"Avada Kedavra!" The serpentine man hissed in triumph.
As the familiar green light filled his vision, Harry wondered what Dumbledore's plan had been. Am I supposed to die so that Voldemort will die as well? There are so many things I don't understand. How does everything I've done up till now, add up?
Harry's eyes remained wide open as his body tilted backwards in an arc slowly falling to the ground.
Everything seems so slow. Why can I feel the wind? I'm dying, right? He landed with a solid thump and caught sight of a star filled sky. Is that Mars?
Harry flinched and shut his eyes as complete white invaded his vision. Wait a minute! How can I close my eyes?
"What was that?", a muffled female voice said. It wasn't one Harry recognized. And it didn't seem close by. The words seemed a bit...off, as well.
"I … It sounded like it came from the throne room!"
"Impossible!" The first voice countered, "The throne room cannot be entered by anyone other than the King…"
"Maybe… the King has…" the second speaker gasped.
"Don't …you and I both know that room has been empty for the past century" the female mumbled sorrowfully.
"Yes, Kirio, I know, I suppose I just wanted…" The conversation faded away.
I guess they've gone further away. When his eyes finally stopped burning, Harry opened them, eager to figure out what was going on.
A beautiful clear blue sky greeted him. What? Wasn't it just night? Harry sat up in confusion and groaned at the sudden rush of blood to his head. Where's Voldemort?
Harry looked around him and gaped. Where am I? White walls decorated with silver mirrors, blue jewels and numerous other lavish things surrounded him. He glanced up again. Is it a glass ceiling? Or an enchanted one?
The conversation he overheard came back to him as he caught sight of an opulent blue gem studded chair at the center of the circular room. A throne? So I'm in a throne room? But why and more importantly, how?
Harry stumbled upwards eager to explore and leave the room to get some answers. He caught sight of a familiar looking stone basin just a few feet in front of him. A pensieve?
Harry wobbled unsteadily towards it and glanced around nervously. Well, no one's around! It probably has some answers. And the memories can't hurt me. With a nervous shrug, he bent down towards the silvery substance. The white throne room rushed past Harry as he fell forward and landed on something solid.
This looks familiar, Harry rolled his eyes sardonically. He'd landed in the white throne room once again. Only this time, there was someone in there. A long black haired someone sat on the gem encrusted throne with his face hidden behind a long yellow parchment.
"Are you sure of this?" a voice emerged from behind the parchment.
Harry swiveled around. Who is he talking to? Harry started as a young male voice replied, "This is the best possible way, King."
Where did that voice come from? Did it just say King? Well he's sitting on that throne...Harry paused and gaped when the man on the throne sighed and threw the parchment aside. There- at the center of the man's forehead, above eerily similar emerald green eyes, was a vivid silver lightning bolt scar.
"It seems like an overly complicated solution to remove the secret of the Hocruxes from the human world," the King said with a fierce frown.
"This plan is meant for more than just that!"
The King rolled his eyes. "You're asking me to leave my throne empty for more than a century! Who's going to fix Soul Society when I'm not here?"
"The winds of change will reach Soul Society as well," the voice said gently.
The King's fierce green eyes narrowed and Harry flinched at the man's menacing tone. "You're hiding something from me. What is it?"
"Aren't you opposed to the current system in Soul Society?" The disembodied voice asked.
"Yes!" the King snarled, "And that's why I can't leave! I need to figure out how to make things right."
Harry gawked as the air in front of the King's throne shimmered and condensed into a tiny semi-transparent humanoid form. Is that where the voice is coming from? But what is it? It looks like a child...
"King, do you remember being human?"
The King's fierce expression faltered momentarily. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"It's important" the humanoid form whispered, "How can you be King and help your people if you don't understand them?"
"I've been busy. The gates of Hell…" the King argued.
"Yes, King, I know… but even so, you're not the same as you were in the beginning. You've been holed away for so long. You've lost touch with Soul Society for so long…"
"Yes and look what happened!" the King's anger returned, "What's the meaning of this segregation of souls…"
Harry frowned as he tried to make sense of the King's words. He caught mention of nobles and bureaucrats but everything else went over his head. The humanoid sighed loudly as the King ranted. "King, please calm down! You'll scare the guards."
The King paused and slouched down in his throne, "I'm a horrible ruler, aren't I?"
"King, the minute you took this post, you knew you'd have to fulfill this role till the breaking of the world without anyone to succeed your position. The role of King was created for you and no one else."
The King closed his eyes wearily as the humanoid continued, "And everyone knows, the longer one stays in power, the more they lose themselves and become their position."
"Even so, Shini, even so… I can't just walk away from this. Not now, especially not now!" the King replied.
The humanoid creature, Shini, moved closer to the throne and said, "Don't you trust me, King?"
