Saving You, My Deception
Chapter Two: A Family Perspective
By Twin Kats & Rune-Ruin
Kurama, where are you? I need you to save me! Everything is all twisted and weird and shining bright colors—or that might just be the strange pills I took to deal with the stress—but that's not the point! I need you! Save me! I swear I'll make it up to you somehow!
I mean, I really wasn't expecting this, okay? Dying, sure, it was a mistake and a complete accident! I already said I was sorry right? But this...? This is backwards! It's—It's INSANE! I have a real "father" now who acts more like an unsupervised little brother than a father and he's so—so—so frustrating I mean how hard is it to pick up the family business?
Barani got it right away! Why can't he figure it out? I thought it was all so simple...we had rookies getting things quicker than this, right?
As far as first meetings went, Barani felt her first meeting with the man that would soon be her new daddy went rather well. It certainly set the tone for how life would be in the future; chaotic and fun. She hadn't recognized him at first, instead she made him as a possible mark. He had all the airs and grace of a rich man, and his wallet was within easy reach.
Well, easy reach if it wasn't chained to his ass. That's when she realized who he was, when he grabbed her arm and gave her that winning smile. Her old mommy and daddy had pictures of him. Sometimes her old mommy would cry over those pictures asking "why" over and over again. This was Sirius Black, a very bad man.
Barani had done what any child would do in her situation. She's screamed for her big brother, using the foreign words Kuronue had taught her. Instantly Kuronue had come running and then kicked Sirius Black right in the stomach. Barani remembered she hid behind her brother just as both the bad man and Kuronue recognized each other.
Sirius Black was apparently like Kuronue, except he was a crow—karasu, Kuronue had called it—and that the only bad thing he'd done was to leave Kuronue behind when he was a pup. Or at least that's what she picked out from the cursing and yelling that had started up once they arrived at Sirius Black's hotel.
It was kinda like watching a quidditch match, only they didn't speak English. They spoke that funny guttural language that Kuronue liked to swear in sometimes.
"Faison ma-ta-sha su-na-e degraaa kekka! E-an-us shiiman su-na-e su-na-e banban juuta-shu kilka-do damnusha!" Kuronue snarled as Barani sat on the edge of the bed with a lolly, absentmindedly swinging her legs back and forth. Her head jumped between Sirius and Kuronue as each spoke.
Fucking hell you degrading mutt! I hate you, you abandoning piece of half-bred shit!
"Don't take that tone with me, pup," Sirius snarled back, bearing his teeth in a canine manner. His words though held a slight hiss to them, just inches shy of being an outright avian screech. "Denaa-to e-an-us-ta su-na-e batinbo kresan-mi fusei!"
When I left you, baby bat, was not planned!
Kuronue bent forward at his waist and held his hands out, palm up at his sides. He bared his fangs—apparently it wasn't just a canine thing then, perhaps it was a creature thing—and hissed in warning. His fingertips began to shimmer with repressed youki. His eyes began to swirl, almost turning violently purple instead of the crafted blend of purple and green.
Srius sighed and collapsed into a chair. He ran a hand through his finely styled hair and closed his eyes. "I would have come sooner, pup—" he started to say.
Kuronue sneered out a sharp, "Fuuka ne!" still in the warning pose before Sirius.
The elder demon cawed out at sharp, "Shitau da!" in response.
Barani could feel the tension rise as Kuronue's mouth clacked shut and his body almost forcibly pulled itself out of the position it was in. After a second of pure silence the child demon huffed and crossed his arms. He turned his head to the side, peering at Sirius out of the corner of his eyes disdainfully. Sirius relaxed just a bit.
"I was going to come for you," the animagus uttered slowly. "I didn't...I went after Peter, alright? They...deserved to be avenged. Saiseisan inna-me mo...su-na-e ga-me juudai me-to. You're annoying, pup, but we're both kin of the sky. I wouldn't abandon you before you got your wings if I had the choice."
It was a right of mine...you wouldn't be abandoned for years.
