I do not own Harry Potter, Naruto or any affiliates. All spells, characters and Jutsus original to me will be listed at the bottom of the chapter.

CHALLENGE 12: Serpent in the Shadows

Harry Potter/Naruto (set during Kakashi Gaiden)

Pairing: Harry/Minato Namikaze

Summary: Working as an Unspeakable after the war, Harry and his specialized team are sent to watch different areas of the Elemental Countries. They were chosen because each one has a 'normal' Animagus that can blend in with area. Their one year mission is to keep an eye on different villages after small - but worrying - bouts of demonic energy was detected. Harry - because of his stag animal form - was assigned to the Land of Fire since it was known that a family/clan kept deer.

After a time, Harry started following up on the war the Leaf was having with Rock and found himself trailing after a group of three kids (Kakashi's team) and witnessed the what happened to Obito. Angry that the girl and boy left the black haired kid behind, Harry went to the teen and found him barely alive. Doing what he could for the kid, Harry kept him alive long enough to bring him back to England, knowing that Obito needed more extensive medical treatment.

During this time, Harry all but adopted Obito and after two more years of service, Harry quits the Unspeakables and takes Obito back to his home country. (Time line is now about 6 months before Kyuubi attacks)


- Minato maybe married to Naruto's mother or not - doesn't matter since she dies anyways
- Harry helps Minato seal the Kyuubi away without either of them losing their lives.
- Harry helps raise Naruto and Obito sees him as a little brother.
- Basically it's a huge Naruto AU so have fun with it. Show what Naruto could be like with two loving parents, and an 'older brother'. What would Kakashi do when he see Obito? What would the Uchihas do? What happens when the Uchihas are killed by Itachi?

Lightning on the Wave

Chapter One

It was raining.

The cast-iron sky dark and forbidding, no lightning, no thunder, just the constant hammering of frigid cold water falling in sheets across the silent sombre world around them.

The ground had been churned up, slashed and scorched, now it drowned, the red stain diluted and fading, running down into the grass... tainting the ground.

Bodies littered the ground, motionless, peaceful, as if in mockery of discarded rubbish, of sleep and silence.

The only sound in this desolate place was the rain as it lashed the world with its sorrow and the hacking cough of the one beside him.

"Its over."


"... ... ... Good."


Nara Shikaku eyed the young animal in front of him sceptically.

It was a handsome beast, smaller than the other Deer he and his family cared for, but there was an undeniable spark of intelligence in those dark eyes, his rack of antlers was larger too, setting him apart from the other Stags as a separate subspecies, or just an unusual runt.

The Head of the Nara Clan had been sat in his favourite Dango bar with Chouza and Inoichi enjoying their brief downtime between missions with a cup of plum wine, some Yakitori sticks and Dango when Inoichi's girlfriend Hanako came in and told him that one of his Deer had gotten into the streets and was nosing around. Muttering about troublesome animals, he had of course gone to rescue the lost animal, only to find it in the Academy playground – having been lead there by some of the younger students with promises of sweets. Young Iruka-kun had been feeding the small Stag small hard peppermint sweet treats something which the Deer seemed to like as it kept nosing at him for more, much to the little boy's delight as he actually tried to lead it into the school.

When Shikaku had shown up, the boy had been terrified, obviously recognising him as one of the Nara clan and foolishly thought he would get in trouble for playing with the animal. Shikaku had been expecting that, some of the more unpleasant Genin and Chuunin had been given undeserved Promotions in preparation for the upcoming war against Iwa, a number of those had decided to lord their new status over the others and act in such a troublesome manner even sweet Chouza almost broke the law and put them in the hospital. What he hadn't been expecting as the small Stag to jump in front of the boy and lower its head, snorting and pawing at the ground, shoulder muscles tense and rippling as he swung his head and jutted those deadly looking horns in his direction.

