Yay! for long chapter! ^^ This is one of my favorites, so I hope you like it too.
And Germany was wonderful, thanks to all those that wished us well. It was cold and wet the whole time, but we still had a wonderful time. I saw castles. O.O ::flails in joy::
Sasuke bought take-out that night. Apparently Sakura's assessment of her teammates cooking abilities was correct since Sasuke's kitchen was practically empty. Other than a tin of tea and a box of sealed rations, there wasn't a thing in there that could be called food. Sasuke explained that it was that way because he'd just returned from an extended mission. Looking around at the cupboards, Harry suspected it was always that way. There were only two pans in the entire kitchen, one of which looked like it never saw use. Harry wasn't a great cook, but he had plenty of practice at the basics. If he could talk Sasuke into buying them some supplies, he could manage meals for the both of them. It would give him something useful to do. Sasuke frowned at the idea, but didn't argue. Harry took that as a victory.
Things hadn't been as tense between the two of them since their walk that afternoon. Sasuke still frowned all the time and wouldn't know how to be friendly if his life depended on it, but Harry didn't feel like the other boy was constantly trying to hide things from him anymore.
Besides, it was a little hard to stay made at someone for keeping secrets when you had a few of your own.
Sasuke refused flat out to summon one of his snakes again. He certainly didn't seem to like them very much. Instead he found some old shirts of his for Harry to wear and even showed him his father's office. Several part of the house still looked like they'd survived a small war and the office was one of them. Sasuke moved about the room silently pulling sharp implements out of books and the walls. He motioned for Harry to follow him in, but left him to his own devices after that.
The translation jutsu was holding up pretty well. Harry was having less and less trouble following conversations. Reading, however, remained a problem. He didn't even know where to begin. All of the characters looked the same. The only different he could tell was that some looked super complicated while others he might have a chance of being able to copy after months of practice. So there wasn't much for Harry to see in a room full of books. But there was still something nice about standing in the center of what had been an important place for a member of his family. The afternoon light was still bright on this side of the house, and it lent something warm and comfortable to the worn table tops and faded papers. There was a large depiction of the red and white fan hanging on one of the walls and it seemed to almost glow the fading light. It also matched the ones on the back of the shirts Sasuke had given him.
"Why a fan?" Harry asked. He'd been wondering about it for some time now. The few examples he'd seen of family crest at Hogwarts had always been much more complicated and full of meaning according to Hermonie. She'd gone through a phase where she looked up all of the common symbols and was pointing them out to her boys for days. Most of the symbolism had been fairly straight forward once he's gotten used to it, but he couldn't figure out what a fan meant. At least it was easy to draw. He couldn't imagine trying to draw some of those other family crests without the help of magic and wasn't surprised at all to find out that few of his classmates used their family crests for anything.
Sasuke jumped up lightly to yank a kunai out of the ceiling before turning. "What?' he asked before noticing where Harry's attention had wandered to. "Oh. That. It's simple. Our clan was well known for using fire based jutsus. The fan represents that."
It took Harry a moment to make the mental leap from fire to flame to fanning the flames, but it made sense once he did. It was sort of elegant in its simplicity. None of that abstract stuff to try to understand. "Do you think you could teach me that?" Harry asked. If it was something their family was well known for, then he ought to work at it.
But Sasuke scowled. "I don't think so," he said sharply.
Harry sighed and turned away from examining the room. What did it matter if Sasuke wouldn't teach him anything? Sure, he'd agreed to showing him how to use a kunai and they were all set to start that tomorrow, but the second anything remotely challenging came up, Sasuke clammed up tighter than a goblin's vault. Harry leaned back against his Uncle's desk and glared at the far wall. "And what's the reason not to this time?" he asked.
Sasuke sent him a frosty look but didn't rise up to the bait. "Too dangerous," he said. "Besides, it takes years for some to learn even the most basic ones."
