Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Harry Potter either, go figure.
Story Title: Roll With The Changes by REO Speedwagon
A/N: Those of you who follow my stories know that I said that Wild World was going to be as sort of diversion for me while I write Houses of the Holy. In that sense, Wild World was a horrible failure. Why? Because it actually turned into a story that I care about writing, which means I actually have to think about what I'm writing in it.
This story is going to be a successful diversion, I can tell.
Does anyone else scroll through fanfiction online and see a crossover that made you think "that would never work?" I see Naruto crossovers with all sorts of stuff that just makes me roll my eyes, so I figured I'd try my hand at writing a stupid crossover that shouldn't happen.
How about… Naruto and Harry Potter? Have you seen one of those before? Ever think to yourself how stupid it is to believe that a bunch of idiots who dress up and play terrorist on the weekend would stand a chance against child killers trained from age six to murder for cash?
Chapter Title: King of Pain by The Police
"Put me down, Kichi."
The large toad blinked slowly before giving a nod and lowering the weary woman to the ground.
The blonde gave the toad a small nod before turning and walking with slow, deliberate steps toward the two young women not twenty feet away.
Gamakichi wondered if he should have refused her.
"How is she?"
The young kunoichi's concentration broke for a moment as she looked up towards her mentor before turning back to the injured woman under her care – ragged breathing reaffirming her mission. "I can take care of Hinata. You need to rest." The pink haired girl didn't lose her concentration this time as her teacher slowly knelt down beside her.
"No, Sakura. I can take care of her. She's not critical after all."
The young medic didn't react until two slightly wrinkled hands joined her own over the injured Hyuuga. Sakura closed her eyes in grief at the reality before her. "But this is all I can do."
"Wrong. He needs you now, Sakura." The blonde's eyes traveled slowly over the devastation that surrounded them, partially obscured by the lingering dust cloud from Naruto's – from the Kyuubi's most recent attack.
It was a wasteland. The strangeness of it all was only punctuated by the ominous sphere that hung over the eastern mountains, and for a moment Tsunade could imagine herself standing on the surface of some far-away, alien world, and wishing it were so.
How could it come to this?
The Hokage's gaze drifted back to find the eyes of her student, and saddened at the frightened look she found there. Sakura had always possessed such a strong spirit that her heart ached on the few occasions in which she saw the young woman so. It was the same look the poor girl had had by Naruto's bedside all those years ago, helplessness and self-doubt bleeding out in torrents.
"Tsunade-sama, that isn't wise. Right now Naruto is…" The small slug resting on Sakura's shoulder was cut off by a deafening crack followed by a horrendous roar that shook the earth. The two medic ninja gazed in awe and horror as the small moon began to crumble, revealing the monster that plagued the nightmares of many a Konoha ninja – albeit without any skin or fur.
The Hokage subconsciously found herself wondering whether the vision before her was the more terrible of the two that the Kyuubi had visited upon Konoha. "No, Katsuya. Naruto needs support now more than ever. He'll pull through this, I know it."
The pink haired girl's gaze darted between the crumbling moon and her teacher, a pleading look evident in her pastel eyes.
"I said go, Sakura. You can do more good with him than here. I'll take care of this."
The young medic stood up and gave one last nod before turning. "Thank you, shishou."
Then she was gone.
A dark man stepped out of the void and into the shade of the dense forest surrounding Konoha.
"Stupid boy. If I had thought he was so likely to fail I would have set him a different task. Now we'll have to wait even longer." The cloaked figure turned slowly to look up at the massive wooden rampart that surrounded the Village Hidden in the Leaves. "No matter. He survived, and his confidence is no doubt shaken. Youth is simply too predictable. Too much pride."
The man paced slowly towards the village wall, continuing his murmurings. "Perhaps I'll deal with the Hachibi myself. We can't postpone any longer, not when we're so close." He stopped to stare up from the base of the wall, his head tilted skyward. "Pain will cause a stir, and that shrew of his…"
It was quiet. An eerie silence seemed to press down on the usually lively village, and the man finally stopped to ponder what this meant.
