Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, nor do I own Naruto. Similarly, the part of used lyrics – Until It Sleeps, is the property of it's artists and owners.

Shout Out: Ah – Choo! Damn it, this April weather seriously boned my immune system. /Irritated sniffle/ Aching head, sniffling nose and itchy, itchy throat… and one lazy plotdragon I had to literally drag out of his plothole by its tail to tame. I apologize for not updating Kobayashi Maru sooner, but I hadn't a clue how to proceed with story not to get it straight into cliche waters. So Happy Belated Easter and enjoy this installment!

Warnings: AU-verse like whoa, and I mean it, seriously. Still Harry Potter (Midori)/Himura Danzo, although not much mushy stuff this time, so for those squeamish about mushy stuff, you can rest assured… this time.

Edit: One of you was kind enough to warn me of this gaffe with pairings. Because I am simultaneously writing Among the Hawks and Doves, I entered the wrong pairing. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Edit 2: Smaller mistakes are corrected now - for some reason the word procesor here likes to stick some words together. /grumbles/ If you notice any further mistakes in words, please send me a notice. Thank you and enjoy!

221) Pocky

Usually, Itachi ate healthily, with some very rare exceptions. Chocolate here and there, his mother's biscuits were dutifully eaten – not that they were bad tasting, but something was still missing, and his tongue was regularly scraped with the taste of Akimichi's ration bars. In culinary terms, Itachi had nothing exciting to munch on.

Crunch. Crunch, crunch, crackle

Itachi's ears twitched at the sound. He looked at the shameless perpetrator of those sounds.

He was a green-eyed man, with a slender, smaller than average build. His black hair was the messiest thing Itachi had ever seen, excluding Uzumaki-kun's yellow mane. There were bets about whether it was natural, or if Harry had invented some kind of a jutsu for his hair to behave so… unruly. It was possible; after all, Jiraiya-sama had invented his infamous Hari Jizo…

Smack. Slurp.

Now that was just obscene. Itachi winced as the man's teeth crunched down on the slender roll of… something.

Green eyes looked at him. "You hungry, Itachi?" Harry-san asked kindly as he finished the crunchy roll with relish. The Uchiha prodigy shook his head. "I am not, thank –"


He was interrupted with his stomach's complaint, making his blush with mortification – as much as Uchiha could blush – his cheeks were flushed pink so very faintly that it was almost unnoticeable. However, Harry wasn't a Slytherin for nothing. Inwardly smirking, the wizard's dark eyebrow arched. "I think your stomach begs to differ, Itachi-kun. When was the last time you ate something?" He asked sternly, making Itachi fidget on his spot. "Um… Last night?" he offered, blinking with confusion.

Harry stared at the teen. "Are you trying to yank my chain?" He asked flatly, knowing full well that Itachi had returned from his ANBU-issued mission last night. Dark eyes blinked. "I assure you I don't have any chain to yank you with. Besides, Danzo-sama would be very unhappy with me if I did."

His matter-of-fact answer made Harry snort in agreement, as the wizard offered him a boy of the…variously flavored crunchy rolls. "Here, try some pocky." He offered dryly, smiling.

Hesitantly, Itachi picked up dark one and bit into it. And froze.

The flavor of dark chocolate mixed with orange shavings exploded on his tongue, along with crunchy texture of insides of the roll, making him inadvertently swallow the – the divine meal.

Green eyes watched the Uchiha prodigy with amusement as Itachi immersed himself in eating and generally enjoying the small treat.

The munching ended far too soon, and Itachi's blissed-out face fell.

Harry suppressed laughter at the sight. One more convert to the divine wonder that was pocky.

"How was it?" He asked, smiling, barely restraining himself not to cackle outright. Who would have thought that corrupting people felt so good?

Black eyes turned red with three tomoe spinning as they zeroed on the box in Harry's hands.


Since then, Itachi was always seen munching on a pocky stick or two when on a mission and woe betide anyone who dared to suggest he desist worshipping his favorite treat.

222) Protector

Gaara squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. Inside him, there were so many feelings – anxiety, shame, despair, helplessness…

To think that he was returning the kindness of his protector by unleashing the Ichibi onto Konoha…

To think he was weak enough to follow the commands of his father, cowardly enough to not tell Harry-san about the invasion.

He was so, so very useless…

'What kind of protector you are,' his sub consciousness mocked him.

'You can't even protect the ones who care for you…'

And then, his body was not his own anymore and the last thing he heard was Ichibi's triumphant howl.

