Chapter 15 is here! "Disappears from view"
I AM SORRY! "Hides behind a sofa to avoid the rotten fruit thrown by angry readers" Really I am very sorry, I have no excuse other than that school have been a bitch, had a write block and life in general have been a pain the ass lately, or at least the past couple of months. BUT it's here, the next chapter!
The chapter is not betad in any form or word! I will update the chapter when it is.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Naruto. Though I would, of course, not mind if I did.
Two broken souls heals together
Those who criticize our generation forget who raised it
Previously: He was greeted by flashes of lights so strong that it made his eyes water and seeing stars. What Itachi then saw when he regained his sight stunned him into speechless once again. What the hell?
The first thing Harry did after gathering his composure and wit was striding to the fireplace. After he threw the powder he shouted out Remus' name determinately and waited impatiently. He wanted answers and he wanted them now. "Remus, answer me!"
It didn't take Remus long to answer, especially after hearing the tone in Harry's voice. "Harry? What has happened? Are you alright?" He quickly asked and kneeled down before his fireplace, a conveniently placed pillow with a cushion charm for his knees.
"NO, everything is not alright! Get over here now!" Harry didn't wait for an answer before he moved away and began to pace back and forth in the room agitatedly.
Only a few seconds later Remus appeared and he was immediately dragged forcefully by Harry to the kitchen. Starting to get really worried Remus followed along, not wanting to make Harry even more agitated then he already was.
"Take a look Remus and tell me what you see!" Harry demanded after pulling the curtain to the side a bit so Remus could peek out. Almost immediately paling Remus pulled the curtain shut again and let his head drop against the curtain covered window. "Well?" Harry spoke up again, only a little calmer than before.
"Harry, this- I don't know. I haven't told anyone outside my family of you returning to Britain. How did they found you or more worryingly how did they even know you are back?" Remus sighed tiredly his shoulders slumping down. "I swear though Harry that it wasn't I that told anyone, please trust me on that! I would never betray you like that!"
Harry took a deep breath to calm his nerves. "I know, I know that it wasn't you but I had to ask anyway. Sorry Remus for worrying you and accusing you unfairly." Harry looked so worn down that Remus didn't have the heart to even stay irritated by the rough handling.
"It's fine Harry, if I were you then I wouldn't have acted any differently." Remus smiled slightly, knowing Harry's actions weren't just because of his hate for the media but because of his protective feelings for his young charges. "We have to figure out first how they found out that you were back, Harry. What I can think of just of a drop of a hat is the ministry, it's possible that they took a sample of your magical signature when you were young, perhaps after the attack by the dementors before your fifth year. They could have discovered you when you Apparated from Britain and back. It's just a theory but the most likely to be the one."
Harry nodded in agreement. "It sounds plausibly, I can't believe they still check for my signature. I can't believe I forgot that while I am protected inside the house it doesn't extend outside as well. I hate it that they found me but what to do now?" Harry grumbled.
Itachi then spoke up, reminding the older men that they weren't alone in the room. "Who are they and what exactly will happen now when they know where we are?" The ninja's voice was hard and intense. These people were threatening his new home and family, no one harmed his precious ones without him knowing and getting revenge, often ending with death.
Harry looked even more exhausted by the question, longing for his bed and never getting out of it again. "They are magical reporters and from what I can see from different papers as well. For what to do, I don't know Itachi, my brain isn't functioning right at this moment. They can't enter the lawn or house because of the wards but nothing is stopping them from staying on the curb and attacking us when leaving the house. They have a part in why I left this world and traveled to the elemental world." Harry bit out behind clenched teeth, most likely to stop swearing. Those irritating insects…
Deciding that nothing could be done at the moment the family sat down to eat a tense breakfast after saying goodbye to Remus who promise to come back later in the day. The boys had school to go to and nothing would stop them from attending, even if Harry was forced to Apparate them from the house to a hidden corner near the school every morning and then later in the day to pick them up.
The rude awakening of the media made Itachi realize that he had been lazing around a bit from training, he still trained together with the boys and Harry every day but he needed harder physical activity if he was going to improve and keep his body in shape. It also reminded him of his birthplace, he hadn't thought of the village in months and it made him feel a bit guilty. Not because he didn't miss his family but because he had always loved the village and he everything was alright, with the clans plans he could only hope his warnings to the Hokage was in time.
It wasn't just Itachi that trained harder following day, every one of them did. Itachi finally chose to not enter a dojo, his skills would probably wake too much attention. Instead he sought a job as a bodyguard and Harry got into contact with a security company for him and they specialized in hiring out guards for clubs and smaller celebrities. The job wouldn't wake too much attention but at the same time it would let him stay sharp. It helped that Itachi didn't look like a fourteen year old kid, with his hard and serious eyes and stern lines in his face.