Sasuke's voice was almost bitter there at the end. While Harry would have liked to protest that he wasn't afraid of trying something hard, it just didn't seem like the time for that. Maybe after he showed Sasuke that he could work hard at learning how to use a kunai, the other boy might change his mind about showing him how to do one of their fire jutsus. After all, Incendio was one of the first spells Hogwarts students learned. A fire jutsu couldn't be much harder, could it? And Harry was a fast learner. He's always been one. But beggars shouldn't be obnoxious. He was already making a bother out of himself as it was, he didn't need to add to that by demanding more lessons. If there was one thing Harry had learned it was to value knowledge when it was offered. Professor Lupin's lessons in third year turned out to be some of the most valuable he'd ever had. And Harry's failed tutoring with Snape the year before had been the greatest mistake of his life.
Harry had managed to go all day without thinking about Sirius. He didn't know whether to feel good about that or not. It just hurt thinking about him now. Maybe with a little help from his new cousin, Harry would at least be able to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. And if Sasuke wouldn't teach him there was always Naruto to ask. Harry had a feeling the other boy would help him.
Sasuke had finished gathering everything all of the kunai in the room and spread them out over the desk. They all looked identical to Harry, but Sasuke started to divide them into two piles based on some sort of criteria. When he finished, he motioned Harry over. "You can work with these," he told him. "They are not practice kunai and will cut you if you are stupid." He pushed a pile of five of them towards Harry.
Harry picked up one and tested the weight experimentally in his hand. He didn't have a lot of experience with weapons, but it rested easily in his palm. The sharp corners by the hilt made him a little nervous, but as he tested wrapping his hand around the handle, it didn't seem too bad. He'd have to be really trying in order to slice himself open on those back ends, and even then it would likely only be a minor wound. Still. It didn't offer much protection for his knuckles, but the loop at the back must be good for something.
Harry glanced at the other pile Sasuke had collected, but they didn't look any different from the one in his hand. "What's wrong with those?" he asked.
Sasuke was already in the process of hiding them. Harry watched as one after another of the kunai was slipped into various pockets all over Sasuke's person. Some of them were obvious, like the black pouch attached to his waist. Others Harry wasn't even sure where they were, or how the kunai stayed in place. One second a kunai would be in Sasuke's hand, his hand would move passed an area on his body, and then the kunai would be gone.
Sasuke's hands hesitated only for a moment at the question. "They're not mine," he answered before quickly finishing up. "I'll need to work on the grounds tomorrow," he said before Harry had a chance to ask anything else. "I can get you started on some kunai drills while I'm doing that." He paused for a moment then scowled. "Sakura and Naruto will probably come over too, if you'd rather spend time with them."
"I can help clean," Harry offered. Cleaning and yard work were definitely something he knew about, as pathetic as that kind of was. He didn't like the idea of staying here for free without helping out with something.
Sasuke shook his head, but he stopped scowling. "No. Focus on your training. It's my mess to clean up."
"Really, I don't mind," Harry replied. "I wanna help."
"Then do kunai training tomorrow," Sasuke repeated. "Don't think it'll be easy, either. It takes years to master the force and timing necessary to reliably hit a target."
Harry couldn't argue with that. He didn't know the first thing about throwing knives. It was the kind of exotic thing one only saw in the movies. For all he knew, it would be even harder than potions. He didn't think it could be, but he couldn't argue that it wouldn't. So he sighed and let it go for now. He needed to learn to pick his battles, sometimes. He could always find a way to help tomorrow without Sasuke noticing.
The conversation was apparently over anyway. Sasuke ushered Harry out of the room. He paused long enough to stick a written on piece of paper over the crack between the door and the doorframe before announcing it was time for bed. Harry rolled his eyes, but went along with it. It had been a long day, with a lot of fighting and walking and very awkward conversations. A little shut-eye wouldn't be bad. Sasuke still insisted on their current sleeping arrangements, however. Harry tried arguing with him, but Sasuke just crossed his arms and refused to compromise. Harry was sleeping in the bedroom, Sasuke was sleeping in the foyer.
"You're being ridiculous," Sasuke growled out when he apparently had had enough of the conversation. "I'm accustomed to sleeping in trees and ditches and caves in the cold and the rain and generally inhospitable conditions. I think I can manage a few nights on a guest futon in the hall."