Kuronue sighed and slouched in a way that was unbecoming of a thief, but he couldn't help it. He may not be going through puberty just yet, but he had childish desires just as anyone. If he wanted to slouch he'd damn well slouch!
Barani took one last lick of her lollipop and decided to speak up since the conversation had begun to lull just a bit. She pointed the lolly towards Sirius. "You're Sirius Black, mass-murdering madman."
Like most completely unexpected sentences that children utter into the air, Barani's words caused both demons to pause. One in pure confusion, and the other in pure shock.
"Na-Nani?" Kuronue cried out just as Sirius choked a sharp, "Witchling!" into the air. It took a minute before the term witchling settled properly into Kuronue's brain. It wasn't because he was slow, really. He just needed a moment to process the entire situation, like any good thief. So what if it took him a moment or two longer than any other demon out there?
There was a reason why Kurama tended to be the one who went first. He reacted in a pure slice and dice fashion to any and all threats in their path, able to accurately pick out friend from foe thanks to his heightened sense of hearing and smell. His eyesight too was superior to most other youko breeds, sharper and able to pick out the tiniest twitches of movement, although that could have been more thanks to his excellent hearing and sense of smell.
Unlike Kurama, Kuronue was practically blind. He knew it, heck everyone knew it. It was a trait of the kumouri. All of his kin had terrible eyesight, but they overcompensated it with their far superior sense of hearing and an excellent skill in illusion-space magic. By casting a simple spell upon his own person, Kuronue could 'see' like any other demon.
It still made telling friend from foe hard though. Kuronue wouldn't be able to pick Kurama out of a crowd so easily if he hadn't gotten to know his clever fox so well. So no, he wasn't slow. Exactly. Sort of. Maybe.
He wasn't in denial either, dammit.
Once Kuronue had processed the situation he blinked and then shrugged, unconcerned. "So that's how she picked up everything so easily. I was wondering about that."
Sirius shot him an odd glance. Barani just grinned. The situation was perfectly defused, just as she thought that comment would do. Now how to get her big brother to give her some more sweets...
It had taken a while to unearth the full story of what had happened. How Pettigrew had actually gotten the best of Sirius, to his incarceration, and the belief that he was a traitor amongst the Wizarding World. Kuronue had to restrain from actively bashing his skull into the wall. It was the reminder that bashing his skull against the wall would result in bruises upon his delightful face that had just barely stopped him.
Barani had giggled at the amusing display from the bed. This explanation was of course followed by several hours of Kuronue dancing around the subject of his previous home life and why he was wandering the streets like a vagabond. Once the young demon had actually spoken up about his not-relatives he had to physically restrain Sirius from fulfilling the guilty count of murder.
Once all was said and done, though, and the prerequisite bantering out of the way, both demons hashed out a plan of action. First things first, they would need to ditch England.
"I don't get why, though," Kuronue pointed out, his arms crossed lightly as he flicked off the reasons, as he saw it, against leaving on one hand. "Obviously you can get around well enough without anyone recognizing you. Barani and I am perfectly capable of surviving as we had and no bobby has caught us yet. Plus with your money and our brains—"
"Oi! Whose the older of you lot?" Sirius interrupted.
"—and our brains," Kuronue continued lightly, "we're perfectly well enough to continue living here as we were. In fact, we could live in style." He liked that idea. Living in style, just what he and Kurama dreamed. He could shred all the designer wear into rags that he wanted if they lived in style.
Sirius shook his head and placed his hands on his hips in an entirely manly manner. "Pup, you remember who put you on...Petunia's...doorstep, right?"
"Grey beardy old guy who smelled of goats?" Kuronue asked confusedly. "Yeah. Why?"
"Well..." Sirius drawled out. "He's a meddling old bastard who just happens to run the only magical school in Britain."
"And I would have to attend this magic school?" Kuronue asked, blinking twice.
Kuronue blinked twice more and then asked, "He's not a pedophile is he?"
"Good as, sometimes," Sirius replied lightly. Barani's head bounced back and forth between Sirius and Kuronue like a tennis match.
"Bit batty and insane? Gives a bad name to us good folk with wicked ideas?"