Pain was supposed to have begun his assault by now, after all.
The man swung his head around, wariness causing him brief pause. In truth, there was no danger to him, but decades upon decades of battle had made him wary.
Something was wrong.
Where was the panic? The chaos? The death? Pain couldn't have failed already. After all, the Six Paths made up the strongest force in the ninja world today.
A force that he had no reason to fear. No one had ever subverted his jutsu. Not even the thrice-damned Fourth Hokage.
Uchiha Madara spent another moment looking – listening. Then he jumped to the top of the wall without concern. He'd helped create the barrier that surrounded the village, after all. This was a point of safe crossing.
Uchiha Madara froze, his Sharingan eye spinning wildly behind his mask.
Konoha was gone. The once vibrant city existed only in broken piles of refuse deposited unceremoniously against the barrier walls. It was almost too much to take in at a glance. Even Kyuubi wouldn't have been capable of such a thorough decimation of the once greatest ninja village.
"No subtlety, no doubt. To think you had this much power, Pain. It seems I'll have to be rid of you sooner rather than later."
The ground shook as a familiar howl of anger assaulted the wasteland, and the masked man turned his attention to the floating globe of earth and stone that trembled even as it hung impossibly in the sky.
"To restrain the Kyuubi, hmm? It seems that neither of Jiraiya's pupils could succeed at that. Whether they rely on their progeny or their own power solely, they come up short." The masked man chuckled to himself. "Understanding the limitations of one man, no matter his gifts, is the reward of experience."
Madara gave one last glance towards the ruined city below him. "Well, it's not as though Konoha is truly defeated, even having experienced this. You did well to build this place after all, Hashirama." The man's visible eye narrowed slightly as he watched ninja emerge from the rubble throughout the crater. "There will still be a Konoha to destroy, thanks to that."
The howling stopped. The Kyuubi disappeared. The earthen sphere crumbled.
"Well, perhaps someone succeeded. At least I'll have something to do while here, eh Hashirama? The question is, really, how many will die?"
"Step aside, Konan."
The young man shoved his way through the camouflaged paper wall, his mouth drawn into a thin line. "So you're the real one?"
"It seems that peace has come to us, eh?" The man grimaced and licked the blood from the corners of his mouth. It was the most he could do given his condition.
This… husk had killed Jiraiya. He'd killed Kakashi. He'd crushed the village that Naruto loved and hurt the people that Naruto cared for. The blond was no stranger to monsters – he'd met more than a few – but the thing before him put them all to shame with his atrocities. The Kyuubi – Orochimaru – even the masked man that his father had warned him of – none of them even came close to what the man before him had done. And all in the name of justice.
Naruto's mind barely registered the sound of a mechanic click before he was hit in the stomach, a wet thud and shrieking pain accompanying the jolting attack. Sage Mode hadn't been enough to stop the long, black rod from impaling him through the stomach.
The jinchuuriki had experienced worse pain and injury than this, though.
He could feel the Kyuubi's chakra bleeding into his system. It was alright. His father had told him that he wanted Naruto to use this power. After all, the rage and pain he felt now was a hundred-fold what he had felt when he had faced down the freak monster that had helped murder Asuma, and the fox's strength had helped him then.
But he wouldn't let it control him. Never again.
Naruto straightened up, the black spear in his middle forgotten in his righteous fury. "It's amazing, this feeling I have now that revenge is within my grasp."
The broken man before him raised his head slightly, a grim smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Don't I know it." He glanced quickly at the blue haired woman beside him before turning back to the young sage. "Are you going to kill me now, Uzumaki Naruto?"
Sakura had first spotted Naruto as he finished plucking the black chakra receptors from Pain's final body, but at such a distance couldn't call out to him before he had left, heading due east. She grudgingly admitted to herself that despite all of her training over the past three years, she was still markedly slower than the blond boy. Sasuke too, for that matter.
For the first time that she could recall she was actually thankful for Naruto's garish attire, as she was once again able to pick him out amongst the rising peaks of the mountains that surrounded Konoha on its eastern side. For some reason he was simply standing there among the rocks and trees, and the kunoichi vaguely wondered if he knew where he was going. He was a fairly absent-minded young man, after all.