"So can I!" Harry objected. And he could, damnit. He was just as capable as Sasuke of putting up with a little discomfort. "Stop treating me like some weak child!"
Sasuke just shook his head. "Learn to use a kunai, and we'll talk," he informed him in an annoyingly smug tone of voice. Stuck-up, arrogant, assuming arse. The temptation to hex him, just to show him who was and was not helpless, was very tempting. Extremely childish and totally illegal, but very tempting.
"Good night," Sasuke said in a very civil tone of voice that left little room for snapping back at him. The two of them had been having these little fights over just about anything and everything. But it was kind of hard to carry on a fight one-sided and Sasuke had already turned to walk away.
"Good night," Harry muttered. With a sigh, he let himself into the room. The room, Sasuke's room, was no longer the foreign, intimidating place it had once been. Harry knew where he was. He might not want to be there, exactly, but he was alive. Alive was good. And had maybe even made some new friends – a rare thing in his life and something he'd learned to value. And as much as Sasuke annoyed the hell out of him sometimes, the guy wasn't all bad. He could be civil and even sort of nice sometimes. He just was a stubborn idiot the rest of the time.
Harry was as safe as he ever was, and he had a plan for tomorrow. It wouldn't be another day of waiting anxiously for any news of the coming war. He was going to start training. While a kunai would probably be useless in a wizard's battle, it was still combat training and he was going to make the best out of it. He went to bed feeling confident and safe and maybe even a little happy.
He woke up panting, sweating and crying out into the darkness.
The bed sheets were twisted about him once more, and it took him several panicked seconds to kick them free. He pulled his legs up to his chest and pushed himself into a tense shaking crouch at the head of the bed. With the wall pressed firmly into his back and his body curled in as tightly as he could, he felt safe enough to think beyond the pounding of his heart and the flash of half-remembered images. Just another nightmare. One of many. He'd gotten used to them, for the most part. A year spent tormented by images he didn't understand and couldn't stop had built a thick callus between him and his subconscious. This hadn't had the twisted, dizzying feel of Legilimency to it, thank god. Simply just another nightmare.
Harry shuddered and kept his eyes wide open. He needed to see. Even in the dark, he needed to know that the room was as he remembered it. He needed to see that he was still in some strange Asian village, in the beaten and damaged house of his new cousin. He needed not to see the images of things that had and had not happened three months ago in the bowels of the Ministry.
He was not surprised to find his wand already in hand, though he was extremely grateful it doesn't appear as if he had accidently done anything with it. The wood was warm and smooth in his hand and practically vibrating along with him. It was perhaps the single most comforting thing he had left in the world.
It took him a few moments to realize he had one of the new kunai his cousin gave him in his other hand. He had dropped the set of them on the nightstand the night before for no other reason than he didn't know what else to do with them. Finding a very sharp, very pointy piece of equipment in his hands with no real memory of reaching for it was a little bothersome. It didn't bother him in the least how good it felt there. His cousin was right, though. He was lucky he hadn't accidentally stabbed himself with it in his panic.
All of this happened within the space of a few seconds before Sasuke was standing in the doorway. There were three kunai in his hand as his eyes sweep the room. "Status?" he whispered in a sharp, tense tone that felt more like a yell.
Harry blinked slowly and tried to figure out what the hell the other boy was talking about. It was bad enough getting caught having a nightmare by his cousin of all people. There went any hope of trying to convince the other boy that he wasn't some pathetic twit. "Huh?" he asked once he thought his voice could work without cracking on him, or something even more embarrassing.
Sasuke's eyes snapped over to Harry, and in the weak light of the moon, he could just barely see that there was something not quite normal about them. The sharingan, he supposed. "Are you hurt?" Sasuke hissed.
"Harry!" Sasuke snapped, sounding furious. He stalked forward two steps before halting suddenly. The frustration seemed to melt right out of his face, replaced with something drawn and tense. "You can hear me, can't you?" he asked in a rush.