223) Cowed

Harry glared at the idiot who was attempting to sell the little kitsune chibi expired groceries. "And just what do you think you're doing, hmmm?" His voice came out as a soft, silky purr, which made said idiot puff up in righteous anger. "I am selling the br- Uzumaki groceries, what does it look like!" The fat man barked out, his buggy eyes narrowed with dislike. "Any reason you're selling him the expired ones when you have more than enough fresh ones laying around?" The dangerous purr lowered itself into a steely octave, which made the hidden ROOT shudder with dread. Harry-san was generally a good guy to be around, but piss him off… hoo, boy, then you were on your own.

Green eyes stared at the grocer emotionlessly while their owner gathered the bewildered kitsune brat to him.

One second.

Two seconds later…. The man had begun to sweat.

Three seconds after it, the man broke. "Alright!" He squawked out desperately. "I'll sell him fresh stuff, just stop staring at me!"

The green gaze intensified for a moment, making the poor man flinch violently, and then, Harry smiled kindly. "I knew it was just a misunderstanding on your part," He said cheerfully, while smiling kindly, cowing the man further into the little ball of nervousness.

The ROOT ANBU and Naruto were eyeing Harry with awe. There was absolutely no killing intent involved but…

"Wow. Talk about being intimidating," The ROOT ANBU muttered quietly to his compatriot, while Naruto just stared at his new savior with huge, adoring blue fox eyes.

224) Stray

'Just like a curse, just like a stray,

You feed it once, and now it stays.

Now it stays…'

The lyrics rolled through Harry's brain as he watched the little chibi sniffle around, looking for his unintended savior. He sighed, sweatdropping.

It wasn't the brightest idea he had, feeding the little kitsune chibi, but the kid had looked so pitiful he just couldn't help but let his hero complex come forward and take care of the kid… if only for a little while.

But this… this was ridiculous.

At first he had been happy that the kid was fed and those cornflower blue eyes – really, what an unusual color – were sparkling with happiness, but it was not his duty to take care of the brat any further. He already had enough troubles, thank you very much!

But then, his Potter luck struck again.

The chibi sniffed and then turned around, gifting Harry with his biggest, sparkliest smile to date.

Harry froze like a cornered little animal.

'No… No, just… no.' His brain ran frantically, but no matter what he thought of, he couldn't get out of this – whatever it was.

"Harry-san!" The chibi exclaimed as he barreled full force into the slender green eyed man, making Harry lose his breath and wonder if Naruto was a linebacker or something in his former life. The kit sure could tackle, despite being a scrawny gaki and eating almost unreal amounts of ramen. Where he packed it, Harry didn't know. Nor did he want to find out.

Some things were better left alone, but for now…

"Oomph!" Harry exhaled. He just knew he should have Apparated out when he still had a chance.

But nooo, one look from those kitsune eyes and he was standing here as if he were nailed and unable to move an inch.

Damn it. Did Naruto have some kind of Kekkei Genkai nobody knew about?

He sighed as he ruffled the unruly yellow spikes of the kid.

It was time to feed the stray again, he supposed…

Damn you, Potter luck.

225) Fascinating

This was… fascinating. He licked his lips under the veil, dark eyes looking greedily at the green eyed man who was talking to Danzo.

Usually, he wouldn't have bothered with a civilian, no matter how pretty he looked – well, no, that was a lie. Something in this one was beckoning his attention like a flame would to a moth – and it wasn't only his form and those jeweled green eyes…

No – it was… something more. Something like snakes and power – oh, yes, that unremarkable little civilian had a plethora of chakra and Orochimaru just itched to dissect him and find out what made the young man tick.

He snarled as the man – his prey, dammit! –affectionately pecked Konoha's warhawk on the cheek, and then walked away with Danzo smiling at him warmly, before he remembered to school his features into polite disinterest.

"And who was that?" The Hebi-Sannin under Kazekage cover asked, before he could curb his impulse.

"Hmm?" Hokage hummed distractedly, looking into the arena, smiling at Naruto's antics with Kiba.

"That man with Danzo." Orochimaru prodded his ex-sensei carefully. He had to act inconspicuously, else - well, at least Sarutobi didn't meet with the Kazekage in person much, so the doddering old fool was easy to take advantage of.

"Oh, him?" Sarutobi nodded carelessly in the way of green-eyed man. "He's Harry…Danzo's personal assistant, I believe."

Orochimaru almost growled at the old man's dismissive tone. "They don't look like employer and employee." He pointed out mildly.

Brown eyes looked at him, taken aback. "Why, Kazekage-sama, I didn't know your past times involved gossiping." The Hokage mildly said to his guest, puffing out another cloud of smoke.

Orochimaru growled to himself. 'You old monkey fart…' Outside he shrugged. "I'm not, but their relationship is… different. Or did the laws of relationships at work change somewhat?" He challenged, his voice bland and just accusing enough for the ancient baboon to spill his beans.

