Hello, everyone and welcome.
I am very excited to be starting this as the idea has been running around in my head for a couple of years, but I've been so busy with other fics that I haven't written anything down until now. I will try to update regularly-ish, but no guarantees; school comes first in my book. But fortunately for you guys, it's summer, and I have more time to write. Thank god.
This first chapter is mostly set in Konoha, and the next one will be as well. After that, it's mostly in the HP world. We're in OOTP, btw, gotta have Sirius, haha.
Chapter 1- All the best, Albus
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore sat at the large desk in his office writing a letter. After the previous events of the school year, he decided that perhaps it was time to request some outside help. Tom was back, there was no denying it. Yes, Lord Voldemort was alive and well, and he had returned with all of his former power.
He slowly lowered his quill, quickly reading over the words he had written. It read:
Once again, the wizarding world is in need of your assistance. I'm afraid the Dark Lord has returned to power and now, more than ever, Hogwarts must have security. I am not asking for much, as I realize that you are preoccupied with your own affairs right now. One student in particular is in immense danger. Harry Potter, the boy who lived, is now entering his fifth year at Hogwarts. You know the story. He was nearly killed last year, and this year, any number of things could happen. If you would send one of your shinobi to Hogwarts for the year, I would be eternally grateful. Please reply by the end of the week.
All the best,
Fawkes, the phoenix, stood on his perch next to the desk watching the headmaster curiously. Appearing satisfied with his words, Dumbledore got up from his desk and walked over to the majestic bird.
"Take this to the Hokage immediately. You know the way. I would like an answer as soon as possible," he told the phoenix.
When the letter was securely tied to Fawkes's leg, Dumbledore gave him a pat on the head and he flew through the open window into the slightly darkening sky. The headmaster briefly watched him fly away and wondered where it had all gone wrong. He sighed knowing that the coming days would be dark and dismal. War was upon the wizarding world, and everyone would do well to prepare for it.
The hokage sat in his office gazing down at the village below him. Despite the war coming to a bloody close, there was still tension and worry in Konoha's people, and most of all, fear. There were few people out on the streets on this particular morning, which would normally be strange.
There would usually be people heading for their workplaces and shinobi going out on their missions, but not today. Today was declared a day of mourning for all of Konoha's heroes that gave their lives to protect their home in the recent war. He himself had changed out his normal attire and now wore black to honor the dead.
He sighed as he watched the village people walking toward the hokage faces where he was to give a speech and assure the families and old ones and young ones who didn't quite understand what was going on, but still felt a sense of dreariness, that it would be alright, and Konoha would go on.
So he was taken a bit by surprise when he saw a bright red and orange bird flying towards his window, cutting through the gloom like a light in the dark. It took him only a moment to remember the strange creature and he went to open the window to let the bird land and deliver its message. Fawkes alighted on the windowsill gracefully and squawked a greeting.
"And hello to you too, Fawkes. It has been a while." He bowed his head slightly to the bird.
Fawkes bowed in return and then held out his leg so that Sarutobi could untie the letter that was attached. He did so and immediately returned to his desk, unrolled the parchment, and began to read.
Dear Sarutobi, he read. Once again, the wizarding world is in need of your assistance. He continued to read the letter, becoming increasingly concerned about the situation his old friend was in. If you would send one of your shinobi to Hogwarts for the year, I would be eternally grateful. Please reply by the end of the week. All the best, Albus.
He reread the letter and then turned to Fawkes. The bird met his gaze with curiosity.
"I suppose you're waiting for a return reply, correct?"
Fawkes nodded his head.
"Well," Sarutobi said, standing up, "I do have affairs to attend to right now, but I promise to think it over and write a reply by tonight. Is that acceptable?"
Fawkes nodded again in compliance.
"Very well, I am leaving now. Feel free to rest for your return journey tonight. I will return by dusk."
He exited the room and strode outside to walk with his people to the ceremony to honor Konoha's fallen heroes.
Kakashi waited impatiently in a line of other shinobi who were equally as impatient. The air was gray and forlorn, which gave a sense of foreboding to even the youngest genin. All clases of the ninja were present at the ceremony, for today they were all simply comrades, joined by the death of their friends. Kakashi glanced to his left along the long line and then to the right. He was in the third row from the front, standing completely still, all though he longed to move around. There was a feeling of grief in the air. He watched as people came from all directions, filling in the space there was left. The place was packed, and Kakashi was beginning to feel slightly claustrophobic. The only thing keeping him from running out of there was seeing the stone faces looming above him, watching. Finally, the hokage walked up the steps to the small platform that had been erected so that everyone could see him. In a moment everyone was quiet and all eyes were trained on their leader, where, many years later, they would gather again to mourn his passing.