"Troublesome." Shikaku could only mutter, slouching in place, hands stuffed into his pockets, eyeing the animal lazily, making sure not to make any threatening movements – it had the biggest set of antlers he'd ever seen. "Oi, Gaki." He grunted to the child, Iruka he reminded himself, who jolted and stared at him with wide eyes, "Call him off. It's too troublesome to deal with angry animals. You ain't in trouble." He explained to the six-year-old.

Iruka bit his lip, still wary of the scarred Jounin but stepped forward and ran a hand down the Stag's back, the animal twisted to nose at him before straightening up, aggressive posture dissolving. Shikaku grumbled and wondered forward, sticking a hand out for the Stag to inspect, he didn't recognise it from the Nara family herds but it had obviously been around people and wasn't a Henge – Inoichi was quite the Genjutsu Adept, hanging around him all the time guaranteed Shikaku the ability to sniff out Henge or Genjutsu with ease.

Waiting until the animal lost interest in him, Shikaku grabbed hold of an Antler and Shunshined them back to the Forest where the Nara Family kept their Deer, leaping back just in time to avoid those horns ramming into what would have been his face had he not jumped away. Shikaku chuckled slightly as the Stag pawed the ground irritably and stamped his cloven hooves, jutting those antlers up at him, as good a threat from a Deer as you could get. Absently the Nara wondered how Juugo, the current Head Stag of the herd, would take to the smaller but nastier new member of his herd.

He considered sticking around to watch the confrontation but then he remembered he'd left his meal unguarded around Chouza and hurried back with speed that would startle anyone else.

Down on the ground, Harry James Potter was wondering just what the fuck had happened and why his mouth tasted like purple.

When one looked back on the last decade, they would wonder when the turning point in the War against Voldemort was.

Officially, by Ministry reckoning, he returned in early June 1995 – that's what the Ministry said.

Anyone with a brain cell or three remembered in 1994 at the end of the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament, one Harry Potter appearing via Portkey clutching at the cold stiff wrist of fellow Champion and Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory saying that Voldemort had returned.

But they still wondered when the turning point was.

Because from the beginning to the end, it looked like Voldemort was winning. And then... and then, he just... wasn't.

Hogwarts. It already belonged to him.

But suddenly, he was dead, bleeding out on the front lawns.

In truth, the turning point happened on the same day the Ministry finally admitted the Immortality obsessed Snake Freak was back.

The day Sirius Black died in front of the eyes of his godson.

Out of the Golden Trio, Ron actually noticed the change first, the red headed Weasley watched as his friend grew cold and hard, a dark glint in his eyes that at times frightened him and other times comforted him, because he knew what it meant. It meant Harry wasn't going to let anyone else die, especially not for him. Hermione hadn't noticed. She saw what she expected to see, a quiet, depressed Harry with vengeance on his mind, she didn't see the determination to get said revenge, she didn't see the single minded dedication to never allow someone to die for him again.

When Harry went home that Summer, the one time Vernon thought he could get away with cuffing the boy upside the head, Harry had broken three of his fingers and scared him into pissing on himself.

When he returned to Hogwarts, everyone noticed the difference, he quit the Quidditch Team, nothing any of them did or said could change his mind and if anyone tried more than once they were treated to a long flat green stare that eventually silenced them. He ignored all invitations to the 'Slug Club' and spent every free moment in the Room of Requirements, more than a few people stuck their heads in to see what he was up to, only a few were treated to the sight of the Boy Hero, swords-scythes-knives-staves-needles-whatever the hell else you could imagine in hand practicing. Other times it was wand magic, sometimes potions, the only thing anyone could say was that he was taking the threat of Voldemort much more seriously than the Ministry who were practically handing the country over to him.

No one realised just how much he had improved during that one year of extremely intensive study, but they found out at the end of the year when the Death Eaters stormed the castle, and Dumbledore was murdered. Or so everyone thought. Snape had spoken the words 'Avada Kedavra' but cast a simple Cleaning spell with a familiar sickly green light, Dumbledore himself was the one who toppled off the roof and cancelled the binding on Harry before levitating himself down onto the ground. The final piece-de-resistance was when he dosed himself with Draught of the Living Death and gave Poppy strict orders to preserve his body and hide it.