Just what is this Shini creature? Harry moved closer to get a better look, but he couldn't discern any identifiable features on the child like outline.
The King took a deep breath, "I trust you, Shini. You were given to me when I obtained this position. You've never failed me before."
Shini chuckled, "Oh high and mighty King, are you finally professing your undying love for me?"
The King rolled his eyes.
"Sheesh, King, I've known you for at least a millennia. The least you could do, is give me a smile!"
Harry smothered a snicker as the King's features relaxed as he muttered, "Idiot."
"I promise, this plan will help you fix Soul Society," Shini said seriously as it crouched down in a formal bow.
The King looked up at the blue sky forlornly and sighed, "So I just have to get the stories of the Hallows to the Bubledome wizard?"
The Hallows? Harry started and focused on the King. Is this memory going to tell me how to defeat Voldemort with the Hallows?
"Dumbledore, King," Shini corrected, "Albus Dumbledore."
Harry swallowed thickly, suddenly wary of hearing the remaining conversation. I'm probably not going to like this.
"What, I'm just supposed to whisper in his ears or something?" the King rolled his eyes.
"His dreams, King."
The King frowned, "Isn't that a bit too manipulative. Besides, he's a wizard, I can't meddle…"
"King!" Shini interrupted, "He'll go after the information with or without your prodding. If you don't show him the right path, his pursuit will create an opening for Hell…"
"That…would be bad," the King grimaced and rubbed his scar absently.
Shini nodded vigorously, "You'll have to be his conscience." The King frowned but motioned for the creature to continue. "Fifty years from now, you'll need to fuse with the Evans line."
The King's fingers clenched tightly into a fist, "But, I'll lose…"
"Yes, King, the minute you fuse, your current form will disappear. All your memories of this place will vanish…"
"How is that good?" the King whispered.
Shini rushed forward and grasped the King's hands, "Because, King, you'll be reborn as a human. You'll know how to fix Soul Society. And I'll remember everything you need to know for when you get back."
The King closed his eyes and touched his lightning bolt scar wearily. Harry mirrored the action and traced his own scar absently. Is this for real? Am I…
"All right! I'll do it." the King whispered.
Harry frowned as his body rose. That's it? That's the only memory in here? But this doesn't give me any answers. What about Voldemort? And the Hallows? Various questions buzzed through his mind as he returned to the empty throne room.
The stone basin sat in front of him, just like it did before his little trip.
"I'm glad you're back, King!" A gentle voice said. Harry squeaked and fell back in surprise.
The young male voice chuckled. "Sorry, King."
King? Harry turned towards the direction of the voice and gaped, "Er, Shini?"
Harry felt a rush of wind as a familiar looking semi-transparent humanoid form materialized in front of him, "Yes, King. I'm glad the memory basin was helpful enough to give you the basic information."
"I'm not…" Harry protested.
Shini shook his head and moved forward, "Don't doubt it. You are the King. Only the King can enter this room when it's been locked from the inside. The memories you saw were real. You wanted to get rid of the Hocrux information and you were successful."
"What?" Harry started, "But, the Hocruxes, I didn't defeat Voldemort, he…"
Shini's head titled to the side and glanced at the stone basin, "How many memories did you see in there?"
Harry blinked, "Just one."
Shini sighed. "I knew we'd forgotten something." Shini reached forward, arms outstretched, and Harry gasped at the ice cold contact on his hands. "Come on, King, let me explain things to you."
Harry rose unsteadily and followed the tiny creature. They stopped in front of one of the large mirrors hanging on the wall. Harry frowned as he caught sight of his attire- a blue ensemble lined with silver that looked like it belonged in an Asian period piece drama. Wasn't this what the man in the memory wore? And where are my glasses?
Shini's ice cold contact left him. "Put your hand up there, no, no, up there on that blue gem. Yes, there and think of that place. Think of Hogwarts."
Harry frowned in confusion but followed the tiny creature's orders. He gasped as the mirror's surface rippled and reformed into a chaotic scene.
Harry spotted the Weasleys, Hermione, various members of the DA, an assortment of cloaked death eaters, a snarling Voldemort and himself.
"What? How am I? What the heck?" Harry sputtered as he watched his mirror image point a wand lazily at Voldemort.
"That is happening right now!" Shini said beside him.
"I don't get it. How can I be at two places at the same time?" Harry said and leaned closer to the mirror.
"You're not. That is Harry Potter!" Shini stately calmly.
"Yes, and so am I," Harry retorted.
"No!" Shini replied, "You're not Harry Potter, King. You might have had your essence fused with him for seventeen years, but you are not him."
"What?" Harry whispered.
"Remember, the plan was to have you fuse with the Evans family so that you'd be reborn into a human vessel."
"A human vessel? I thought…" Harry whispered as he watched familiar spells race towards both opponents.
