Warnings: gender-switched Harry Potter, crossover, language, non-Massacre AU, possible underage romance (non-explicit), and eye-horror/gore/bio-squick.
Disclaimer: I have no claim to either Harry Potter, Naruto, their creators or their franchises. They belong to J.K. Rowling and Masashi Kishimoto, and others.
Let It Die
The Mistress of Death. It leaves a bitter taste in her mouth, that one damned title, and it is indeed damned. She knows well and good it is.
How could she know it would end like this? Hunted down like an animal, no one knowing how useless it is to pursue her so ardently because she's as immortal as it gets. She wishes she'd let the Dark Lord win, wishes she hadn't been blinded by all those pretty, useless words. They're certainly pretty useless to her now.
No, that's not fair. She knows that. Her friends and family, they still stand with her. They still believe in her, they don't think she's a dark witch out to subjugate the wizarding world. If she hadn't stepped up, Hermione and Ron and everyone else would have suffered, likely even being executed if Voldemort had taken over.
Knowing all this doesn't make things better. She's here, bound in chains in the Department of Mysteries before the Veil of Death, and she's alone since the Ministry won't allow anyone in with her. She could walk out, she knows she could, but she'd face a hail of Killing Curses and there's no way she could explain her survival, and she would survive. They already fear her, the population, and that would make it worse.
Being the Mistress of Death . . . She should have just left the other damned Hallows alone, should never have collected the damned things. They've marked her, changed her, and she can't do a damned thing about it. She's tried killing herself, after the conclusion of the war. She's tried everything she can think of to no avail.
She eyes the Veil, wonders how it could be any worse than what she would face if she stayed. In the end, it's not much of a choice. If she's lucky, maybe the Veil will actually kill her.
Taking a deep breath and steeling her nerves, she runs for the Veil and throws herself at it. Then, she's falling, falling, and she's squeezing her eyes shut to avoid seeing what she can never take back. Then, she's in so much pain, it's excruciating and she can't even think it hurts so badly.
She feels like she's being torn apart and being remade. She feels like she's shrinking, and her very bones scream in protest. Joints and muscles and everything else continue the agonizing refrain from the symphony of her misery. Thinking is beyond her. Creaking and cracking and possibly even splintering, her skeleton is recreated. Her blood feels too hot, feels like it's boiling under her skin, and if this is Hell she'll repent forever just to avoid it in the future. She's honestly shocked she hasn't yet burst into flames, but perhaps she's just being optimistic and the worst is yet to come.
Lastly, her eyes are affected. There is a reason attacking an opponent's eyes is regarded with such horror in every culture that she knows of. They are a vulnerable part of the body, yes, but they are also uniquely useful and connected, essentially, to the rest of the body. Through the eyes, information is relayed to the brain and nervous system, which in turn control the body's movements. A direct attack on and to the eyes is tantamount to crippling someone in the cruelest, most unnecessarily brutal way.
Her eyes literally feel like they've been jabbed with a lit match, and she wails like she's never done before. Through everything else, she'd been able to maintain at least the facsimile of disaffectedness. She's had bones broken before, been tortured, but none of that compares to what she's currently experiencing. Being poked in the eye accidentally is bad enough. This is about as far from accidental as it gets.
When it stops, she's left shaking. The pain still lingers, nerves still too stimulated to register that it's stopped.
She's afraid to open her eyes, afraid to learn that she may have been blinded by whatever just happened to her.
Then, someone touches her. They tilt her chin up with cool fingers to study her face. She can't help her cringing, the pain receptors even taking such a benign action as further stimulation.
"Open your eyes." A woman orders her, voice husky.
Flinching, Amarantas Potter gingerly obeys. It hurts, but she's too afraid not to listen.
The stranger eyes her critically, lips pursued. She's a handsome woman of Asian descent as far as Amarantas can tell, though she couldn't really be called pretty. Her dark grey eyes are narrow and slanted, black hair pulled back and pinned up in a complicated looking twist with pretty white carnation kanzashi decorating her hair, her scarlet lips standing out vividly against her almost paper white complexion. Her nose is too sharp to be considered particularly attractive, and her jaw too square to appear very feminine. She's statuesque, tall and almost gaunt in her slenderness but still quite muscular in the way a runner is. She's dressed in a traditional mofuku kimono in unembellished black silk, but the style is almost closer to susohiki in the way the skirt trails behind her on the ground of wherever they are.