"And we couldn't just...I dunno...ship me off to some other school?"
"He wouldn't allow it."
Kuronue paused, thought, and then said bluntly, "Well, fuck. Barani, we're leaving!"
Barani perked up at the 'bad word' out of Kuronue's mouth. She pushed aside the revelation that they would be moving countries and instead focused on the swear. "Aniki said a bad word," she sang. "Aniki said fuck!"
Kuronue paled and hastily began to wave his arms. "Barani, sweetie, forget Aniki said anything! Aniki didn't swear, there's no words to go repeating that Aniki said."
Barani cheerfully began to chant, "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck," over and over until Kuronue groaned and hung his head.
"What do you want for your silence?" the kumouri asked tiredly.
Barani tilted her head in thought and tapped one of her fingers against her lips. "Hmmm," she said. "Three lollipops and ice cream for dinner for a week!"
Kuronue narrowed his eyes. "Three lollipops and ice cream for dinner for two days."
Barani smiled sweetly. "Four lollipops and ice cream for dinner for four days. Plus chocolate for the other three. Or I say the bad word for the rest of your life..."
"You drive a hard bargain, imouto," Kuronue said, eyes narrowed into a slight glare. "I accept."
Sirius scratched his head in confusion, unsure just how to take this odd development in his godsons life. He shrugged, decided to ignore the strange relationship Kuronue and the Witchling had, and instead said, "So...Gringotts anyone?"
That prompted further explanation and planning.
It took a week before Kuronue felt even remotely secure in the stability of his illusions to even think of allowing Sirius, Barani, and himself to travel into the heart of enemy territory, and to Kuronue it was enemy territory. Gringotts didn't exist solely for the Wizardling and Witchling's use. The self-proclaimed Goblins were actually a clan of imp-like yokai for the Makai known as Gringott after all.
A clan that he and Kurama stole from, many, many years ago. Kuronue almost lost a wing in that heist, and Kurama almost lost an eye.
Of course this fact about Gringotts and Kuronue's past dealings with the clan were kept safe and buried and away from Barani and Sirius. One for protection, and the other because, well, Kuronue just wasn't sure how well Sirius would take that little tidbit of truth. While vain, and greatly desiring access to Sirius' money, Kuronue also felt for the first time since Barani's appearance a desire for acceptance too.
So he held off on agreeing to travel when Sirius first felt that Kuronue had been ready. Instead he pushed out little nuggets of insecurity for Sirius to ponder on, or even details about his former homelife for the convict to rage about.
Only when Kuronue was ready did they depart.
With a keen eye for the magic he'd woven into the illusion, tasting and testing its mettle, did he look over his handy work as it brushed gently against Sirius' and Barani's skin. With a little twist, and a light note, Kuronue calmly anchored their illusions to a bracelet he had strapped around his wrist. In the dead of night he'd stolen just a drop of their blood, to ensure the magic would remain tied to them. Last minute checking done, Kuronue stepped back and nodded once to Sirius.
"Now, the Witchling understands," Sirius said lowly as he opened the door to the Leaky Cauldron, "but both of you must remain unimpressed of the Alley. We don't want to stand out any more than anybody else." With shockingly masterful skill Sirius motioned and looked as if he were lightly scolding both Kuronue and Barani in soft undertones.
Kuronue was impressed. Perhaps he'd misjudged the elder demon's skills. Taking his cues from Sirius, both Kuronue and Barani looked rather contrite. Hand on both of the children's shoulders, Sirius led them out into the Alley and towards Gringotts.
It looked as vast, and grand, as Kuronue remembered. Obviously this wasn't the clan home that he and Kurama had raided, but it was so similar that the young bat had a moment lost in the surreality of it all. He could almost hear Kurama's rich laughter on the wind.
Actually, that wasn't just imagined. Kuronue paused, stiffened, and glanced around for his former partner—his mate. His ears twitched, hunted for that laugh that he knew so well. For the briefest of moments he swore he could see Kurama's shining silver hair dart around the building and, with bated breath he moved to chase after him—
Kuronue jerked in Sirius' grasp. Black had a grip on the child's elbow and looked concerned down at him.