"Your powers wouldn't allow you to become a real human. So we planned the next best thing. A co-existence till death separated you from the vessel."
"Co-existence?" Harry repeated and watched as the green Avada Kedavra reflected back to Voldemort. "The Hallows…"
"Yes, the Hallows were meant to separate you without harming Harry Potter. You wanted him to be able to live normally after his help with destroying the Hocrux secrets. He'll remove all traces of the secret and lose the Royal mark on his forehead by the end of the day."
"Your lightning bolt scar, King"
"I'm so confused." Harry sighed as he watched his friends celebrate. "So he's not…"
"No one but us know that you lived in him, King." Shini whispered.
It looks so real. And I feel like it's true. But how? Harry pulled his hands away as he took in people's expressions- Ron, Hermione, Ginny- and clenched his chest. "It hurts!"
"Yes, King. It's supposed to. You wanted to feel human again, remember? For Soul Society."
Harry chocked back a sob, "I don't. I don't remember."
Cool arms gently patted Harry's head, "King, you need to get yourself together. Even if you don't remember the exact reasons, surely you feel a sense of obligation. Soul Society is at war"
Harry started, "What?"
"Didn't I tell you that the winds of change would have swept through Soul Society by the time you came back?"
Shini grasped Harry's hands once more and pulled him to the other side of the room to a table that held a goblet brimming with silver liquid.
"Drink it!" Shini urged, "I've put in everything I observed over the past century while you were away"
"Don't be like that. This was the thing that kept you informed even when you were battling the legions of hell. Trust me, king"
What have I got to lose? Not like I'm going back to Hogwarts. It seems so unreal and real at the same time.
With a deep breath, Harry drank the silvery liquid. Shinigami. Zanpaktou. Central 46, Aizen, Hollowfication, Rukongai, Aizen, Exile, Treachery, Bloodshed, Terror, Pain, Aizen, King's Key, Souls, Karakura, Death, Arrancar, Hope, Vizard, Kurosaki.
Harry gasped as he set the empty goblet back down.
"King?" Shini whispered, "King? Harry?"
"Shini" Harry acknowledged.
"Did you see?"
Harry nodded, "Are they fighting right now?"
"Yes. A few minutes before you returned I checked in and it seemed they started the battle. We don't have a lot of time. What are you going to do?"
What am I going to do? Well I can't just ignore this. It's too real to me. Even if I don't quite remember things, I can't just wait for someone else to take care of things.
"I'm going to fix things," Harry declared. "Uh, Shini, could you…"
Shini chuckled as his body dispersed, "I'll call you Harry until you come to terms with everything. But the others might have a problem with that."
Harry turned to the large silver doors.
"Ah, wait Ki…Harry"
Harry turned around and gasped as a long silver staff hovered in front of him, "You need a weapon if you're going in to battle."
"But I don't know how…"
A loud chuckle, "That's why you have me. Trust me. Even if you can't remember our previous battles, I do. I'll help you. You probably didn't even realize you weren't speaking or hearing English this entire time, did you? Do you see? We can do this, Kin…Harry"
"You're my Zanpakuto?" Harry fumbled over the term he'd come across from the goblet memories.
"In a manner of speaking. It's not important now. What are you planning?" Shini said.
Harry rolled his eyes and grabbed the staff, "Shouldn't you know? You seem to know a lot about the future." The staff felt oddly natural in his hand as he twirled it expertly. A light presence tickled his mind.
Shini chuckled in his mind, "I don't know about anything that occurs after your return. My gift of foresight was the payment when you left for the Wizarding World."
"Don't speak out loud. I can hear your thoughts just fine when I take this form. Anyway, wizards don't enter Soul Society as they don't fall under your rule. So for you to fuse with one was very risky. I gave up my powers to the big boss upstairs to ensure that you'd be safe." Shini elaborated.
Harry didn't know what to say to that. But he felt oddly glad that there was definitely someone higher up in power than him. Oh, well I'm planning to head to Karakura to deal with Aizen, Harry thought to Shini.
"That's a good start," Shini approved. "You'll need to take some of your guards as well."
"Guards?" Harry wondered. Were they the ones I heard talking before?
"Yes, they were some of your guards." Shini explained, "Take a few member of the royal guard to help protect any bystanders when you go into battle. Maybe some healers as well"
The large silver doors creaked loudly, and a bell rang somewhere, as Harry pushed them forward, "I don't know any names." Harry said to Shini.
"I'll help!" Shini reassured him.
Harry barely put a foot outside before a large group of people ran towards him.
"They must have heard the doors," Shini explained as Harry examined the people standing in front of him. Each of them wore a black outfit- "shihakusho," Shini supplied- and they were staring at him with varying expressions of relief, confusion and happiness.
One of the women stepped forward, "King?"