The Hokage hummed thoughtfully. "No, they did not. But nothing in the laws forbids spouses greeting each other, does it?" He volleyed back flippantly, making Orochimaru's jaw dislocate with shock.

Shlack –

Hurriedly, Orochimaru grasped his jaw and casually pushed it back on its rightful place. One of the more disturbing body characteristics he had gotten when he was initiated as a Hebi-Sannin, was his ability to dislocate his jaw at will, along with no gag reflex and an almost disturbingly flexibile and absurdly long tongue.

The Snake Summoner winced as he accidentally bit his tongue inhis haste to get his lower jaw in its proper place.

"Oth, weally?" He lisped, before wincing at Hokage's knowing glaze.

"Are you alright, Kazekage-san?" Sarutobi asked him, his face concerned.

'Damn it, you can't drop such a bombshell on me and then expect me NOT to react, old man!' Orochimaru fumed helplessly at the old monkey while he managed a curt nod.

"Yeth. Jus' bit mah tongue." He calmly responded, while carefully moving said appendage and wincing.

The Hokage nodded understandingly.

"Happens to the best of us," He remarked softly, his voice mild as milk and ignoring the 'Kazekage's watery glare at his person.

226) Sharp

The hospital was also under siege. It was an underhanded tactic, but also very effective, because if most of the medics were crippled then there was less chance of the besieged to successfully even the field.

However, they didn't count on the Konoha's Hospital newest acquisition.

Haku was not amused. He hadn't attended the match because he had his hands full with Rock Lee, as the second Green Beast of Konoha insisted he was youthful enough to get back to training, and Haku had to use his Hannya mask - scary face – to get him to obediently stay in his bed.

And then, it exploded.

They invaded the hospital quickly, like lightning and the shinobi that were suspended to bed rest were pressed to retaliate to protect the civilian patients and workers.

Haku wasn't happy.

"You… dare to enter the hospital with ill intent?" He asked, his voice soft, as he fingered some of his senbon needles.

The man with Oto sign grinned nastily. He was huge and carried a war hammer.

Haku didn't flinch.

"What's tha' to ya, brat?" The man leered at him, before swinging the hammer at him.

Haku nimbly dodged and at the same time threw the needle.

The target was hit true.

"Oh, nothing." He said mildly. "But if you really want to live in the hospital, it's only my obligation to give you something that would make you stay inside… within reason, too."

The man froze in mid swing, his beady brown eyes widening with panic.

"Wha – Wha' did ya do ta me?" he managed to get out.

Haku smirked.

"Have a nice trip," he purred out, before he created an ice mirror and vanished to protect another section.

The man collapsed on the floor, his lips slowly coloring blue as his eyes widened with horror before he screamed with pain.

Note to observers: Don't piss off the ice-wielding medic who has the sharp, sharp tips of his senbon needles tipped in a hallucinogenic and pain-causing potion.

Take that, Tsunade.

227) Pandemonium

The few minutes after they released the Genjutsu were pure pandemonium. Even with knowing they will be invaded, it still took some time to accept this as a reality.

It was chaos of colors, weapons, masses of bodies and techniques which would mesmerize any observer if observation wasn't such a dangerous task.

The Konoha Genin were hapless, floundering around for a few precious moments before following Naruto's example and getting into the fray themselves.

And this… this was war.

228) Amaterasu

"Amaterasu!" Uchiha Hideo spat out, incinerating a good deal of the enemy forces. He was one of the rare Uchihas that could control the flame adequately enough to be used efficiently.

His enemy didn't have a chance.

Red eyes narrowed in contempt.

They were fools to attack Konohagakure…. And more so, to think that the Uchiha clan would stand aside and let them raze their ancestral lands to the ground.

Idiots, the lot of them.

The Uchiha may have had a grudge against the Senju and they wished to be less oppressed by the other clans and viewed as equals, but when it came to outsiders butting into Konoha's business, then all bets were off.

Like it or not, Konoha was their home and they would protect it to their last breath.

229) Madness

"This – This is madness!" One of the invaders spluttered out when he was fighting with the Demon of the Mist – err, now Demon of the Leaf.

Zabuza grunted as he pressed the idiot away from the children and Iruka.

"No. " The attacker could almost hear the maniac grin in his voice.

"This. Is. KONOHA!"

Zabuza Shunshined behind the unfortunate grunt's back and kicked him in the behind.

The Academy students watched the fight with starry eyes.

"So cool…" Konohamaru breathed out, while Iruka face palmed.

He really had to have a word with Harry about allowing Zabuza watch that movie about Spartans.

The man's scream when he vanished into the… hole was chilling, but the kids just cheered.