Through it all as the days went by the media continued to haunt them day and night. The only bright point was that it didn't seem like they had succeeded to take a picture of Harry or the boys yet. Harry was obsessively reading the magical newspapers every day so he would know when they finally managed to capture him on a picture and to know what the magical people thought they knew. They only thing that really stood out was a short statement from a ministry worker that said they had a lead on where Harry Potter hid but couldn't reveal where because of security reasons, Harry snorted at that because he only needed to look out the window to know how much bullshit that was.
Still it seemed that public didn't really believe the paper or the ministry worker, Harry guessed from the paper that it had happened several times that someone came out and announced that they knew where the savior was purely to get attention. But what really worried Harry was the present of the media, if they thought it was an attention seeker again then why were they so persistent in stalking out the house? Did they know something more than what the paper did?
Harry was nearing his breaking point several times thanks to his more paranoid thoughts but thanks to his kids he managed to not blow them up. Privately Harry was a bit scared that the wizarding world was literally on his doorstep, there were very few people he could trust there and many more he could count as enemies.
A few days later an unknown owl tapped on the closed window while the small family was eating breakfast an early Monday morning. Harry knew immediately that it wasn't from Remus or a newspaper bird, the regal air around the bird said it came from someone important and it made Harry hesitant to open the window. Frozen by the table Harry didn't have the time to react when Naruto happily skipped forward to open the window, wanting to meet another bird of Hedwig's species.
Harry could only sigh and then accept the letter from the bird that immediately flew over to him and lifted his right leg to make Harry untie the letter. The bird stole quickly a piece of bacon on his plate, ignoring the dark look he got from an irritated Hedwig sitting in the corner of the kitchen on her perch.
Rolling up the letter Harry begun to read it, the only thing sounding in the kitchen was the chattering from Naruto and Sasuke, who bickered about whom was to help Harry do the dishes today. Itachi was silent as usual but this time his silence was filled with tension and he watched Harry like a hawk, noticing every twitch of his face and rapidly paling face. He already hated the letter and its sender for making his current caretaker feel terrible.
Finally after what Itachi thought as enough time to read the letter he broke his silence. "Harry-san? What does it say?" His tone was carefully neutral.
Harry sought eye-contact with the powerful ninja and shook his head once in answer. Itachi immediately understood what he meant; the older man didn't want to speak in the presence of the children. So he let it go for the moment because he knew they would speak about it after the children had been settled in school.
An hour after the breakfast was finished and the children in school Itachi and Harry found themselves in the sitting room, each a cup of strong tea in their grasp. They sat in silence for a couple of minutes before Harry sighed heavily and begun to speak in a toneless tone.
"The ministry has demanded that I show up and explain myself as to why I have been away and where I have been hiding. They also expect me to reimburse them for the time I was away, not in money but in my service as the wizarding world pet hero." Harry sneered hatefully the last words.
"Of course they didn't write as much in the letter but the meaning was clear. They want me under their control again and they want my face and fame to further their agenda, whatever it is at the moment. The fact that I have successfully hid myself for several years is a blow to their pride and as such they want to seem like they knew all along where I was to the public." Harry sighed again and took a sip of his tea, almost shuddering at the strong taste before relaxing into his chair.
Meanwhile Itachi sat silence and complemented, the words hitting a little too close to home for his taste. His clan had wanted to control his whole life, from what he learned to whom he married and even when he died. He hadn't been allowed to be an individual, only a part of the clan, though his part was larger than most, but still a puppet for the elders in the clan to control. The fact that it was once again happening right in front of him, only this time to someone he had come to cherish deeply, perhaps even love in a father-son bond or sibling bond it was hard to tell which, made his so angry he didn't know what to do with himself.
"What are we going to do about it?" Itachi asked straight-faced, laying weight on the word we, determined not let the wizard think he was alone in the mess.
Harry sighed in weary amusement, seeing clearly how Itachi would not let him handle the situation alone. "I honestly don't know. I should have prepared for this, I should have known this would happen but I suppose I forgot how the wizarding world is a bunch of retarded idiots." Harry sighed again, pinching his nose in frustration.
"Do you have a time limit to answer the letter or show up in the ministry?" Itachi asked with a thoughtful look on his face.
"Not really, it only says 'at your convenience', which really means in their language as fast as possible." Harry snorted and leaned back with closed eyes in his armchair.
"Then we have time to plan." Itachi stated with a confident tone, making Harry open his eyes in surprise.