His funeral was attended by many people, Harry yet again turned down the Minister, perhaps a lot more viciously than he would have had he not wizened up to the world around him and grown fangs and claws. To say Rufus was surprised at the verbal abuse the young wizard spat at him would be an understatement, the fact that he was furious because it was all true and made sense was even more of an understatement. Never the less, it didn't change a thing.

The Ministry was still taken over by Voldemort, Muggleborns were still persecuted, Halfbloods were treated like slaves, the Golden Trio were hunted like animals.

To be honest, both Ron and Hermione were slightly frightened of Harry at this point, it wasn't that he was violent towards them, he'd just grown... quiet. Scarily quiet. And constantly had something sharp and deadly within hand's reach, they had seen him practicing with a pair of steel-bladed fans that Hermione recognised as Tessen – Japanese battle fans – and watched as he went through a string of movements slowly and gracefully, almost lazily, before he went through them a second time, much faster.

The so called Final Battle of Hogwarts.... wasn't much of a battle to be honest.

After being 'Killed' by Voldemort, Harry had quite calmly gotten to his feet, pulled a small knife from a hidden pocket in his clothing and rammed it through the back of his neck. The greatest Dark Lord seen for over fifty years, taken out with a pocket knife only four inches long, because he was stupid and turned his back on someone he thought was dead.

He wouldn't be making that mistake again.

The parties that raged up and down the country were another matter, Death Eaters were publicly dragged out and cursed until the Aurors decided that they should step in and feed the Dementors. Ginny attempted to throw herself bodily at Harry's crotch only for the green eyed male to calmly tell her that the Love Potions had worn off and she had better look else where for attention because if she drugged him again he would bring it to the attention of the Ministry.

Ginny hadn't spoken to him since. Molly kept trying to get them to get back together. Ron joined up with the Aurors. Hermione decided to become a teacher, Arithmancy or Muggle Studies, she wasn't too sure which she should take up. Fred and George were still running their jokeshop, now with help from Luna. Neville had joined an exclusive Herbology Society and was doing well from what Harry had heard.

As for Harry himself...... He joined the Ministry's Department of Mysteries.

Which lead to his current position, in the middle of 'Fire Country' in his Animagus form, mouth tasting of purple and wondering if he could learn that method of Apparation – as he was still hopeless at the regular kind, landed on his ass every time he reappeared.

Harry James Potter, Code named 'Swift', grumbled bitterly in his mind before wondering through the forest to find a good place to set up a 'Safe' zone where he could change back into a human form every once in a while.

At 22-years-old, Harry was the youngest of the group sent to the Hidden Countries but by no means the least skilled; he was, in fact, their Team Captain. He would never be an incredibly tall individual, 5'4" was his height limit, only marginally taller than Fiona Dyre who stood at a depressing (for her) 5'1" in height, he wasn't a muscle-bound powerhouse, his poor childhood at the hands of the Dursleys had ensured that, he had muscle but it was born more from use and life-threatening fights, he was more a creature of speed than strength, his body was slender and his clothing mostly muggle under his robes, skin pale making his eyes, which were now stained a dark Avada Kedavra and marbled emerald green with twenty-twenty vision and inky black quill-like hair stand out all the more. He carried himself differently from the uncertain teenager who took down the Dark Lord, his posture straight and perfectly balanced, prepared to move at an instant, the war had left its mark on him and it was obvious to all who had an idea of what to look for. That and the small arsenal of pointy stabbity stab weapons he kept on his person bespoke paranoia of Alastor Moody levels – then again, it wasn't paranoia if they really were out to get you and his fangirls most certainly were.