"Since when do you have a Doton affinity?" Iruka deadpanned when Zabuza returned back to them, nonchalantly dispatching of the three other grunts.

Because really, as far as Iruka knew, there was no Very-Big-Man-Made-Hole on the Academy's grounds.

Zabuza winced.

"Since now?" He squeaked out, dark eyes hopeful.

Iruka sighed.

"Let's just get the kids to somewhere safe." He grumbled out, his voice defeated.

It didn't help that Konohamaru apparently found a new role model… aside from Naruto, that is.

230) Scar

Harry had the strange habit of kissing Danzo on the scar on his chin, just as Danzo had the strange habit of kissing the faded lightning bolt on Harry's forehead.

It was their little ritual for when they were alone, to confirm they were still together, that they cared about each other beyond the superficial scars and images.

And they intended to keep it that way.

231) Flower

Ino was a loud, bossy little girl who was manning the family shop for the first time. Well, her Daddy went for some official business, and Ino insisted on being left there to take care of the shop. And stubborn as she was, she obviously got her wish.

The clinking of the wind chimes alerted her to the customer. Well, anything was better than the boring waiting she had been doing for the past half an hour.

"Welcome!" She said, smiling her cutest smile at the stranger.

The man was of average height – not as tall as her Daddy anyway, had wild black hair and the greenest eyes she had ever seen.

"Pretty!" Ino blurted out, before her eyes widened and covered her mouth.

The green-eyed man blinked. "Huh?" He asked, confused, making Ino's cheeks redden even more.

"Um… You have pretty eyes!" Ino managed to get out, only for the man to laugh kindly and ruffle her hair.

"Why, thank you. And who are you, little lady?"

Ino puffed out her chest. "I am Yamanaka Ino, the prettiest flower in Konoha! My Daddy says so!"

The man inclined his head, a small smile on his lips. "Then I will believe your Daddy. I am Potter Harry, nice to meet you. Just call me Midori."

Ino nodded, before she caught herself. "Yes mister. Um, how may I help you?"

Harry smiled at the enthusiastic girl. "I need some seeds of the Moon Lily, if you have them."

Blue eyes widened. "Of course we have them! But Daddy tried to make 'em grow, an' they don't want to!" She pouted, her lower lip jutting out slightly.

Harry chuckled at her petulant voice. "Of course. But Moon Lilies area special kind of flower, so they have to have special care."

Ino perked up. "You know how?" She asked, her blue eyes huge and sparkling.

Chuckling, Harry nodded.

"Then I would be interested in hearing about it." A male voice came behind him, making Harry turn around.

Ino beamed. "Daddy!" She exclaimed as she hopped off the chair and rushed to the tall, blonde-haired man.

"Hello, flower." The man smiled as he kneeled to her height, allowing her to glomp him. "Was everything alright?"

Ino nodded proudly. "Yes! Hanatsuki-san came for her orange roses, and Hanataro came for his bushes, and I told him how to take care of 'em. Did I do right Daddy?"

The man smiled at his beaming daughter gently. "Of course, little flower." Then, blue eyes looked at Harry. "Would you please tell me how to grow Moon Lilies? I've been trying to get them to grow for three years, and nothing!"

Harry chuckled. "Of course, Yamanaka-san. Anything for a flower."

Inoichi smiled.

And this was the first meeting of many between the two gardening enthusiasts.

232) Prepared

"Shishienjin." Danzo muttered as the four violet walls sprang into the life, making Sarutobi eye him sharply.

"Kukuku, sharp as always, Danzo." A familiar voice from behind the veil complimented the ROOT before the hat was thrown away, making Sarutobi stiffen with betrayal and Danzo narrow his eyes.

"Orochimaru." Danzo acknowledged the Snake Sannin coldly. "How nice of you to visit us." The sarcasm made the Sannin's pale lips curl into a sardonic smirk.

"Of course, of course…. You know, I was always fond of my alma mater… and you, Danzo? Are you Hokage yet?"

The sibilant query made Danzo glare at the culprit , before Sarutobi put a hand on his shoulder.

"Don't mind him. He's just trying to psych you out." The Hokage muttered to his teammate.

"Hnn." Danzo hummed out a non-committal response, but his body relaxed a tiny bit nonetheless.

He slid into his battle stance, with the Hokage copying him seamlessly.

"Are you prepared?" Danzo purred out, dark eyes glinting .

"Always, old friend." The Hokage muttered back, making Danzo start a little, but then, he smirked.

"Just like old times, heh."

The Hokage smirked. "Don't make me cover your crazy arse too much. I am old, you know."

And they leapt.

233) Tremble

Sasuke trembled.

This – This was almost too much!