Without warning, he disappeared faster than she could follow. She gritted her teeth and carried on in the direction they had been traveling. He must have been attempting to use the sage techniques and had to stop for some reason.
Sakura silently cursed her helplessness once again as she traveled aimlessly through the mountains, always higher. She didn't know what she was looking for, but hoped she would know when she saw it.
And surprisingly, she did.
Atop a high peak before her stood a tree far larger than any other in the area. Even the great trees of the Forest of Death could rarely match the stature of this towering monstrosity. She set off as fast as her already weary body would carry her.
She would make it in time.
Madara stood at the base of the Great Tree, marveling at the irony of it all. In decades past Hashirama and he had come here alone to speak on the future of their new village, and it was the First Hokage's power that had led this specimen to reach such majestic heights. His old friend had once told him in confidence that this tree represented Konoha – a beacon of power and hope amongst the turmoil of the world.
The masked man's Sharingan eye told him that the nearly seamless trunk of the tree was a façade created by Konan's unique paper ninjutsu, which gave the Uchiha pause. When he had left Konoha for the last time, this tree had been whole. Since then, it was clear, the tree had been struck by lightning at least once, causing the innards of the tree to superheat and burst forth from it's center and hollowing the mighty icon.
Madara tilted his head back and looked up two hundred feet to the lush green that spread from the Great Tree's bows. Despite such devastation, the tree lived on.
It was eerily poetic. The greatest of successes brought malice and hatred from those who knew envy, and disaster followed. Konoha had suffered many atrocities – not the least committed by himself – but like this tree it had lived on through all the hardships that the world had pushed upon it.
The masked man was pulled from his musings by a light thump behind him. Nostalgia was the weakness of his age, he knew. He crushed it down. He had a purpose to fulfill.
The young woman seemed torn between shock and anger at the sight of him. He didn't know quite what she had expected to find, but it clearly wasn't him. "So we meet again, young lady."
The kunoichi glanced around warily, obviously looking for some sort of support. She wouldn't find any here.
"Why are you here? I thought that Pain…"
"Oh he's here, child. Just inside this tree, in fact. Along with your… teammate?"
The young woman straightened, a look of determination etched on her face. "Then let me pass. I have no business with you."
That was amusing. "Oh, but I have business myself, my dear."
Sakura's face soured at the condescension in the man's tone. Hadn't he been the fool last they met? "What do you want with Naruto? What do you want with Sasuke?"
Madara tilted his head to the side in mock contemplation. "One is a pawn – a stupid child who thinks that his own power is so outstanding that he can stab me in the back as he did Orochimaru, while meanwhile acting on my every whim. The other simply has something that was stolen from me. Something that I intend to recover."
"Naruto has something that you want? I know that Akatsuki is after the Kyuubi, but how could it have ever belonged to you?"
"Really, my dear, is that truly relevant?" His light tone changed to something darker. "Besides, you've done as much as any of these fools to hinder my plans. Killing Sasori was a mistake, girl, but I can let it go. Most of all, I can feel that Sasuke still clings to your memory." The masked man stepped towards the kunoichi slowly, deliberately. "Did you lust after him? The last of the Uchiha heirs? A great ninja of Konoha? Did you pledge yourself to him – hope that he would return your love?"
Sakura bent into a fighting stance. "I was young then, but he's still my friend. I'll bring him back, for his sake. For all of ours."
Madara continued forward, completely at ease. "Childish sentiments. Sasuke's heart is mine, and before all is done he'll be dead, along with the Namikaze brat." He stopped then and put a hand to his chin in thought. "I've probably spoken too much, but a thought has occurred to me." He turned back to the young woman before him. "Yes, yes. You'll be killed here, sadly, by the monster that broke his leash. The same monster that ruined Konoha and decimated any hopes young Sasuke may have toward his revenge – or redemption. How that will tear him apart!"
The young kunoichi grit her teeth. "Where is Sasuke?"