Finding a good place in the hallow of a fallen tree log, Harry changed back into his human form, rubbing a bit at his neck as that feeling of being too top-heavy vanished. That done, he whipped out his wand – the Ebony one – and worked at Warding the small hallow, a scent vanishing charm, a sound concealment, a Notice Me Not and a few others. He made the wards light anything heavier and it would register on the senses of the people here, after seeing small children cast illusions with puffs of smoke and no wands he didn't want to take a chance that they could find the hallow. Once inside, he carefully set a small Wind Breaker under the log and stuck it in place with Sticking Charms, it was a normal Wind Breaker, nothing special but it was waterproof with a large number of pockets with enchantments on them. Crawling inside Harry peeled off a fair number of his weapons and put them in one large pocket – a small white label attached to it reading 'WEAPONRY' in bold text – and then reached into one of the other pockets reading 'POTIONS' withdrawing a small crystal bottle of a plum purple colour.

"Blegh, nutrient potions." He muttered in dislike before necking the thing. Ditching a few other things in the wind breaker he crawled out, changed shape into Hart – his Animagus form – and decided to go about exploring the area.

Knife edged green eyes regarded the individuals in front of him.

Elizabeth Beaumont, aged 38, a beautiful Muggleborn woman who had been engaged before discovering her Pureblood Husband was a bit more interested in his first cousin – Robert – than her. She was a curvy woman with curly chocolate brown hair that hung down her back; her skin was a warm pale tan colour, her features patterned with freckles and warm dark green eyes. She was the maternal type but fun-loving, a lot more laid back than Molly Weasley was capable of but looking at her records was more than enough for anyone to respect her. Her Animagus form was a Red crested Crane, non magical, she had a mastery in Potions, Healing, Duelling and Charms, they code named her 'Pegasus'.

Felix Dolohov, aged 27, he was the estranged son of the Death Eater Antonin Dolohov. The man was short with thick dark blonde hair that hung to his shoulders when loose, his mismatched eyes were blue and green with a small Spell Burn at the corner of his green eye – denoting that he had not been born with mismatched eyes. His skin was pale and unmarked save for a few Spell Burns here and there, no doubt the product of his childhood under a Pureblood Fanatic trying to force a toddler into the perfect mould for the Dark Lord. He was a viciously sarcastic bitter little thing, a lot like Severus Snape in that respect but a lot more agreeable and likeable, he actually possessed a sense of humour and professionalism unlike the bitter Potions' Master. His Animagus form was that of a Peregrine Falcon, also non magical, he held a Mastery in Transfiguration, Tracking, Stealth, Weaponry and Battle Magic – someone you didn't want to fuck around with. His Code name ended up being 'Hunter'.

Evander Slater – he preferred being known as Van, aged 25, a timid half-blood who was quite shy but outgoing all the same. He was laidback, preferring the path of least resistance, but a hard worker, his hair was a dark reddish/brown colour, his fringe was surprisingly long, hanging down to frame his face while the rest of his hair was cut close and spiky – his sister had attacked him while he had been sleeping, resulting in the unusual hair cut that oddly suited him – his skin was pale but he was prone to blushing easily, he had dark blue eyes and was fairly average in height. His Animagus was a tiny Field Mouse, non magical and perfect for spying, he held Masteries in Duelling, Battle Magic, Weaponry, Stealth, Charms and Healing. His Code name was 'Whiskers'.

Fiona Dyre, aged 25, a happy bubbly girl of Muggleborn origins, she was fairly high profile in the muggle world having been the Olympics Gold Medallist in Gymnastics at their last showing, she had short unruly pale gold hair and bright – almost giddy – greenish blue eyes that peeked out from a pale face. She was the smallest in the group only just coming up to his nose, but her body was lean and fit and she could probably kill him with her legs alone. Her Animagus form was that of a Snow Hare, non magical, and she held Masteries in Battle Magic, Unarmed Combat, Duelling, Transfiguration and Charms. Her Code name was 'Pickles' – regardless of the fact it was actually a childhood nickname that stuck to this day.