Gaara was a monster in human skin –

He gasped as he dodged the next sand tentacle.

If only he had something more than Chidori and -

The dark rush of power and pain overtook his senses, and he screamed.

The Cursed Seal had been activated.

234) Resistance

The invaders thought the invasion would be as easy as pie. Sure, Konoha was big and strong, but they were also unaware of their impending doom and they were, in comparison with them, pathetically understaffed.

So it had been a huge surprise when the attackers began to… well, attack, there was no panic or disorder of mass proportions. Instead of that, random people were either being hauled to safe places, and other would-be civilians were fighting with the Oto and Suna nin.

Kazemaru was an Oto nin – in fact, he had been a nuke-nin before he was drafted into Orochimaru's forces, and he was a pretty good fighter, if he said so himself. He wasn't one of the best fighters, but he was a solid B-rank one, what with his ability of using twin tonfa-like blades to a terrifying effect. His nickname, 'Praying Mantis' was not only for show.

The beginning of the attack had been successful – somewhat. The civilians had caused the pandemonium and they had kept the home forces from attacking with the more lethal jutsus they had at their disposal, while Oto and Suna were not hindered by keeping the civvies alive. Hideo enjoyed the chaos and manslaughter for all of ten minutes, but then, the tide of battle abruptly shifted around.


Kazemaru abruptly shielded the blow of the knife against his chest. He blinked. "Hoo?" he smirked, his gaunt face a terrifying counterpoint to his slender body. "Just what do you think you could do with your pretty little knives?" He mocked his opponent, while licking the stray blood off of his lips.

Asuma snorted. "Let's find out, shall we?" he mumbled out while he channeled the chakra into his blades.

And they leapt toward each other.

235) Cooperation

Kakashi grunted as he hit another enemy with his Chidori. Those bastards were annoying him to hell and back and he already felt the exhaustion.

He was seriously outta stamina, what with him being out of ANBU.

"Watch out!" Gai called to him, and Kakashi turned around, but he was… too slow.

His body chilled with dread, before he was practically thrown to the ground like a rag doll by two hands -

"Fuuton/Katon: Entei!" The two voices chorused, and Kakashi felt the wind rush toward the enemy before joining with a stream of fire and engorging itself into a half-formed animal that roared and leapt forward, engulfing the duo that had managed to almost off Sharingan no Kakashi.

The next moment all that was left of them was a small hill of ashes.

His jaw dropped. "Wha – What the fuck?" he sputtered, before he was grabbed for the scruff of his neck and hauled up.

"No time!" The ROOT ANBU – Hagetake, if he remembered correctly – snarled at him. The other ANBU was Hotaru, one of his former subordinates, if he remembered correctly.

Kakashi gave them a bewildered nod before he deflected the stray kunai, and the unlikely ANBU duo Shunshined away, their duty done for the moment.

Hotaru, he remembered, was a fire specialist, but he didn't know that Hagetake was Wind aligned!

Sure, ROOT ANBU were a secretive bunch, and Wind users were absurdly rare in Konoha but this - !

However, that cinched something.

Kakashi snarled as he spun around, gutting the overenthusiastic Sand nin mercilessly, allowing his ANBU persona come to front.

The rumors… of double affinities were now confirmed.

And thus, the project Helix unmasked its terrifying potential.

However, the most worrisome thing was that both ROOT and regular ANBU were cooperating like a well-oiled machine and Kakashi didn't know anything about it!

He spat out an expletive at the stray thought of what that could mean.

The Hokage was so boned.

And Kakashi threw himself into the fray, heading to the Sandaime Hokage to report.

236) Yuurei / Ghost

He snarled as the Oto-nin managed to ambush the small group of civilians.

And then, he leapt.

There was a streak of black, auburn and silver before it stopped in front of the trembling civilians, snarling viciously at the invaders.

"Mama! Look! A doggy!" A small girl pointed out at him innocently. Her huge eyes, still wet with tears, were now glistening with wonder.

"M – More like a small horse!" The man of the small family sputtered out, clenching a bat tightly in his hand, ready, willing and able to clobber the animal's skull if it showed the slightest intent of threatening his family.

"Whoa! One of Inuzuka's ninken?" An Oto-nin asked dumbly, only to yelp as the other one cuffed him. "No, you idiot! He doesn't have their sign… See?"

And truly, the animal didn't have a collar with the Inuzuka sign around its furry neck. The small family became nervous again.

If that wasn't an Inuzuka ninken, then what was he?

The wolf snarled again, his voice deeper this time.

"Good doggy," another Oto nin mocked the animal, before throwing the kunai… at it. "Now fetch." But the wolf didn't move, aside from snatching the kunai from the air.

And then, he leapt forward.