"Shikyo no onnashujin, hm? The Mistress of Death, are you? Girl, no one is master of death. Even gods die. I should know, and indeed I do." The woman tells her, apathetically.
"Who are you?" Amarantas rasps, throat raw.
"You don't know? Girl, I am Death. Or, at least, I'm an aspect of it. You might know me as Izanami."
Amarantas frowns at that bald statement, puzzled. "Izanami no Mikoto? I thought you were . . . Not intact?"
"You mean rotted and maggot-ridden. To put it simply, I got better. It's been thousands of years since my death. I'm a goddess. Things happened."
"So . . . Am I dead?"
"Again, the simplest is answer is no. The long answer is quite a bit more complicated. When you took up the title of Mistress of Death, you essentially bound yourself into servitude of whatever death deity got to you first. Had you stayed in your world, if you will, you would fall under the control of the Celtic Arawn or Norse Hel, possibly the Christian and Jewish God if you were a believer. Here, the Shinto and Buddhist religions are dominant, except for a few exclusively created here like Jashinism. On that note, his followers are utterly insane and homicidal and you would do well to avoid them if at all possible."
"And now? What can I look forward to?" Amarantas asks, tired by now of being used and controlled.
"Now that you serve me, you will be my avatar in this world. Here, there are beings known as jinchuuriki who are containers and jailors to the tailed demons. Demons here are not the same as what you are used to. They are forces of nature more so than evil entities. There are humans, called ninja, who are able to manipulate energy similar to the magic of your home world called chakra. You will become a ninja for the Village Hidden in the Leaves, Konoha. You will watch over them and their jinchuuriki, the container for the Kyuubi no Kitsune, who is called Uzumaki Naruto. You will be allowed to keep your memories and many of your abilities, but not all. Much of your magic will be converted to chakra and what the ninja call a kekkai genkai, or bloodline limit. You will keep your animagi forms and parseltongue ability. The Deathly Hallows will be incorporated into your body. You will stay as immortal as you are now and were, your aging will slow and eventually stop. In all likelihood, Konoha will demand you marry and propagate your kekkai genkai and clan. You will do so, with whomsoever you choose. The kekkai genkai will pass on, your immortality will not. I may recall you or have you move, as is necessary. The transition from your dimension to this one over-stressed your physical body and forced me to de-age you more than fifteen years. This will work in your favor, as an abandoned toddler will have a far easier time integrating into their system than even a five-year-old would. They've just wrapped up one major war, and tensions are a common enough issue for all ninja villages even during peace times. I will train you and educate you as much as I am able while you sleep, but much will be left up to you."
"A ninja? An assassin for hire?" She asks bitterly.
"A kunoichi, actually. And your definition of 'ninja' is apparently far different than I was led to believe. Ninja make up the majority of the work and armed forces here; civilians are only really involved in business as merchants. Ninja are jacks-of-all-trades, they do missions ranging from weeding gardens to guarding clients and, yes, assassinations if commissioned. Even labeling ninja as mercenaries for hire is a bit misleading as only criminals work independently. Most ninja are associated with villages, and the majority of each country's revenue is made up from the pay gathered from the missions performed by their ninja forces."
"So I won't have to kill?"
"Oh, you will still kill. The fact is you'd likely kill even as a civilian in this world. It's a dangerous place. And you've killed before, child. This won't be any different, you will become attached to this place and its' people and you will fight to defend and protect it. You won't intend to care, but it will happen. Now, there are a few last things before I send you off. Your name will be changed. The fact is you're not in your dimension anymore. Your name would stand out, and your kekkai genkai will only make it worse. You will be known as Eienno Sennichikou, Amaranth of Eternity. The next thing is this: I will change your eyes. It's necessary to make your kekkai genkai a doujutsu, or eye-based technique. I need something that easily and recognizably changes your appearance when activated. Now, I won't change the color of your eyes, except when channeling chakra, but the pupils will be different."
"Was that what happened to my eyes, whatever it was that you did to me?" Amarantas scowls.
"What?" Izanami asks flatly.
"My eyes, when I came here, started to hurt badly. That wasn't you?"
"No. Let me see what was done." Izanami frowns, bringing Amarantas closer to her in order to examine the girl.
She tilts the girl's chin up, turning her head side to side and occasionally humming something wordlessly.