"Oh, I suppose he's still in Kumo, licking his wounds. I honestly didn't expect him to fail so spectacularly, but as he survived I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and let it go, I think. Did you know that he was on his way to slaughter Konoha, last I spoke to him?"
"Indeed. He was lying, certainly, but he still wishes the elders harm. Those petty fools are simply too one-minded to properly advise. Tobirama would be so ashamed of their inflexibility, so ashamed."
Sakura broke. She couldn't take the people she had cared about being belittled so much by this man. Even the Hokage were subject to his ridicule! She burst forth with the agility and speed that Tsunade had taught her. She would end this freak right here.
As her chakra-enhanced fist plowed through his side, she remembered that this man seemed immune to any physical attack. Any attack, actually. Her lagging left arm was caught in a vice grip. She didn't have time to comprehend the sensation of her shoulder being ripped from its socket.
All she felt was pain.
"Don't be so hasty, my dear."
The voice seemed poisonous when whispered in her ear. She gasped in horror as her other arm was grabbed in a dead lock and ripped from her other shoulder's socket.
"A medic ninja is quite useless when her arms are such, yes? Even if you can heal internally without seals, you can't reset your limbs as you are, child."
Sakura gasped in horror the man grabbed a handful of her hair and dragged her from her feet. It seemed so like her first exposure to the Forest of Death. She was helpless once again.
"Don't worry so much, young lady."
Sakura screamed, but was cut short by a quick strike to her throat. She breathlessly coughed and hacked, but even after she regained herself she couldn't make a sound.
"You wouldn't want to spoil the fun, now would you?" Madara patted down the helpless girl with his free left hand, and paused at the small of her back. "You won't mind if I borrow this, will you?" He didn't wait for an answer as he drew the hidden kunai from the young woman's garments.
Sakura kicked and struggled, but the man had a vice-grip on her head and wasn't likely to let go. She'd only wanted to help Naruto, but with this… with this she was truly useless.
Was this the end of her? Of them?
"Well we shouldn't keep them waiting, now should we, young lady?"
Three ninja heard the whistle of steel as it sped through the air. Not one of them saw it in time.
The blue haired kunoichi fell to the ground, gasping for air. If she had been prepared, then such an attack would have been useless against her paper ninjutsu. As it was, she could only stare in horror at the kunai lodged deep in her liver.
Too much blood.
"What is the meaning of this, Madara?" The emaciated man that had looked so weak and forlorn had an expression of pure rage on his face, the blood only making his visage more sinister.
"So, this is your true self, is it? I'll admit you had me fooled until I witnessed your final body die." Madara dropped the now weeping kunoichi to the hard ground. "It seems I was mistaken. You're simply a husk of a man now, eh?"
Naruto stared at the pink haired girl for too long. He felt his hatred bleed away even as his resolve grew. "What did you do? What do you want?"
"In time, boy. Now I just need to speak to this simple fool."
The emaciated man looked with alarm at the woman writhing on the ground next to him. "To think that I would be so unlucky, it's almost inconceivable." He gave another glance to Konan. "Save her, and we can talk."
Madara just looked impassively at the bleeding woman. "Sadly, the only one who could save her is this one." He grabbed Sakura by the hair once more, along with her left wrist. She was left sprawled on the earthy floor with only her right arm to support her. "And sadly, Pain, that won't be happening. You understand, don't you?"
"I was so close…" The shell of a man slumped slightly, then seemed to gain some resolve despite his condition.
It was then that Sakura made her move. Her right fist jumped towards the wrist that Madara had been holding in a death grip, all of the power and control she could muster in her dislocated arm behind the blow. She would force him to change tactics now – Naruto could handle the rest.
Her fist impacted upon her own wrist, shattering it horribly. She couldn't scream thanks to the blow Madara had laid upon her earlier.
The masked man chuckled even as he backed away and the young woman whimpered in pain. "My jutsu is beyond you, young lady, though I do applaud your resolve." The man paused for a moment, making a show of taking a thoughtful stance. "Who do you remind me of, I wonder?"
Naruto scowled and prepared himself to launch into action. He wouldn't allow Sakura to be a casualty of this battle.