For some reason, the room didn't seem as dark any more. Harry could only guess that his eyes were adjusting to the poor light. And the sound of Bellatrix's laugh was fading along with the echo of Sirius's voice. Harry blinked some more before remembering to shove his wand under his pillow. He was pretty sure sleeping with it under his head was about as bad as shoving it into his back pocket and that Moody would have some choice things to say about that, but right now it was the best place he had for it. Harry relaxed out of the ridiculous crouch he'd found himself in and slumped down to sit cross legged. "Yeah, I can hear you," he whispered back. "Why wouldn't I?"
Sasuke scowled. "You seemed disoriented, as if – nevermind. Are you hurt?"
Harry flushed so bad he started to sweat again. Oh gods, talk about humiliating. "No," he whispered, feeling like a right prat. What kind of guy had nightmares at his age?
Sasuke stared at him for what seemed like forever. Like he knew. It just made the blushing worse and Harry wished the world would swallow him whole. He could only pray that Sasuke would not say anything about it, or even worse – ask him to talk. Because he definitely, completely, and without exception did not want to talk about it. He didn't want to think about it. He just wanted it all to go away. Talking about it wasn't going to help. It was just going to make it even more real. Not that Sirius being dead wasn't real enough…
Harry started to shake a little. How could he be both burning up and shivering at the same time? And would Sasuke just stop staring at him already?
"Do you need anything?" Sasuke finally asked, his voice still little more than a rough whisper in the dark.
Harry shook his head frantically then remembered to talk. "No," he said firmly.
He could just barely see Sasuke nod. He didn't say anything else. He simply turned and left. As if he'd never been there. As if he'd seen nothing. Harry slumped down on the bed and yanked the covers over his head. He was still blushing like mad and couldn't wait this time for sleep to return. He was confident he was too embarrassed to be at any risk of a nightmare.
Surprisingly, it didn't take him long to drift back to sleep. He must not have fallen too deeply asleep, however, because the wind woke him up what felt like not a minute later. Harry's eyes opened and he stared at the inside of his sheet. One flailing hand found his wand once more.
He swore silently that if that was Kakashi again coming back to mess with his head some more he was seriously going to – to – to do something to that man, and it was not going to be pleasant!
Except it didn't feel right. Someone wasn't coming down the hall. Someone was already in the room with him. He moved before he had time to tense up in fear. He just flung himself to the right, blindly. The sheet pulled at him, something thunked! with a silently but heavy vibration into the bed beside him. The sheet ripped and spilt him out unto the floor.
He had maybe three seconds to act. His shoulder collided with the floor. His eyes snapped up to the figure looming over his bed. There was the sound of something exploding somewhere behind him, in another part of the house. He got a good look at a man in black, with a mask and slit purple eyes, at the flash of silver in his hands before Harry snapped off a solid Expelliarmus that slammed the other man into the far wall.
There was another crackling explosion, this time closer to him. Something slammed into the wall behind him, followed by a quick series of thunks. But there was still inches of solid wood and plaster between him and whatever was happening out there. Leaving him and the man in black.
Who wasn't where he should be.
Harry had expected to find him slumped over by the wall, but the room once more appeared empty. Harry didn't trust that for a second. He got a wall to his back, his wand held out in front of him and his eyes wide open. The man was here. Harry just had to find him. Disable him. Then get the hell out of there and find his cousin.
There was a shimmer of light, no brighter than the glitter of the snitch's wings, and Harry threw himself to the left. Thunk!Thunk!Thunk! Harry tried to roll with his momentum, coming up awkwardly in a crouch by the bed once more. He nearly toppled over into it, but his wand was still out and ready for the faint shift in the shadows by the door.
"Calamus!" Harry hissed before it had a chance to move. The spell shot out of his wand in a flash-bang of light that splintered into a barrage of attacks. In the dark, his aim wasn't as good as he'd like, but that was the beauty of this particular spell. You just had to point it in the right direction. The shower of blasts would cover the entire area, and with only a little bit of luck, seriously slow down your opponent. It wasn't as powerful as a well placed Reducto or as effective as Petrificus Totalus, but it more than made up for it in flexibility in a duel.