"Inna-to?" he asked, once, under his breath.
Kuronue glanced towards where he saw Kurama, where he heard the laughter, but there was nothing there, now. Not even the faintest of a scent on the wind, a hint of a sound. Nothing.
"Shiishii no-me," Kuronue muttered back, and returned to Sirius' side. He gave the older man a small, little smile at the searching look. After a minute Sirius nodded, and they continued towards Gringotts.
It was nothing.
Gringotts was a grand as ever. Sirius had led them to a shaded corner, where one of the little demon-imps was almost sleeping on a pile of gold. Surreptitiously he dropped five otherworldly coins that Kuronue recognized as coming from the Makai. They landed on the desk with quiet thumps, although to Kuronue they might have been signal drums for how loud and revealing they were. The imp shot up and immediately inspected the coins, going so far as to bite them for authenticity.
Then, there was a stare off between crow and imp. It lasted perhaps only a minute, the coin still grasped in the imps hands. Then, slowly, the imp set the coin down.
"What would the Black Murder be wanting with Clan Gringott, today," the imp asked slowly, and in plain English even! Kuronue had to bite back his shock, and beside him Barani clutched his hand tighter as she paused in the routine sucking of her lolly.
"Blood adoption for a witchling of unknown origin," Sirius said lowly. "Letters to be sent out to the members of the Murder currently invested in the Wizardling's world. A new country of residence to be set up for the entire Murder. Effective immediately. Fifteen gold shanks, two silver bucklers, and a bronze shield for services rendered to be paid to Clan Gringott upon completion."
This was a classic Makaian trade. Kuronue recognized it immediately. He hadn't been aware that there were more of the Black Murder about the human realm aside from Sirius. Honestly he'd actually believed Sirius to be a crow in hiding, or an escapee from Spirit World's jail or something equally masterful. To hear that Sirius' Murder had been apparently living amongst the humans—well, witchling and wizardling, really—was a bit of a surprise. Kuronue swallowed once and carefully tugged on Sirius' robes before the imp could shoot off a counter price for services.
"Yes, pup?" Sirius asked, bending slightly to view Kuronue with his head cocked to one side in an avian manner.
Kuronue swallowed once; if they were to do this right...especially considering his precarious position and likelihood of having children of his own one day...then Kuronue had to reveal a secret not even Kurama knew. A secret that might ruin the illusions he'd cast anyway, since Clan Gringott could've unearthed it, although unlikely that would be.
"An adoption into Colony Hitoshirezu will be required for the Witchling, as well as a magically binding agreement for an alliance between the Black Murder and Colony Hitoshirezu...if I am to live with the Black Murder at all," Kuronue said slowly.
Sirius paused, and then frowned lightly. He opened his mouth to ask what Kuronue was talking about—oh certainly he knew that Kuronue displayed more traits from the distant relation to the Hitoshirezu kumouri from his grandfather Charlus' side of the family than the more recent relation of the Black Murder through his grandmother Dorea, but this demand seemed to be more than that. It was something deeper.
The demon imp realized this as well, because with narrowed eyes it asked slowly, "And who are you to demand this of Clan Gringott?"
Kuronue sucked in a breath before standing tall and narrowing his gaze. "Colony Hitoshirezu Chiefson, Hitoshirezu Kuronue."
There was a beat, a moments pause of breath, and then the demon imp's face split into a wide and terrifying grin as it hissed between its teeth, "Welcome back to the land of the living, Black Thief of Makai."
The tensioned bled out of Kuronue's form like a sieve. Safe, he thought. He was safe.
"Glad to be back, Clan Gringott," Kuronue replied coolly.
Total services rendered had cost an arm and a leg once Kuronue revealed his name to Gringotts. Unfortunately while the little bastards found his tenacity to live when death was the option before him impeccable—a 'true warrior's spirit' they said—they still had not forgiven his act of thievery against their clan so long ago. It was only because the Black Murder had been such good clients over the years that services rendered hadn't cost the entirety of Kuronue and Sirius' fortune.