"Ah, good. She was the last one to come from Soul Society before you left. She'll be prefect for the battle. Her name is…" Shini spoke.
Harry tilted his head, "Yes, Kirio Hikifune, I just got back. I know there are many questions about my current appearance. I'll explain things later! Right now I want you to gather a combat team and a medic team."
The group murmured but followed his orders without protest.
"Of course, they won't argue with you. They know that you'd only ask for such a thing if you're going to battle," Shini snorted.
I'm just surprised they're not more curious about things. Do they know what's going on with Soul Society? Harry wondered.
"No, the Royal realm was separated from Soul Society when we went into battle with Hell. You didn't want to endanger Soul Society during the long war."
I see, Harry frowned. Well that's definitely going to be the first thing to change. After I get rid of Aizen!
Harry examined the team standing in front of him and nodded in approval when Shini told him about each person.
So now how do we reach the war? Harry wondered.
"Tell Takamura to open a gate above the …"
"… Spiritual pressure of the Gotei Thriteen's Captain Commander! Everyone else prepare for battle conditions. We're going to come across a lot of injured Shinigami. I'll deal with the opposition, the rest of you stay back and protect the fallen." Harry ordered and watched as a gateway opened.
"Are you ready, Harry?"
No, Harry frowned and walked forward into the gateway, but let's do this.
Harry emerged onto the battlefield grimaced at the sight that caught his eyes. Broken buildings, large craters and worst of all, fallen bodies everywhere. It seemed like the battle had stopped when he arrived.
There at the center, stood a man garbed in white surrounded by no less that four shinigami, one Vizard and Kurosaki. Harry immediately recognized the bright mop of orange hair. He also recognized the man at the center. Aizen.
"He does look rather irritating." Shini agreed. "Must be the hair!"
"Hiyori?" Hikifune gasped in surprise.
I see why you wanted her to come. She still had ties to the people here. Harry moved forward and ordered, "Move out, you know what to do!"
"Who the heck are you?" the orange haired teen, Kurosaki, yelled.
"Oh, he's fun. Let's take him as a guard after this is over," Shini chuckled.
Isn't he still alive as a human? Harry reminded Shini as he moved forward. The world blurred for a second as he apparated- it's called Shunpo, King!- to the teenager's side.
"Ah right! Substitute Shinigami. I forgot about that. Then what about mortal world adviser! He definitely won't sugarcoat things for you."
Why don't we bother with his job prospects after the battle? Harry grinned in amusement, "Ah, just call me Harry!"
"Heri? What kind of weird ass name is that?" Kurosaki retorted. The other Shinigami seemed at a loss of words. Even Aizen seemed confused.
Guess he hadn't accounted for my arrival in his grand plan. Harry snickered and gently patted the teenager's shoulder, "It's good to meet you in person, Kurosaki Ichigo. It seems I owe you a lot for helping me out."
"Helping you out?"
"Hmm" Harry nodded and turned to the brown haired man who was watching the proceedings with a contemptuous look. "Yes, you've given me the perfect solution to fix Soul Society!"
"I don't get it. I don't even know who you are." Ichigo said in confusion.
"Ah, either way, I owe you for stopping that man from trying to take my throne!" Harry grinned at the complete disbelief etched on every conscious face on the battlefield. The Shinigami looked confused, awed and horrified.
Harry particularly liked the sour look on Aizen's face. He may not remember being King, but the goblet memories gave Harry enough reason to despise the man in front of him.
Harry smiled gently, "Don't look so surprised, Ichigo. When it's all over, I'll probably tell you everything. It's a very long and complicated story. Right now I need to kick some ass."
"It seems like he has a separate power source embedded in him" Shini wondered, "Maybe it's the Hogyoku thing. Without my seer powers I can't really tell you how that'll affect the battle"
Can I still do magic? Harry wondered. That'll help with any of his surprises.
"Of course, those spells will just be fueled by your spiritual energy. It'll just look like kido to the shinigami."
Harry pulled the staff from his back and held it in front of him. The silver gleamed pleasantly and a gentle warmth gave Harry strength and confidence.
"Aizen Sosuke, do you know why you can never be King?" Harry asked as he twirled his staff delicately, "It's because you don't know what it's like to be human."
"What does a brat like you know about being King? You're human like selfishness is the reason for this ugly world."
"Don't worry, I'm right here! Lift the staff up to the sky, King." Shini said gently.
Harry did so and steeped forward as ominous black clouds filled up the sky and flashed with sickly green lightning. Kurosaki gasped behind him.
Harry laughed, "Well then, let me correct that. Starting with you!"
A/N: *sigh* A plot bunny that just kept growing and wouldn't settle for being written as incomplete scene snippets. So I appeased it by making it an experimental one-shot. Either way, hope I gave you something to chew on.