Something grunted before falling heavily to slide across the hard wood floor. Harry scrambled to his feet. He'd managed to hit the man, causing some nasty looking burns on his leg and shoulder. He didn't have time to examine him any further. Bruised and burned did not mean out of the fight. The man threw something at him and Harry just barely managed to jerk his head to the side fast enough. It still sliced open his cheek with an edge so sharp he barely felt it at first, until half his face felt like it was flayed and on fire. God, he hoped it wasn't that bad. He didn't have time to slap one hand up to check the damage. He was already moving sideways, trying to dodge before even knowing for sure that anything was coming.
The man froze, a handful of star shaped disks already in one hand. Every edge was beveled down to a shining blade, the points needle thin and curved wickedly. It was the kind of thing meant to slice through just about anything, and to stay imbedded in everything else. It was designed to rip through muscle and tear out tendons. Harry stared at it in the dim light, transfixed.
There was a crash from beyond his room, followed by a muffled shout that disappeared into a gargled silence. Harry finally moved. He scrambled over the still body until he found one of his kunai. They'd been knocked off the table in all the confusion, and he had to dig under the torn sheet to find one. It was a comfortable heavy weight in his hand. The sudden silence of the house was almost more disturbing. He didn't have a lot of time.
The man in black was staring up at him, frozen but aware. His eyes really were slit like a cat's. Harry squeezed his eyes shut and looked away as he brought the base of the kunai's handle down on the man's skull. He didn't know how much force it took to knock someone unconscious. Conversely, he didn't know how much it took to kill a man either. He could only hope he'd manage something in the middle. There wasn't time to check.
With a muttered Finite Incantatem he canceled out his spell just as Sasuke came bursting into the room. Literally. The door was shattered all over the place. Sasuke didn't even pause. His forward momentum had him sliding across the floor, but he simply lunged and had himself flying at Harry. It should have been a lot hard than he made it look. He skidded to a halt beside Harry, half crouched, hands out and armed. His eyes flickered between Harry and the singed and unconscious man. "Status?" he barked out again even as he twisted to put Harry between him and the wall with his body facing outward, ready.
Harry snorted. He couldn't help it. Of all the ridiculous things. "I'm fine," he drawled. Sure, there had been a few moments there where he might not have been as fine as he would have liked, but everything was fine now.
Sasuke ignored his sarcasm. He nodded, sharply, then went back to searching the room as if he expected something to come jumping out of the woodwork. A minute passed. Then another. Sasuke stayed frozen where he was except for his eyes sweeping from one side of the room to another. He didn't say anything and they heard nothing. Another minute. Sasuke turned before Harry did and there was a man crouched down just inside the far window.
Harry couldn't see much from his position huddled behind Sasuke, but he saw enough. White mask. Black robe. He screamed without thinking. Not again. It could not happen again. Sasuke jumped and twisted around, his mouth open, his eyes wide. He wasn't paying attention to the true threat, however. Harry couldn't fire off anything from behind Sasuke and he doubted he'd be faster than one of His men. So he did the only thing he could. He grabbed two handfuls of Sasuke's shirt and yanked him sideways. They needed to get down. Stay low. Get out of the room. You couldn't block an Unforgivable.
But you certainly could make it so that it couldn't be cast, and maybe in the process provide some cover. He and Sasuke crashed to the ground, the bed now between them, and the figure in the window. Harry kept one hand firmly wrapped up in his cousin's shirt and drew his wand again with the other. He'd only get one shot at this. Pushing himself up, he yanked Sasuke along with him. The door was wide open, somewhere to their right and behind them. He twisted to shove Sasuke in that direction and brought his wand up.
The Death Eater was gone. Harry's heart leapt even faster than he ever thought possible. Where? Where? Where?
"Harry, wait!" Sasuke yelped.
Harry ignored him. His shove should have sent Sasuke stumbling to the door. Hopefully he'd have enough sense to find cover after that. Splitting them up was the most important thing, however. If Death Eaters were here, it was a sure thing they weren't after Sasuke. Harry would just have to make a big enough nuisance out of himself to keep them occupied.