In the end, they'd gained property in Japan, the birthplace of the weakness in the Barrier between realms. Sirius had calmly penned a letter to all those of his Murder that were considered actually members of said Murder. Apparently Barani was a distant relative but since she didn't display any actual talents of the Murder, she wasn't considered a member despite her relation. In fact, after the adoption, Barani displayed a shocking tendency for Kuronue's colony illusions. However, she was still young. She had years to eventually develop the destruction techniques of the Black's.
Letter's sent off, and details of their new home and lifestyle set up—Clan Gringott always prided itself on going above and beyond the requested services—Sirius, Barani, and Kuronue left Gringotts bank and Wizardling's world all together.
Back at the hotel, in the comfort of luxury, did Sirius confront Kuronue on what had happened at Gringotts bank.
"How can you be a thief just out of puberty," Sirius said slowly, "and yet still be my godson who has a good four hundred years before he's supposed to even hit it?"
Kuronue stared at his hands for a minute, contemplating. "A heist myself and my mate were partaking in went wrong," he said softly, glancing over to Barani who had been put to bed shortly before this conversation began. "I died as a result."
Sirius sucked in a sharp breath.
"It took me...a while, but eventually I evaded the ferry girls and imprisonment," Kuronue continued slowly. "My soul found a rip between the barriers, and tracked it here. I was drawn to...your unborn godson. It was soulless, despite his age. He would have been stillborn, if I hadn't...chosen to remain."
Sirius clenched a fist for a second. He closed his eyes, calmed himself, and then nodded. "That's why you display the abilities of the Hitoshirezu clan, when no other Potter has before you." Kuronue's head jerked up in surprise. "Oh don't be so foolish. Your colony had intermingled with humans before, you should know that already. James' family had always been better gifted towards Charms and Defense in magic, thanks to the latent abilities of illusion-space magic that your colony is famous for. Although James himself was more of a transfiguration buff. He leaned more towards the Black's than the Potter's in that regard, probably because Dorea was his mother, and thus the blood was freshest more than anything."
"Half-breed children either are, or aren't youkai," Kuronue murmured softly and Sirius nodded in agreement. "Sometimes extreme stress can activate a latent heritage. This means that...I am not human at all, am I."
"No," Sirius sighed. "No pup. You are a hundred percent yokai. Slow aging included."
"...well, shit," Kuronue actually pouted. "I don't want to wait five hundred years before I pass puberty again!" He was whining, too. This just righteously sucked. Sirius cracked a laugh.
"I guess its a good thing we Black's kept secret our dabbling in temporal mechanics, right?"
Kuronue blinked and allowed the 'secret' to process. He didn't have to wait five hundred years because of temporal something or other that Sirius could do. Then he hugged Sirius tight enough that the older demon had trouble breathing for a second.
"Best. Godfather. Ever!"
Sirius explained that hey couldn't activate the temporal-whatsit until they had a permanent and stable home. As the elder demon explained it was a Black tradition to enter their first temporal vacation right before the start of school, so that their children looked the appropriate age. Every two years after that they'd enter into another 'vacation' until they'd reach the equivalent age of eighteen. Which meant Kuronue and Barani would be stuck looking like they were three and four for another three years.
So, after a week of setting up trip plans with Kuronue on the side setting up a training regime for Sirius, they finally set off on a long, world trip to Japan. Their first stop was Belgium, in Brussels. Kuronue worked out the best place to start Sirius' training with that foreknowledge and smiled. He and Barani could watch from the sidelines, safely, as Sirius started learning what it meant to be a thief.
When they reached Brussels Kuronue placed a simple pamphlet in front of Sirius with the command to read it.
"No self-respecting godfather of mine will be an untrained hack," Kuronue said bluntly. "He will know my trade as I know it."
The cover of the pamphlet, which was really no mare than a folded card, was embellished and embossed in gold. It read simply Thief: Follow the Code, and you will be rewarded. Stray from the path, and face your ending. Ten simple rules to abide by, and fortune shall be assured. If you forget one, worry not. Forget two, trouble abounds. Forget three, your fate is sealed.