"Plan? You have any ideas?" The wizard asked a bit weary but curiously. Harry was always ready to listen to others plans, mainly because he couldn't plan a damn worth himself. If he had his way it would always be to act first, think later. And really, it didn't matter how much Hermione and surprisingly Ron nagged and scolded him for taking unnecessary risks, he wasn't going to change unless it put others in danger.
However as the years went by stained with dancing along the edge death for not only Harry but for the others as well, Harry had to change his approach to situations containing risks that with the smallest of mistakes could mean the death of a loved one. Still that didn't miraculously give Harry any skills at thinking up plans that didn't involve himself facing odds no one else would survive, either with their lives or minds intact. Harry used to think almost twice a day "thank merlin for Hermione and Ron" for their keen minds and knowledge.
Still being surrounded by the people he was, something had to stick and Harry could say he did get better, only charging ahead when he had no choice between being safe and risk his own life to save another. He would always save another, it was just who he was, and really he didn't want to change that. Because when he thought of how powerful he was and that his magic still was rising and wouldn't stop until his best years were over, if he didn't have his saving people syndrome, Harry was afraid of becoming someone he desperately didn't want to, a greedy, manipulator of a man who thought himself better than other people.
He knew, he knew that if he had uttered those thoughts to anyone in his family everyone would disagree and try to convince him that it couldn't happen. But Harry also knew that no man or woman started their life evil or a greedy politician, they become that way when exposed to power and control, it changed them and they weren't strong enough to stop it. Harry feared that someday he would also become infected and turn into something he hated and would be powerless to stop.
So he distanced himself from making plans, from controlling too much and letting others shine instead. Harry shifted his attention when he heard Itachi speaking again.
"You are not a dog, you do not come when someone whistle, especially not when for a reason like this. "Itachi said with steady eyes fixed on Harry. "From what I have gathered, you are a powerful wizard and have a significant power over many people in the wizarding world. You have been away for some time, but that kind of power does not just disappear."
Harry nodded wearily in agreement, wondering what Itachi was planning.
Itachi continued, ignoring the older man's expression of hesitation. "If you want the minister of your back and get the people on your side, you'll have to get ahold of your power and use it wisely. I don't mean to use it as something to hold over other people to make them do as you want but to make them see that you are more powerful and are kind enough to not use it to force them to do anything."
"The first step is to not answer the letter, it will make you look like you are responding to them as if they own you. Let them wait. The second step is to look like you are in control, which means you have to dress properly for you station and behave as if you belong there. The third step…."
Itachi continued as Harry leaned back into his chair wondering what he had unleashed when he asked for help.
A month later…..
Harry really didn't want Itachi as an enemy. Not only because he was the strongest human being he had ever met, but because his brain was even scarier. While setting up lessons on etiquette Itachi helped plan Naruto birthday party, which would be on October the tenth. Naruto hadn't wanted to travel and instead wished for his own birthday party with cake and presents. Seeing as the boy never had had one before Itachi and Harry quickly folded to the boy's demands. Only the Lupin family had been invited but Naruto had been happy, and even Sasuke had been on his best behavior. The party went off without a hitch, if one ignored the neon green painted walls and the food war that had started after the cake had been served.
After the party the really study could begin. Really, Harry had really tried to not to complain too much, but when he had to learn how to shake someone's hand in ten different ways he couldn't shut up.
Itachi had only giving him the look, which really shouldn't have worked on him, being an adult and all, but he quickly found himself blushing in embarrassment as if he were a child being scolded and working even harder.
Harry had never really cared for how he dressed or if he behaved according to certain rules. Still, if he had to suffer, then the rest of the house had too. It meant complaining and stubborn children that certainly didn't want to learn all those boring rules and according to them, useless. Unfortunately, Harry delighted in including them in his lessons, which were some taught by Remus but mostly by surprisingly Tonks who had learnt all she could from her mother, a daughter from the house of Black. Even if Tonks never really used that knowledge in her life her mother had made certain she knew them and would never forget.
Harry swore that Tonks took some sick delight in teaching them all as in revenge for all the lessons she had to suffer as young. Sasuke however had it easier then Harry and Naruto, mostly because he had grown up in a very strict household, even if it was in another world. Naruto though, who had never been exposed to such things because no one had taken the time to teach him anything, had a harder time to grasp the lessons. He made it very clear what he thought about it, loudly.
'He will get use of this in the future.' Harry chanted inside his head after fifth argument he and Naruto had had that day about the etiquette lessons. 'It's good for him, teaching him manners and all.' However, just thinking back to some of the lessons made his head hurt.