What happened next, could only be described as a massacre on the wolf's part.

The wolf was so quick it sometimes seemed like he was a ghost – appearing and disappearing in the places that were the most inconvenient for its attackers.

Five minutes later, it was finished.

The wolf's face was red with the blood of its enemies, and he still held the kunai he had fetched from the Oto dumbass in his powerful jaws.


The first grade steel was bitten in half as if it were a chicken bone and not something infinitely harder.

The family stared at the magnificent animal as it motioned for them to follow it.

"Uh… Inu-san?" The man, Yukimura Kenichi, asked hesitantly. The wolf nodded.

Kenichi slowly approached it, flinching a little as his scruffy collar was snatched and he was gently placed on the wolf's back. "W – Whoa!" he yelped out, but the wolf just grunted.

"Papa! Can I? Can I?" the little girl called, her dark eyes shining brightly.

Kenichi looked at the wolf. "Um… I suppose… If Inu-san would allow, that is?"

The wolf huffed and stepped to the woman, making Kenichi grip the wolf's fur to balance himself.

A minute later, the small family was safely on the big wolf's back, quickly riding to the safe spot.


The old man who looked at the vanishing wolf shook his head.

"Really, he's like a ghost," He murmured to himself as he patted the little girl's head fondly. Aiko, the little girl, giggled at the memory of the wolf's soft fur.

Kenichi nodded thoughtfully. "Yes. Maybe the gods sent him to protect us…" he trailed off slowly.

"Wherever he is, I hope that Yuurei-san is safe."


The aforementioned wolf sneezed in the middle of shifting.

"Wuu-choo!" The first part of the sneeze was began by the wolf, but the second one was finished by the man.

"Someone is talking about me again." Harry muttered, peeved, his face and part of his hair red with blood, before he cleaned it off with a charm.

And thus, the Great Wolf, named Yuurei, entered the annals of Konoha's legends.

237) Useless

"What the hell are you still doing on the field!" Naruto screamed at the flinching pinkette as he deflected another kunai before hurriedly spamming some more Kagebunshin who sprinted into the fray like lithe orange clad dervishes.

"Shika – Get the pinky and the banshee outta here!" Naruto screamed to Shikamaru, who was straining to hold off two Jouninin his Kagemane no Jutsu.

Trembling, Sakura bit her lip as she clenched her hand around her kunai.

Was she really so useless…?

She clenched her jaw shut and threw the kunai.

Her aim was true – one of the Jounin Shikamaru was holding off in his technique was hit in his eye.

Instant death.

She swallowed bile as Shikamaru eyed her with surprise in his dark orbs for a moment.

"I am not useless." She mumbled, but her face was ashen as she fumbled for the next kunai.

Swallowing heavily, she couldn't help but wince as Naruto's clone threw a shuriken, slitting the man's throatas easily as if it were a silk.

And then, she dropped on her knees and vomited.

Useless, indeed.

238) Shish-kabob


Harry's eyebrow twitched at the sound. This was becoming annoying.

A pissing contest in the shape of summoning…. Yeah, right.

One of them was obviously Jiraiya, if he heard right.

And the other… was obviously snakes.

The mess became even bigger as Gamabunta bellowed his war cry and –

He had had it.

He quickly Apparated on the Toad's head – the lull was at least good for something – he had a solid platform to land on.

"Yipe! Warn me before you appear here, brat!" The Madao yelped at him, but Harry didn't listen to the old man. He had better things to do… namely, the three-headed snake looming around.

"I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU ALL!" Harry roared at the snake, which was in the process of crushing another part of wall. The previously bloodthirsty serpent flinched and scooted back quickly – or at least as quickly as such a gigantic Summon could.

"SOKACHI! " The serpent flinched at the commanding voice.

"M – Master?" It whimpered out, all three heads fearfully watching the fuming wizard.

An idiotic Konoha-nin got the snake into Goukakyuu, only for his attack to be rebuffed by the same fuming wizard.

"Houka, you had your orders." Harry hissed out, green eyes flashing with fury. The left head looked away shamefully.

"Sora, I know you're daydreaming most of the time, but this was NOT the right time to do something so stupid. You promised to abstain from following the fake Sannin, and I believed you." Harry continued, his voice still pissed out, but a little calmer now. The right head emitted something like a… whimper?

Green eyes zeroed to the middle head which was swaying nervously.

"And you, Tsuchi – I trusted you to keep the two idiots in line. You at least were grounded enough to rationally think for all three of you."

With each spoken word, the previously homogonous snake seemed to curl into itself with shame.

"Forgive us, Master." All three heads bowed low, much to the surprise of Gamabunta and his Summoner.