"People of Konoha, friends, comrades, and loved ones I welcome you today to honor the fine men and women you see before you," he gestured to many small pictures of the fallen ninja set up on a row of tables near the front of the area, "For they are the very reason we can all stand here, alive and well, and reflect on these hard times."
Kakashi still gazed at the stone faces as he listened to the hokage's words. He became aware of a stillness that blanketed the crowd as the leader continued his speech. Many of the shinobi looked upon the hokage with admiration, particularly the younger ones. As he continued, the atmosphere became lighter, and slowly the people began to be hopeful again.
Kakashi wasn't as naïve. He knew better than that. The world was a horrible place and no amount of hope would change it. He twirled the white flower in his hands, half listening, half tuning out everything. He caught the last words of the speech.
"We have all lost someone in this war. Maybe it was your spouse, your child, your teammate, or a friend. Know that that person gave their life to protect you, to protect this village. Remember them as heroes."
The hokage stepped down as villagers politely applauded. Row by row, people were sent up to put flowers next to the pictures of loved ones. Soon, Kakashi walked lazily to the tables. He went and stood in front of his friend. The picture had been taken in a rare moment where the boy wasn't wearing his customary orange goggles. There was a cheesy grin plastered on his face. Kakashi tossed the flower in front of the photo.
"I bet you love being called a hero, don't you?"
The face looked back at him, wearing the grin that would probably be on his face if he were still alive. Kakashi rolled his eyes and walked away. He was halfway down the street when he heard his name being called.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw his other teammate running toward him with a folded paper in her hand. Just like everyone else, she was wearing all black except for her the ninja hitai-ate tied around her neck.
"Hey," she said when she reached him.
"Hey," he replied, shoving his hands in his pockets.
She gave him a small smile before handing him the folded piece of paper in her hand. He took it with a questioning look.
"From the ANBU," she said. "One of them told me to give it to you."
Kakashi patiently waited for her to leave, and when she stayed and still maintained that curious expression on her face, he opened the note.
MISSION: S rank
DESCRIPTION: Top secret.
DETAILS: Report to Hokage for debriefing. Long-term assignment.
"Well, what is it?" Rin asked impatiently.
"You're not supposed to know," Kakashi said dryly.
"Oh c'mon. Is it really that important?"
"Well, can I see then?"
Kakashi shrugged. It wasn't like the note had much information. It was barely a few lines long. He flipped the paper to her. He watched her hazel eyes scan the page quickly and efficiently.
"Kakashi…how long is long-term?" she asked with a worried expression.
Oh right. Long-term. Meaning he would be gone for at least…
"Approximately six months," he said with a practiced unemotional tone.
But he too had realized that he would be away from home for a very long time. Away from his sensei and friends. Friend actually. Singular. It had been plural, but that meager two was reduced to one almost a year and a half ago. Now there was just Rin. And he had a promise to keep.
"Six…months?" her jaw dropped.
"Maybe longer," Kakashi added.
"That's a really long time," Rin said, stating the obvious.
She reread the letter again.
"What do we do?" she asked.
Kakashi crossed his arms and sighed.
"There's nothing we can do. If this is my mission, I'm stuck with it. You know that."
"But it could be a year—"she persisted.
He interrupted, "I'll talk with the hokage and get more details, alright?"
She gave him a searching look, "Okay, fine," she agreed gloomily.
He took the letter back when she handed it to him and shoved it in his pocket.
"Whatever the result," he continued, "I'll meet you at the gate in two hours."
"Sure," she replied, trying her best to sound cheerful.
He nodded and performed a few quick hand signs, disappearing in a swirl of green leaves.
'Always making a big exit. Can't he just walk?' Rin thought.
She caught one of the little leaves as it fell to the ground. Suddenly, a small gust of wind blew it out of her hand and carried it down the road. She watched it get swept away. Then, she turned around and headed for home.
I know for a fact that the timeline is a bit hinky, so sorry about that. We are assuming that Kakashi and Rin are 15, same as Harry. I had to do a lot of calculating on the timeline, and if I wanted to write what I wanted, I had to sort of disregard the time. Mainly because Minato will be making an appearance next chapter, and he should already be dead. So just ignore the weird time thing.
Whether you enjoyed it or you want to yell at me, please review. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for me now would be the time to say so. Thanks for reading!!