"If you're seated at a table with eight or fewer guests, wait for everyone to be served and for the hostess to begin eating before you dig in. At a long banquet table, it's OK to start when several people are seated and served." Tonks said in a slightly bored tone, she was just about to continue when she was interrupted.
"But what if I am hungry? If I want to eat I will eat!" Naruto said determinately, mighty offended that he had to wait for everyone to be seated before eating, a stupid rule. He conveniently only heard the first sentence and ignored the rest.
"Naruto." Harry stern voice made Naruto's shoulder hunch a bit but recovered lightning fast.
"But Dad! It's a stupid rule! What I am about to die and need food to survive? What if I die while waiting for everyone to sit at the table?" Naruto's wounded look would normally made Harry feel full of amusement but he just wasn't up to defend rules that even he didn't like or felt was really that important.
At the door….
"The first person to arrive at the door holds it open for the next person, it doesn't matter which gender." Tonks babbled on, not feeling the need to linger on common sense and presuming that everyone had already heard of that one.
"What, wait? Why would I wait for the next person? What if I don't like the next person? Can I shut the door in his face then?" Naruto interrupted, feeling offended that he had to play servant or something just because he was the fastest to the door. Didn't it mean that he was the fastest and best because he made it to the door first? Shouldn't the others hold the door open for him instead? Stupid rule!
"Naruto! What did you just say? Shut the door in his face!" Harry sighed in slight frustration, seeing from the corner of his eye Tonks inching away.
Naruto, knowing from the tone that he had said something bad quickly continued. "I was joking Dad! I wouldn't do that, honestly! But what it the other guy coming after me is super slow? Do I still have to wait to open the door for him?"
Harry only sighed and kept silent wishing for the day to end, but he knew the lessons would continue so it would only give him a night of peace, of only his dreams would leave him alone for once.
When talking to another person…..
Tonks stood with a straight back as she lectured them on common courtesy when dealing with other human beings. She ignored every try to interrupt and only raised her voice slightly to make herself heard over the chatter.
"Don't shout - Keep your voice down."
Naruto. "But what if I am in another room and need help?"
"Don't point - it's rude."
Naruto. "But if I want to show Sasuke something and I don't know how to explain it?"
"Use please and thank you."
Naruto. "Do I have to? What if the person is rude to me?"
"Don't interrupt - it's selfish and ill-mannered."
Naruto. "But have seen a lot of people interrupting each other and no one told them it ill-mannered! Can only some people interrupt others without punishment?"
"Show respect for those older and wiser than yourself."
Naruto. "But what if-"For once Naruto was interrupted.
"Enough, I can't take it anymore! I am going mad! I need a few days to calm down and recover. Good BYE!" Tonks ran towards the fireplace, tripping twice on the rug and then disappeared into the brightly burning green flames.
The silence the room was thick and the "students" glanced at each other. Suddenly everyone was laughing hysterically, holding their arms around their stomachs and a few tears managed to squeeze through shut eyes. Only Itachi managed to hold onto some composure, only letting a few chuckles out. They needed every lesson them could get, but still a few days' vacation sounded heavenly even to him. Only Naruto's comments made the whole ordeal bearable.
It took a few long minutes before all managed to calm down and Harry begun to make dinner while still chuckling occasionally, remembering easily Tonks hilarious face.
While everything seemed to be alright and moving the right direction Harry couldn't fully enjoy the feeling of having a full house and a family again. All because of the pain, the slowly rising pain coursing through his body almost daily. It was now in the beginning of November and Harry wondered how long he would stand it.
Sometimes, but only sometimes, it hurt so much that he wanted to curl up into a ball and die. Most often in the first waking hours in the morning. It felt like he had a living thing inside his body and it was taking a bite of everything. A few times it had been a pure agony and Harry never wanted to leave his warm and comfortable bed. For the past weeks had the pain of this intensity overcome him in the mornings, but only after having a dream about his mate.
Had he been a weaker man or not gotten used to the pain as it become more painful over a longer time he would have thrown in the towel some time ago. It begun to really hurt from the moment he had returned to his own world after adopting Naruto. He had felt no pain when he had lived in the elemental land. When he thought back even further though, Harry realized it had already started when he began to feel that something was missing. It had started as an itch and grew from that he remembered. Soul-mate bond, Remus had said, mates that could live without each other but not just as happy with anyone else.
This however was agony and Harry wondered briefly how long he could survive it. He knew that Itachi and Remus knew that he was sick or something alike, not just what. Remus hadn't considered the bond as the cause as far as Harry knew and Itachi he didn't know what he thought. Thankfully Harry had managed to hide the worse from the children. They only knew that he had good days and bad days sometimes.