"Ah, I remember now." The man stepped over Sakura, completely ignoring the black spears that passed through him and out of the tree's side. "That bastard's mother."
Madara pointed at Naruto. Everyone paused.
"Some would say that's it's an unholy crime to take the life of a woman who's just given birth. I'd say that it's a crime to ignore such an advantage." The masked man swept his gaze over the wounded before him.
"What are you saying? That you killed my mother, just to get at me?"
The masked man sighed. "Oh no, child. It was your father I intended to upset. You see, he was a truly worthy adversary – a man who understood the intricacies of space and time ninjutsu." Madara took a step forward and bowed his head. "Truly he was a master of the art, and at such a young age. It's the reason I couldn't kill him that day."
Naruto straightened, despite the gaping wound in his stomach that hadn't had the time to heal. He'd cast aside the spear once he'd made his point to Pain. "He sacrificed himself to seal the Kyuubi thanks to you. You're the masked man he warned me of." Naruto could only tremble in rage, the natural energy gone from him. He'd lost his concentration and his resolve at the sight of his wounded teammate.
"Oh? He warned you of me? That's quite incredible if I may say so myself. If he did indeed manage to stretch his existence to the point at which he could contact you, then I have nothing but respect for that young man." Madara knew when to be cruel. Everything was a tool, after all, words most of all. "He failed, if you must know. You see, you and he are truly similar. He failed to stop me, and you failed to protect your loved ones. It's a pitiful cycle, but as a ninja, it's important to accept your failings." The man stepped forward with four sets of hateful eyes upon him.
It just wasn't enough, though. Frankly, he could not envision a more perfect victory. Uchiha Madara turned his back to his enemies and grabbed the wounded kunoichi by her collar. He threw her at the blond's feet, where she crumpled into a heap and whimpered pitifully. He knew that the blond was helpless to assist her. A fighter through and through, Uzumaki Naruto wouldn't know what to do with a wounded comrade, no matter his feelings on the matter.
Madara had won, and there was little left to say.
Or maybe there was. After all, the Namikaze boy still had chakra to use, though surprisingly little. "You really do remind me of your father, you know."
Naruto grit his teeth in anger. The pain and the damage that he had been able to ignore earlier were taking their tolls. He'd lost too much blood. He looked at his only ally in this predicament, outrageous as it seemed, but the red headed man was staring helplessly at his partner as she struggled weakly on the ground.
Uchiha Madara looked down on the four ninja imperiously. "You and he share the common trait of being sore losers. Bad sports, if you will. Your father had lost his battle, but instead of cutting his losses and moving on, he sacrificed himself to undermine me. You, child, on the other hand, never seem to realize when your best option is to simply give in to opposition. Imagine how much devastation could have been avoided if you'd simply surrendered yourself to Pain, yes?"
The emaciated man took offence to that. "Fool. Did you think that I did all of this simply to capture the Kyuubi? Don't insult me."
Madara could only laugh. "Idealism is a wonderful thing until you try to apply it to the real world. Did you think you'd teach Konoha a lesson? Crush its spirit?" The masked man paced slowly before the four ninja in front of him. "Such a thing is beyond a fool like you."
Naruto slumped to the ground. He simply didn't have the strength to go on. It made him furious, but such was reality. Idealism, optimism, they had no place in this battle with Akatsuki. Pain had driven his point home, and Naruto had nothing to say for it. Maybe forgiveness was the way to true peace, but some men were beyond such luxuries as that.
"Beyond me? It may seem that I've lost here, that we've lost, but don't you dare disrespect our ideals." The emaciated man coughed, more blood dribbling down his chin. "I intended to kill you, you know." He didn't wait for an answer from Madara. "I despise warmongers like you. If only the boy hadn't put up such a fight, I would have ended you here and now."
"Ended me? You believe that you are capable of such a thing?" Madara stepped forward, a smile spreading across his hidden lips. When in history had such a collection of powerful ninja ever been at the mercy of one? Even Hanzou couldn't boast such a feat.