There! A flicker of movement just outside the window. Someone was on the lawn. It wasn't a clear shot, but it would do. Harry twisted his wand around, opened his mouth for the strongest blasting spell he knew and felt arms wrap around him like a living vise.
He struggled for one moment before realizing it that was Sasuke's voice right next to his ear, Sasuke's arms wrapped around him, pinning his arms down, making his wand all but useless that far down. Why? What was he doing?
And then they were tumbling backwards. Sasuke kept his grip on Harry the whole way down. They landed in a jumble of elbows and knees, Sasuke pinned beneath him but still not letting go.
"Stop it! It's okay! Stand down!" Sasuke roared into his ear.
He couldn't stop! It wasn't okay! Sasuke didn't understand! Oh god. All the speed in the world wouldn't be enough if he was hit with an unforgivable. Sasuke wouldn't know the first thing about how to fight a wizard. A Death Eater could kill him before he even realized he was in danger. And why wouldn't he let go? The last thing Harry wanted to do was to have to hex his own cousin, but if he didn't let Harry defend them, they were both going to be dead. Harry gave up trying to jerk free. Sasuke was as strong as he looked and Harry simply wasn't a match for him. So he twisted his wand to the side and back. It wasn't a great angle, but it would be enough. A wizard would know better than to leave him such an opening.
"He's one of us!" Sasuke shouted. "I know him! It's safe!"
That didn't make any sense and that was the only reason his cousin wasn't locked under a binding spell. Sasuke knew him? How the bloody hell would Sasuke know a wizard, much less a Death Eater?
Sasuke didn't try to move out from underneath Harry. He stayed put and merely held on to Harry. He was panting, just slightly and kept repeating the same things. "It's okay. He's ANBU. He's a Konoha shinobi. He's not going to hurt you. It's alright. No one's going to hurt you. You're safe. We're safe. I know him. It's okay."
Harry shook his head. "Death Eater," he gasped out.
Sasuke paused. "No," he replied. "He's ANBU. I don't know what a Death Eater is, but he's ANBU. They're guards on the village. He heard the fight and came to help us."
And just like that, Harry realized he'd apparently made a huge mistake. A colossal sized one. A right bloody mess of one that was so going to land his arse in the frying pan. He didn't know what to freak out about first. The fact that they'd been attacked by someone, the fact that he'd just drawn his wand in front of his cousin that knew nothing about magic or that the Ministry was going to have his hide for this one. That or the fact that he was still essentially being held in his cousin's lap.
Harry blushed. "You can let go now!" he all but squeaked. Which didn't relieve his humiliation any. Thankfully, Sasuke did let go then. Harry scrambled up and away, trying not to step on anything in the process. He wasn't helped by the fact that the body of the man in black was still sprawled out on the floor. Harry waited until he was a good respectable distance away before turning back around.
Sasuke was still lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. He was wearing a set of loose trousers and shirt dark enough to be black. There was blood splatter on his arms, and one of his sleeves looked a little singed, but other than that he seemed perfectly fine. Whole and uncursed.
Slowly, he sat up. He was missing the head band he always wore, and his hair flopped haphazardly in front of his eyes. They too were black again, and Harry was relieved. He didn't think he could handle the slightly creepier side of his cousin at this moment.
"You disabled that enemy nin," Sasuke finally said as he gestured towards the unconscious man.
Harry wasn't sure if it was a statement or a question, but he hesitantly nodded anyway. He had. He wasn't going to lie about that.
"You were going to attack that ANBU guard."
Harry nodded again. The ANBU thing confused him, but they were obviously talking about the same man. The one who was still suspiciously absent. Harry glanced around the room once more, trying to find any sign of him. He'd rather know exactly where he was, even if Sasuke insisted it was alright.
"You thought he was someone else."
Crap. Harry winced and slowly let his eyes drift back over to Sasuke. Sasuke hadn't stopped staring at him the entire time. He wasn't frowning. Which was a little unusual. But his eyes were narrowed dangerously. Dangerously in the way that Harry suspected he wasn't going to be able to get away with keeping any more secrets. The Ministry was so going to throw him out of school for this.