The first month in Harry's home world had been a relative pain free month, with the reunion of Itachi and his brother, school and bonding as a family. They had really begun to become a family in the first months and the bond between them had only since then become stronger. Remus and his family had become an extended family and Remus was called by Naruto and Sasuke, Uncle Remus.
After the first violent fights between the boys over various silly things they had become a tight knit group, never keeping out of contact for long. They had truly become like brothers and it warmed Harry's heart to see it. Harry also knew that Itachi was happy for his brother and Itachi had also found a kind of kindred soul in Remus and Harry. All three of them had an enormous strength, had killed and all were afraid that someday they were going to accidentally hurt someone they loved.
Because Itachi was so close to both Harry and Remus it had long for him to find out about the potential soul-mate bond. He had been surprised and a little wary in the beginning but nothing would hinder him from helping his savior and close friend. Harry had reassured him that he would not suffer heath wise from the unfinished bond and that he was fine with it. Itachi hadn't been satisfied with that of course, and had pushed until he had all information the older men knew or thought he knew.
Harry had been ashamed when Itachi finally confronted the wizard about his sick days. Harry hated that he had made the young man worry for him and not had told him until he pressed for answers.
Harry had just left to drop of the kids at school and Itachi had decided that today would be the day he would get his answers. He had ordered the house-elves to not disturb them, only interfering if Harry seemed to make an escape from the room before Itachi was satisfied.
When the older man arrived home Itachi lured the man into the sitting room with the offer of tea and what he knew to be the man's favorite biscuits. Harry had easily agreed, feeling tired from a recent pain attack, this time feeling like it had originated from his right leg oddly enough. The pain attacks almost never appeared on the same spots twice in a row, Harry couldn't make heads or tails of it.
He gladly sunk down into the chair, feeling the warmth seep in. He was just reaching for a delicious chocolate biscuit when the door was locked shut. He wouldn't have thought much of it, perhaps it had been the wind from an open window, if not for the intense stare down he felt being directed at him.
Itachi didn't waste time with small talk and went straight for it. "I know you have secrets that you wish to hide from everyone, even Remus. If that secret wasn't harmful for either you or the others I wouldn't say anything but it isn't, isn't it?"
Harry swallowed deeply, understanding suddenly that he had walked willingly into a trap for little tea and biscuits. He sighed and lowered his eyes in slight shame.
"Tell me." The order would have seemed strict and harsh if not for the concerned ton in Itachi voice.
Harry sighed again and decided to stop keeping secrets from the intelligent young man before him, clearly it was useless.
Finally reassured that it hadn't permanently hurt Harry yet Itachi left it alone for the time being and didn't speak about it unless it seemed to get worse. It seemed to be fine after Harry reported that he hadn't felt the pain attacks in a few weeks.
However as the months passed Harry's condition begun to go down, it hadn't happened terribly fast or very noticeably, but still steadily declining. It puzzled them all, Harry couldn't understand why, he ate, slept and trained, both in the etiquette lesson and fighting lessons every day, he should have been in top condition. The few hours of sleep he went without because of the dreams shouldn't have affected his health at all.
It had begun slowly as the rest, he had felt a little more tired at the end of the day and his energy disappeared a little faster than before. At the same time an ache and itch had begun to make itself known, Harry had ignored it, it didn't really hurt like the other pain attacks and he could only be coming down with a cold or something.
However as it begun to become worse Harry began to have doubts. Christmas and New Year had gone past and it was just the beginning of February that he had been having trouble getting out of the bed in the morning. He just felt so tired despite sleeping all night and his entire body ached something fierce, every move he made sent a spiral of pain through his body.
It was becoming more and more difficult to hide his condition from the boys, they were clever kids and against Harry's wishes already suspected something wasn't right with him. Convincing Itachi to help him hide his problems from them had taken some time and had him begging a few times as well. But he had agreed, he didn't want them to worry.
Because they couldn't just go to an ordinary doctor or go to Saint Mungos, Remus, Tonks and Itachi decided to find the problem themselves and fix it. It was of course easier said than done. At least the problem with the minister had been solved at least. Harry didn't want to think of the energy that it had taken to just speak with the arrogant man. Still it had been funny how flustered the man had become when Harry hadn't reacted like the man had thought he would.
Harry could still remember the day like it had been yesterday…..
To be continued….
I am really sorry for the long wait. Half a year? I am ashamed at myself but I have had a major writer block about how I am going to write the meeting with the minister. It's supposed to show Harry's new knowledge of etiquette but still be funny.
Any tips would be really helpful!
I know it's a short chapter, but it's better than nothing right? Right?
Well I am out for tonight…
Next chapter: Wait what? Forced to what?