Inside, on each page in scrawling script, was a 'rule' to abide by.
What is locked – can be opened. What is hidden – can be found. What is yours – can be mine...
Steal what is easily replaced, if you wish not to be chased.
Be seen once – be gone next. A thief caught is a thief lost.
A tale is only told. Say nothing and the story never ends.
Bring jerky. You never know when there might be hounds...
People keep their treasure close to their hearts, and far from their servants...
Dress like you belong, and they will gladly hand over the keys.
Know your fence. What they do is as bad as what you do. They will protect you, for their own sake.
Thieves borrow and don't return. Never trust a thief.
Do not kill – a life is worth nothing. You cannot fence death.
Sirius looked it over, confused as to why Kuronue had given him this. Kuronue grinned, bearing teeth.
"Your training in Colony Hitoshirezu's trade begins now..."
In Belgium, in Brussels, Sirius was commanded to steal a beautiful, fanciful painting of Makai origins. He blundered it badly enough that Kuronue almost wasn't able to salvage the heist. The man had no concept of stealth, of forethought, or even the ability to tell a fake from the truth. It was an eye-opening experience. Afterward Kuronue ended up quoting the code back at Sirius, annoyed.
From Belgium they moved into Germany. Kuronue had been wary to continue with his training regime, since the next heist Sirius would be doing was more advanced then the first, but somehow Sirius convinced him. So Sirius headed off to a wealthy mansion to steal a priceless vase that, in hindsight, was practically worthless and probably easily replaced.
Except Sirius took the not easily replaceable object instead and they group was forced to run. They lived out of shitty hotel after shitty hotel as they tried to escape Germany.
Eventually they reached the Czech Republic, which ended in more running from the police and a quick jailbreak. In Slovokia Sirius got drunk and and talked about a heist he'd been on the night before, in the presence of the one he'd stolen from. Another jailbreak had to go down before they fled to Ukraine where Sirius almost got mauled by dogs, followed by fleeing into Russia, and then Kazakhstain, to Mongolia, to China where Sirius got conned by another thief. They went through North Korea to South Korea to and then over to Japan.
In South Korea things had gone sour really fast and the guy they were stealing from had almost died. Kuronue and Barani's timely interruption saved his life. Finally, though, they hit Japan, and the start of their new lives...
In England several copies of a single letter was delivered by owl. Hidden away in one of the many Black households Alphard Black, younger brother to Walburga, received a copy. In Azkaban Bellatrix Lestrange received a copy. Andromeda Tonks, Narcissa Malfoy, Callidora Longbottom, Cedrella Weasley, the children of Belvina Burke and Charis Crouch.
As a notice, the entire Murder is now being moved to Japan. We are leaving the British Wizardling's community. It is a concern that we might catch their stupid. Now, however, it is the British Wizardling's are not a viable community for expanding the Murder.
Parents and Children are both welcome to the new compound in Japan. The move is mandatory for all of those that show our heritage.
This goes doubly for the sisters three, Narcissus, Belladonna, and Androgyn. As being in direct line for the leader of our Murder you are required to be present at the compound. Bella, dear, I know how much you like to play. You'll find some tasty morsels here, I'm sure. Just keep the screaming to a minimum, will you?
Uncle Alphard, and cousins Callidora and Cedrella, your presences would be appreciative. I have come into contact with a few children that could benefit from our spacial loops.
The location should be obvious.
Sisters three, there is another matter I need your...help in. It involves Karasu.
Son of Walburta and Orin Black
(otherwise Sirius, you great bunch of idiots)
Summary: This wasn't how it was supposed to be! I was supposed to escape, not bleed to death! A blood-sister, an uncle that tried to kill you, all these lies...it wasn't meant to be this way! This isn't what I wanted when I told you to run! / YYHHP cross / KuroKura/HarryKura / AU
I am SO SO SO sorry for the late update. I know its been years. Tons of shit has happened. Please forgive me?