"You thought he was someone you knew would try to kill you. Someone who wasn't Itachi. Someone other than Itachi. Someone you didn't tell me anything about!" Sasuke was shouting by the end. Now he was scowling.
In a way, Harry was grateful. If Sasuke had been afraid or worried, Harry would have felt like a right cad for all the hiding and lying. If Sasuke was going to get angry and yell then Harry had no problem yelling right back. "It's none of your business!" he snapped. Hah! Now it was his turn not to know what's going on. He couldn't wait to see how Sasuke liked that!
Sasuke's face twisted into something nasty. "I think I have the right to know if an assassin might come barreling through my window!" he snarled back.
"What shite! You don't tell me anything, why should I tell you? Besides," he sneered. "You just said he wasn't a Death Eater. So I guess it's still none of your business, now is it?"
"And what if it had been?"
"Then I guess you should have left me at Privet Drive!"
"With only a bat-faced, spineless woman to protect you? Not a chance, you stupid twit!"
"I can take care of myself, you conceited asshole!"
"Obviously not well enough!"
"Like hell! I didn't see you in here taking care of this jerk!" Harry kicked out at the body at his feet, forgetting for a moment that the man was not dead and would probably be really sore for that in the morning.
Sasuke flinched. It didn't last long, however, before his face was turning red and he took one step forward.
They both jerked around to face the direction of the voice. Sasuke had a kunai out from somewhere and Harry had his wand.
It was the man from before, the one who looked like a Death Eater. With the moonlight shining in his face and not highlighting him from behind, the differences were more obvious. Harry had never seen a Death Eater's mask that looks so….cute. It was animal shaped. Like something a child would have. And it wasn't pure white. There were streaks of red on the sides. The man had also lowered his hood and tilted the mask to the side until Harry could see a tuff of black hair and one dark eye peeking out from behind. It was impossible to tell with the mask still partially on and in the dark, but he could have sworn the man was grinning at them.
"I hate to interrupt, but I need to report this disturbance," the man continued cheerfully. "I've already examined the first two bodies. I need to have a look at that one," he said before nodding at the man at Harry's feet.
Harry scrambled backwards, the fight all but forgotten. There had been two more? Well, that certainly explained the explosions from earlier. He glanced over at his cousin as they stood stiffly to the side. The other boy didn't seem hurt in anyway.
The man in the door seemed to float over to the body, not walk. He bent down and poked at it. "Hmm," he announced before riffling through a couple of pockets. "Hmmm. Interesting burn pattern. You're work, I assume, Uchiha-san?'
Sasuke's head snapped around to stare at Harry. Crap. Harry grimaced. He'd forgotten about that. Sasuke must not have taken a good look earlier.
The stranger didn't miss their silent exchange. "Oh?" he hummed. "Well, then. Thank you for not trying the same thing with me. Though seeing if it would have worked might have been fun…"
"He's a civilian!" Sasuke snapped. He'd already shifted to stand more in front of Harry than along side.
The man laughed and waved one hand lazily. "Sure, sure, whatever you say, Uchiha-san." And then, as if by magic, all of the joking stopped. The man stood up, the mask and hood once more in place and nodded gravely. In a move so smooth Harry barely noticed, the man had the body up on one shoulder. "I will report this to the Hokage. Expect a summons within 24 hours. Uchiha-san, Firecracker-san." The man leaped and cleared not only the bed but landed clear outside the window. Another leap and he was gone.
Harry stared after him. That was their guards? That man was insane. And creepy. Harry would be more than continent to never see him again. He didn't exactly have the charismatic nature of an Auror. "What did he call me?" he asked.
Sasuke scowled. "Nothing," he muttered before glancing over at Harry. He stared at him for a moment before sighing. "Come on. We're not staying here." He moved away and bent down to start picking up some of the fallen kunai.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"Naruto's," Sasuke answered. "He can help keep watch for any more trouble. Don't think we aren't discussing this," Sasuke added with a glare. "And you're telling me everything."
Harry sighed. He owed his cousin at least some kind of explanation. But everything was an awful lot to ask for.