"What the Hell?" Jiraiya muttered, perplexed. Harry-san was hissing something at the snake, and it was cringing into itself as if struck repeatedly? What kind of Jutsu was that?

Harry sighed at the pitiful look all three heads were sending to him.

"I will have words with Manda later. But for now…." He paused looking over the cowed snake, "You go back to the Summoning realm and tell Manda to get his scaly tail here right NOW!"

He barked, and the snake straightened, making both of the factions tense with anticipation.

"Yes Sir, right away, Sir! "

Harry didn't know how a three headed snake could salute, but this one apparently did.

A poof later, the battlefield was bigger and emptier and the invaders were backing away nervously, while the Konoha-nin grinned with blood thirst.

"Let's show them Konoha's Will of Fire!" Jiraiya's scream got cheers and the defenders jumped into the fray once more.

"Thanks for the help, Harry – Harry?" Jiraiya turned to the green-eyed man, but he was standing alone on Gamabunta's head once more.

"Troublesome gaki," Jiraiya grumbled out, smiling fondly, before he launched a gout of oil.


"Ah-Tchoo!" Manda sneezed. An ugly shudder went up his spine.

"I think someone wants to remake me into shish-kabob." The Snake Boss Summon muttered to himself, curling into an anxious coil.

He had a very…. Unpleasant premonition of just who exactly that person was… And he didn't look forward to his meeting with the King Slayer.

He gulped with dread.

Time to switch to a very, very long, no meat, fruit-and-water only diet.


239) Dire wolf

He was free. Free to roam and find game, free to fight and take the names… Err, no. Not really.

The huge wolf was running through the forest, his paws barely rustling the leaves and grass. It was bigger than anything except forthe biggest canine summons and the Inuzuka ninken, but he was also more slender and had longer fur. Golden eyes with a greenish tint were looking out for anything should either enemy or prey cross his path and long pink tongue was lolling out of the muzzle, filled with sharp white teeth. Triangle shaped ears were occasionally swiveling around, catching the tiniest sounds. The animal's fur was long and luxurious black with some silver and auburn mixed in. His distinct markings were auburn shimmer of his tail-fur, ears and paws, while the back was peppered with silver. On his forehead the wolf was marked with a silver bolt that was almost invisible among the fur.

He jumped across the creek, nimbly dodging the sharp thorns of the bush on the way and vanishing into the forest soundlessly like ghost.

This was… freedom.

And he intended to take it with the biggest measure imaginable, to calm the yearning in his wild heart – yearning after his old pack – the Wolf, the Dog, and the Twins and Bushy Fox, and Silver Swallow –

They were torn asunder, war and death and fate scattering them to the four winds, as suddenly as an early winter gale from mountain would autumn leaves on the same tree. Now, he was running alone, into the darkness with no companion at his side, even if he heard the calls of the Inuzuka ninken to come to them, to join with them – but he was always somewhat of a lone wolf, and even his previous pack had to go through many trials to be trusted enough to get the privileged title of his pack mates.

The pale moon was shining on the dark, sky, shadowing the stars that were, ironically enough, the same as those on his world.

When he danced between the trees, nimble paws barely reaching the ground, he remembered.

And he wondered – were they still running on the full moon nights like he did?

Were they still remembering?

Later on, he would return to his new pack – to the Kitsune Gaki, to the Dark One, to the Ravens and the others – the Soulless One and many, many others.

Later on, he would shift into a two-leg again, and tug the Dark One with him onto the futon – really, the Dark One was overworked as it was and he intended to have some stern words with the Old Monkey.

But for now, he would chase Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and have his fill of memories.

And he howled toward the sky, a sound so gentle and terrible and calling the Old Pack, hopelessly beckoning their shadows to run with him once again, the sound so sad and lonely that it broke the hearts of listeners.

240) Family

Naruto tilted his head on the side cutely. Well, it would be termed as cute, if he wasn't saddled with the moniker of being a bakemono gaki. The teacher was speaking about a family – how it was a group that had Mommy and Daddy and kids, with an animal or two, and Grandma and Grandpa too, and maybe some uncles and Aunties.

Now, the chibi was confused. Hokage-ojii was his Ojiisan, and his wife, Naruto supposed, should have been his Baachan, but for some reason this didn't sit well with him. He often saw Hokage-oji, but not his wife.

As for siblings… he beamed at the thought of Ita-nii and Shi-nii. They were the awesomest older brothers in the world! But instantly, his face soured at the thought of Konohamaru. As much as he enjoyed being nii-san, Naruto could deal without the nuisance that was the Hokage's grandson. He would have liked to have Sakura-chan for his sister - Naruto immediately blushed at that thought, but then he couldn't marry her! Oh, the horrors!