And lastly in the line up was Toru Inoue, aged 27, the tallest of the group with dark cropped black hair, tanned skin stretching over distinctly Asian features and dark eyes. He was a quiet man who didn't socialise much; he was a master of martial arts and self defence though and was loyal to those he worked with. His Animagus form was that of a Fox, non magical, he possessed Masteries in Transfiguration, Charms, Duelling, Battle Magic, Unarmed Combat, Weaponry and Care of Magical Creatures. His Code name was 'Brush'.

Harry James Potter, Code named 'Swift', nodded to himself, pleased with the selection.

"Alright, for those of you not in the know, the reason you all have been gathered here today is because we have been given a high priority mission." The green eyed man explained, looking over the assorted individuals seriously from his place sat on the desk in front of them. Reaching behind him the 22-year-old pulled out a small stack of papers which he then handed out to them, "Over the last couple of decades there has been a number of worrying bursts of small but concentrated Demonic Energy from within the Reserve. Questions can wait until the end." He added seeing the way Toru and Fiona had given him perplexed looks. "We will be taking a year to investigate these incidences personally. You all have been chosen because not only are your Animagus forms non-magical and largely unobtrusive, but because all of you have knowledge of what to look for when it comes to Demonic Energy, and if need be, defend yourselves from it.

"The information I have just handed you depicts the areas and general politics within the Reserve from the last group that went in during 1986. The information is no doubt a little out of date but considering the recent upheavals we ourselves have been experiencing I hardly think we can be too surprised. Ergo, I want you to be extra vigilant and even more cautious." Harry explained watching as the group read through their papers carefully, "You can finish studying them at a later point. You have two weeks to get your affairs in order and prepare for a year long recon mission in hostile territory; you will be spending the majority of your time in Animagus form so I would suggest taking a large number of nutrient potions. Maybe a book or two." He added with a small grin, knowing quite well how boring recon missions could be.

"Brush you'll be handling Earth Country – Tsuchi, they have a military village there by the name of Iwagakure no Sato who possess controlling influence of the country. I would suggest keeping your attention on that location.

"Pickles you'll be in Water Country – Mizu, their Military Village is known as Kirigakure no Sato, they're known to be somewhat more violent than other areas so discretion is paramount, if you're in danger in the slightest part. Don't hesitate. I want you to break cover and Apparate back to the Entry Way. No argument.

"Whiskers you'll be on our six, guarding the Entry Way, if one of us is compromised and information on the Entry is disclosed it will be your job to prevent any of the Descendents from leaving.

"Pegasus you'll be handling Lightning Country – Rai, their military village is known as Kumogakure no Sato, it's largely a rocky area with large amounts of water and dense cloud cover which is why I chose you for the area. We've detected a number of bursts from that area so I want you to be extra careful. Same to you Brush, Iwa has had a number of Demonic Energy flares as well.

"Lastly, Hunter you'll be handling Wind Country – Kaze, their military power, Sunagakure no Sato, is slightly smaller but they are hardier and use falcons and hawks as messengers rather than humans due to the treacherous nature of the desert. We have had some Demonic Energy flows from there but its erratic so I want you to be on your guard, reports say that the soon to be Yondaime Kazekage seemed to be a nasty piece of work. If it looks like you're going to be caught, I want you to do the same as Pickles and get the hell out. Same for all of you. If it looks like your cover is about to be blown get the hell out of dodge, I don't want any dead operatives or any Descendents running around Outside."

"And most importantly: Don't die."End Chapter One.

Now. I started this in Early December '08, however, I've recently become somewhat anal regarding updates, I don't even POST a story until I have at least 12 chapters waiting in the wings to be posted.

You'd better believe Van, Elizabeth, Fiona, Felix and Toru are mine.

21/05/2010: Editing in Page breaks because FFnet is a wh0r.