"Were your eyes previously damaged?"
"My eyesight was very bad, but I think I can chalk that up to poor nutrition growing up."
"No, why?" Amarantas asks, furrowing her brow.
Izanami doesn't immediately answer.
"There's good new and bad news. The good news is that your eyesight is better than perfect, now. The bad news is I think your kekkai genkai is starting to manifest before it's matured enough. You're sure nothing happened to you that could affect your eyes?"
"I don't think so. Maybe . . . When I was twelve, there was an . . . Incident. I wound up with basilisk venom and phoenix tears in my bloodstream, and it's never left. Would that have any bearing on the situation?"
"I'd say, in light of all this, yes. Also, congratulations. You're probably the most toxic entity in existence, and one of the most deadly. Your kekkai genkai is apparently made to kill; once you learn how to channel chakra, you'll most likely be able to kill just with your voice and possibly your gaze. I'll need to apply a seal to control those abilities so you can function in society without killing everyone around you."
Amaranth pales dramatically.
"Do it. Now. Please." The last word is tacked on, almost as an afterthought.
"Let me finish your eyes, then we'll start on the seals."
Amarantas says nothing, just holds still and waits anxiously for the inevitable.
She has to fight not to flinch and pull away when Izanami brings one manicured hand up to her face, the nails long, and uses one to draw directly on the retina of her right eye. This means the goddess literally punctures her eyeball to reach her destination. Blood and other unmentionable fluids run from her eye socket, and Amarantas shrieks despite her throat still being so raw from earlier. She honestly can't help it.
"Stop it. Hush, girl, I'm almost done." Izanami snaps. Finally, she removes her finger and starts to heal Amarantas from whatever she did.
"Was that absolutely necessary, to gouge out my eye? Couldn't you have warned me, first?" Amarantas hisses, understandably upset as she nurses the now healed injury.
"It was. Warning you wouldn't have made a difference, it had to be done and you would have been worse off if I allowed you to tense up before starting. Now, turn around. The seal will be applied to your lower back, and possibly your stomach if the seal isn't stable enough on it's own." Izanami says brusquely.
"Will you be carving it into my flesh or is there a worse technique you've been saving up to inflict on someone?" Amarantas asks sarcastically.
"Avatar or not, you will show me respect. I am still a goddess, and I will not tolerate disrespect from some immortal upstart. Hold your tongue or I will ensure that you lose it. Am I understood?" Izanami growls, eyes darkening.
Amarantas narrows her own eyes, ignoring the way the right one stings. She says nothing, even as Izanami digs her nails into the girl's arms where she is being grasped.
"Am I understood?" Izanami repeats, her voice lower and more poisonous.
" . . . Yes." Amarantas grudgingly replies.
"Splendid. The seal will be tattooed into your flesh."
Amarantas says nothing, knowing nothing she could possibly voice would make any difference.
The small of her back stings and burns, as a normal tattoo would. The difference is that there is no analgesic agent to numb the site. Her eyes smart, but she doesn't dare cry. With the one eye only recently repaired on top of whatever happened before she met Izanami, it just doesn't seem wise to do so.
"There, you're done. The seal is stable enough, and I can always fix any damage while you sleep if need be. Go."
So Amarantas does.
Kanzashi – hair ornaments for women
Mofuku – women's kimono, usually black silk with no decoration except five kamon (essentially family/clan crests), formal garment intended for mourning
Susohiki – women's kimono, usually worn by performers of the traditional Japanese dance or geisha, long (up to six feet long) in comparison to the regular kimono (roughly four to five feet long)
Jinchuuriki – human sacrifice, "containers" for the biju (tailed demons)
Kekkai genkai – Bloodline limit
Eienno Sennichikou – as stated, it should roughly translate to "amaranth of eternity" or "eternal/undying amaranth"
Izanami no Mikoto – Shinto goddess of creation and death
Izanami was formerly the wife of the god Izanagi no Mikoto and died in childbirth, leading her to be the goddess associated with death as well as creation.
Also, Izanami is (I think) associated with white carnations.
Amaranth – Greek (immortal, undying, unfading), globe amaranth means "immortal love" while the subspecies love-lies-bleeding means "hopelessness"
Many, many thanks to Wikipedia. Except for the carnation-thing. I can't remember where I found that. Any corrections are welcome, as is constructive criticism.