Okay, Sakura-chan was just fine where she was. And secretly, Naruto's ears hurt when she was screaming at him. And those bonks he somehow always got when he asked her out were big owies, too…

No, what confused Naruto was Danzo-oji and Harry. If he really tried – and he meant really really tried, he could place Danzo as his Chichi-ue, although the man alternated between being his father and his just plain crazy Uncle. Naruto was still wary of the man, mostly because of Hokage-ojii's warnings, but if Harry liked the man, Danzo-ojii couldn't be that bad, could it?

He scratched his head, pondering the latest mystery. He left it alone after a while because his head began to hurt from all the thinking he was doing on the subject.

And Harry? Naruto bit his lip thoughtfully. Harry was his… okaasan? Well, the green-eyed man did take care of him like a mother would, but he was a boy, and not a girl, like most mommies were. And he still hadn't made a baby, even if he and Danzo-ojii were trying very hard.

Naruto's shoulders slumped. Poor Harry. It must have hurt him, seeing all the other mommies walking around with their babies and him having none of his own. However, Harry didn't seem sad… at least not much. But now he had Naruto – and the aforementioned kitsune chibi puffed out his cheeks in determination – and Naruto would make sure he was the bestest son ever and ever and ever!

… Although he could've done without Tora as their house pet.

The cat was pure evil.

"Well kids, now you will draw your family!" Akiko, the Chuunin in charge of the kids, announced cheerfully.

Naruto nodded with determination and, snatching black crayon, he began to draw.


…."What in all that's holy is this?" Miaka asked carefully as she looked at Naruto's latest masterpiece.

Naruto beamed. "My family!" He told her proudly. "See, this is Hokage-ojii, this is Danzo-ue, and these are my big brothers, Ita-nii and Shi-nii!" He proudly pointed at the mentioned blobs of colors.

Miaka swallowed carefully so as not to laugh at the chibi. "These are Tora-baka and Konohamaru-baka – " Naruto pointed at two distinct blobs – one with triangles on its head and one withan absurdly long blue scarf around his neck - "And this is our Harry-mommy!"

Miaka choked with shock, and, after it passed, she guffawed with laughter.

She had to tell that little tidbit to her ROOT colleagues ASAP.


When Harry found out this little bit of information, it was already too late. Not even a stinging hex or two would deter some of more daring ROOT ANBU from calling him Harry-mommy; Sai was especially persistent in that endeavor.

"I am Midori-nii, gaki." He finally said to the confused and pouting chibi. "But! You feed me, help me dress, an' you play with me!" Naruto protested. "You are my mommy!"

"Mommies are female!" Harry began to despair. Naruto was stubborn on this, and Harry was at his wits end. Naruto tilted his head, looking like a confused kitsune cub for all he was worth. Some females in the background aww'ed at the cute picture.

"Who said you have to be a girl to be a mommy?" Naruto asked.

Harry was poleaxed.

"Who indeed?" He murmured dryly to himself as he rubbed his nose bridge tiredly.

Still, he somehow managed to convince – ahem, bribe the chibi with a plethora of ramen - to call him Midori-nii.


What finally pulled the chibi from the dark side of calling Harry a mommy was Danzo's argument.

He told the pouting chibi that Harry was a special mommy, and thus, deserved a special name to be called so nobody would try to take him away from Naruto.

And that was that.

The picture, however, got a place of honor in ROOT ANBU's headquarters, and the ANBU enjoyed Danzo's twitching eyebrow every time he had to get past it.

241) Makai Tenjou

"Om, ma ni ha setsu…" Someone growled cutely, somewhere up in the rafters. Blue eyes glinted wickedly as the menace made a hand sign, a feral grin on his lips –

"MAKAI TENJOU!" The past phrase was bellowed out, and the victim had no time to get out ofthe way of the avalanche of toilet paper he was buried under.

Mizuki twitched. Here he was, having a prettiful day – was prettiful even a word? – Meh, whatever, and then, the fox brat used him as a target for one of his hare-brained pranks. Eyebrow twitching, he inhaled and –


His voice boomed out, scaring the bejesus out of the civilians and students alike.

When Harry received the notice about Naruto's newest… experiment, he sighed and rubbed his temple.

"Naruto, no more watching Saiyuki for you."

Naruto wilted.

242) Foreign

The only thing that could give Harry away as a foreigner to the Elemental Lands was… his writing. Sure, he could read kanji, however, he couldn't, for the life of him, write the dratted language.

Danzo twitched as he received yet another message in a foreign language that even his best men couldn't decipher. This had to end.

He stalked out of his secret base with a purpose in his step.

Harry was just blissfully unaware of the chaos he had caused to the ROOT's esteemed leader with his little love notes.

/To Be Continued/