"Your jutsu, it's clear to me now. After all, I witnessed Hatake Kakashi use it twice not two hours ago."
"Ha! Do you really believe that that pretender's ability can compare with my own? He barely had the meanest understanding of the power of Kamui."
The redhead narrowed his eyes, blood still trickling from his mouth. "Perhaps."
"Do you need a demonstration of this jutsu's power, then? Perhaps indeed." Madara turned to stare at the three figures on the ground. The two women had long since passed out, and the Namikaze boy could barely meet his eyes, though his anger was evident. "Putting you out of your misery is the least I can do, Pain. Then all I need is the Hachibi and all will be complete."
The emaciated man paused for a moment, before letting out a gurgling laugh. "You mean to tell me that your precious project failed?" The laughter died down and the man took a steadying breath. "You're pathetic."
Madara was unflappable though. Such was the benefit of a hundred years of life. "Goodbye, Pain. Your foolish ambition was beyond you, and you paid for it. Rest assured that your whore will follow you to the next life soon."
The Uchiha's Sharingan eye spun, and the inky blackness of the void spread from a point not three feet from the defeated leader of Akatsuki. The darkness spread. Madara smiled beneath his mask.
Nagato was dying, but his resolve was as strong as it had been when he'd chosen this path in his youth. He'd lost, completely and utterly, but if he were to leave this world he'd take Madara with him. The consequences of leaving the Uchiha behind were too grim to imagine.
He had enough chakra left – enough for this.
The Eternal Mangekyou Sharingan spun madly and with sinister light, but was met only with the stoic resignation of a dying man's gaze. Madara surely hadn't expected this, for where the mercury pools of the Rinnegan once rested, only suffocating darkness remained.
The lightless void stretched out, licking at the cave walls. The gaping maw of oblivion was far larger than the Uchiha had intended.
Bloody lips split in a cruel mockery of a smile, the sadness and resignation apparent there.
And Madara realized that this man was ready to die. And he was afraid. "Stop this, now!"
The answer was quiet, but the voice was firm. "Why?"
The void took them all, the sphere stretching from its center just before the redhead and reaching out and over the three incapacitated ninja at the foot of his throne. Nagato's smile became genuine then. The idea of his greatest friend and his greatest rival vanishing together tickled him in some strange way. His greatest enemy would vanish, as well.
He had nothing left. His life was slipping away, he knew. He let go.
And his world changed forever.
Naruto felt himself being tugged through the void. The pain in his stomach was nothing compared to the sensation of his body being torn apart and reassembled, over and over.
Over and over.
It wasn't in his nature to beg death, but in that time Naruto honestly wished he would die, simply so that he could experience the release from pain that he so longed for. Perhaps then he could see Jiraiya, Kakashi, Hinata, his father, his mother…
But Sakura was still here, his mind confided. She would need him – maybe not as much as he needed her, but such was reality. He was through with foolish posturing. He'd wasted too much of his life with it, and it saddened him.
If only the pain would stop.
And it did. Naruto flopped helplessly on the cold, snow-covered earth beneath him. It surprised him greatly, since snow rarely if ever fell in Konoha at this time of year – late November – or even in the dead of winter for that matter. It certainly wasn't snowing just a moment ago. And hadn't they been under shelter?
His musing was interrupted by a sickening gurgling sound, and Naruto strained his neck to find the source of the noise. It was futile though. All he could see was the pastel pink of his teammate's hair a few feet from him.
That was good, at least.
He couldn't stay awake any longer though, not after all he'd been through. He'd have to fix the rest when he awoke.
A series of loud pops was all his weary mind could register as his eyes shut tight. His battle had finally ended.
A/N: So here's my generic "Naruto and co. get sent back in time/to another dimension" opener. Really, I could go anywhere I wanted to with this. I've got Madara, Nagato, Konan, Naruto, and Sakura to play with. Who lives? Who dies? How do they interact when they get there? Will they recover?
It's all still pretty much up in the air, eh?
As with all my work, I don't mind if other authors take ideas, situations, lines, or even copy-pasta the whole chapter into one of their stories. Just make sure you give me some credit, yeah?