Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, own Harry Potter or Naruto. They belong to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros., and Kishimoto-sensei respectively. I borrow for my own amusement.
Summary: Albus Severus Potter puzzles out the mystery that is his new professor. Post-DH. One-shot Harry Potter / Naruto crossover.
u n r a v e l
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall announces that the Care of Magical Creatures vacancy has been filled by Uzumaki Naruto, a Japanese professor whose specialty lies in magical creatures of Asia. This is met with scattered applause, for the students are craning their necks to get a glimpse of the new professor.
They are wasting their time, Albus thinks.
The seat beside Filius Flitwick that used to be the chair of their half-giant professor Hagrid is empty, as it has been for two years. He claps all the same.
Idly he wonders what kind of professor this Uzumaki Naruto would be. He thinks of an elderly, balding man with round glasses, surrounded by yellowed scrolls and with a cup of cooling tea perched on a low table. He imagines the man writing his name with long, flowing strokes—entirely unintelligible but beautiful all the same, elegant.
Professor Uzumaki does not show up to dinner all evening.
Albus is a Ravenclaw, so it behooves him to judge by content rather than appearance.
It is hard with Professor Uzumaki, whom he has finally seen in the following day's class. He first thinks, Is that how Japanese look like now?
For Professor Uzumaki is as blonde as Marian Owen, his year-mate, whose bright curls he could easily distinguish in a crowd—and the blue of his eyes are only a shade deeper than his Uncle Ron's. He is also unbelievably young; he has none of the little wrinkles that come with age, nor eye bags beneath his blue eyes. He calls out Albus' name with the enthusiasm only youth can provide, and Albus answers with a question of how he got his qualifications.
Experience, he says, his grin wide and easy, but for a moment, Albus swears it looked like the professor had fangs.
Professor Uzumaki has a fanclub.
His father tells him that the females of Hogwarts have a penchant for blonde hair and blue eyes, laughing at the disgusted expression on his son's face.
A thestral is visible only to those who have seen death.
How old were you when you saw someone die, Professor? someone asks.
It is a rude question but Albus has long since learned that Professor Uzumaki has little awareness for impertinence. Their professor's hand is up in the air, resting on the back of an animal visible only to him, stroking the beast's skin in small, lazy circles.
It takes him a minute to reply, and Albus wonders whether the question should really have been, How many people have you seen die, Professor?
Not old enough, he says finally.
They are having a special lesson today.
Albus finally concedes that the man is knowledgeable, if nothing else. He is talking about the Tailed Beasts, legendary magical creatures that reside in an obscure, Unplottable land in Asia. The books that hold information on these creatures are most probably in the Restricted Section and yet he talks about them at great length, his eyes holding an intimate knowledge of the subject.
Long ago, the Tailed Beasts were sealed into children, because even if they were dangerous, it was considered, shall we say, good luck if you had a jinchuuriki in your village.
A female Gryffindor splutters at the injustice of it all. How barbaric, her friend agrees.
Slavery is barbaric, Professor Uzumaki points out bluntly, and yet it was practiced for over a century. It continues today, if you consider the House Elves. They did what they thought was right. Long, long ago.
So if the Tailed Beasts are no longer sealed, where are they now? Albus asks.
Who knows, ne? Professor Uzumaki says airily.
The Ravenclaw decides that there is something definitely knife-like in his grin, something sharp and dangerous.
Professor Uzumaki spends a lot of time in the library for someone whose profession capitalizes on field work. What is more suspicious is that more than two-thirds of the time, he is in the Restricted Section.
It isn't in his position as a student to be suspicious of his teacher's motives, but it is in his nature as Harry Potter's son to be curious as hell.
So after Professor Uzumaki has left the library, he casts a Concealment Charm on himself and disables the wards that prevent students from entering the Restricted Section. He is a Ravenclaw, after all.
His blood runs cold when he sees the array of books in the section Professor Uzumaki always sits in.
Blood Magicks and Immortality, Erlangen von Unsterblichkeit, and Tromper la mort are only a few of the titles that Albus sees. Some books are small, bound journals with no titles but he can guess at the contents and he would most probably be right.
Albus watches the unicorns that stray into the radius of Professor Uzumaki's presence, and isn't at all surprised when they flinch away from him.
No, he isn't surprised any more.
His female classmates are more oblivious, and flock near the professor, content to bask in the apparent warmth of his smiles.
Fools, he thinks.
Professor Uzumaki leaves at the end of the school year. It makes Albus wonder whether anyone other than Professor Hagrid can hold the position for more than a year.
But he is only too glad to see the retreating back of the man, taking with him the memory of knife-like grins, afternoons spent in the Restricted Section reading obscure books on immortality and entirely too many questions and a vacuum of answers.
His fifth year is not something he looks back on with fondness.
The Nine-Tailed Demon Fox is one of the most powerful and dangerous magical creature known to mankind. What kind of powers it lends to its container, the jinchuuriki, is something we can only wonder about. A bottomless well of magic, with a potency that exceeds that of imbibing five magic-enhancing potions, longevity of life, possession of the demon fox's knowledge… the list is extensive.
Regrettably, we shall perhaps never know for the land that houses the Tailed Beasts has long since been hidden away from wizarding eyes. It is presumed to have been destroyed early in the tenth century. There has been no news on the activity of the Tailed Beasts since then; their existence remains both a legend and mystery to this day.
Anon, A Treatise on Magical Creatures of Asia
Erlangen von Unsterblichkeit– Achieving Immortality (according to wassersaeufer :D)
Tromper la mort – Cheating death (according to Ayane T'il Hime :D)
No, I'm quite puzzled by Naruto here as well. Wonder away, only he knows all the answers. And no, unfortunately, I don't know what happened to Hagrid either.
Anyway, I was experimenting with writing in the present tense, and tried to include drabble-like qualities. I don't know how successful I was, but I certainly had a lot of fun writing this.
Note (6/08/09): Before you ask, I currently have no plans of expanding this into a multi-chaptered story. Why?
a) I hardly have the time for In Unlikeliest Places as it is already.
b) It seems pretty boring as a chaptered fic. Honestly. Think about it. After you do, and it's still interesting, PM me.
If you think otherwise, feel free to take the general idea and fashion your own plot. Just PM me if you do, all right? :D