe its for the best,' I told myself, maybe I shouldn't argue about it for now, I'll just continue what I'm doing, there's no harm in that.
I clenched my fist as I walked down the swirling stairs of the tower, dark forces were targeting Harry and I might be underestimating them? I felt my face grin as I couldn't help but think of the challenges, "well bring it on then."