Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Naruto or it's characters... I own only this story.

Shout Out: Well, happy belated New Year, everyone! I hope you began to liven it up full of excitement, happiness and grand plans to realise. Myself, I am one little busybody, learning for the masseuse course, writing and writing again, and oh yeah, get my booty moving. And so, this story is beginning to take shape of its own. Thank you for your support, be it either now or in the past – you guys and gals are the best inspiration I could ever hope for. Okay, let's stop with the mushy stuff and onward on reading!

Additionally: The chapters are a little slow moving, but Ibiki will come into the picture sooner or later. Right now, I am mucking around with bridge scene... so that may means there will be some delay for actual chapters. Meep. /hides/

Ne – ROOT – Danzo's division of forces, presumed to be funded and led illegally by Danzo. Or at least semi-illegaly, becamse some operations sure as hell are not approved by Sandaime.

Ryuma – Promoted bishop in the game of Shogi. The characters actually mean 'dragon horse'. Harry is a pawn for Sandaime – a very valuable one, as seen from his promotion in the ranks of Shinobi. I am not sure on particulars, but bishop in Shogi can be, in some circumstances, be promoted, giving him additional moves and points. He may move either as a bishop or as a king, but not as both at the same turn. But in the end, even if the bishop is promoted, he can be demoted and used as an opponent's pawn...

Warnings: SLASH, meaning Akito(Harry)/ Ibiki, and Harry getting revenge on dango obsessed bitc – oops, I spoke too soon. Some mention of manicure, too. Wanna find out more, read it!

CHAPTER FIVE – Primal Fury

We're both the same, me and you.
We're both to blame, me and you.
We've both insane, me and you.
We've both the same, me and you.

(Princess Ai – Primal Fury)

Mitarashi Anko was not amused. And it showed. She was more restless, cruel, and bloodthirsty – and all of it was because of that Cookie bastard.

When they – meaning the T&I squad - found out that they were to cease pursuing the stubborn bastard, she was unhappy, although she had a hunch her superior was anything but, if only because he had chewed out the leader of the squad that caught and brought the Cookie in. She didn't know the particulars, and she didn't care for them – she cared that her little prey was out of her reach.

Cookie was...her injured hand throbbed in remembrance. That bastard of an ass was one of the most stubborn people she had ever had the dubious honor of interrogating. Physical torture that would – and had - send any other man screaming for his mummy, and emotional torture which was even more horrifying than physical one – the man seriously got her to question whether she was losing her touch or not. He did scream, and oh, his screams were music to her ears, but he remained stubbornly mum on his secrets. Where any ordinary prisoner would break and babble out each and every secret she wanted them to, Cookie persevered, much to her irritation and reluctant respect of the man.

The time went on, and winter was firmly presiding over the Land of Fire, and she was still sulking. Not that she didn't try to find the man, but for some reason or another, she couldn't find him, and it was driving her spare. Even her trick with dango sticks and prisoners didn't make her amused, and an un-entertained Anko was one of the most terrifying shinobi in Konohagakure – right up next to an Icha-Icha deprived Kakashi and Sandaime. To tell the truth, she trumped both of them in her scary factor right then and there, but nobody told her that.

Even the bravest of ANBU valued their lives and bits... not to mention their sanity, thank you very much.

When Ibiki had ordered them to cease pursuing the Cookie, Anko was one of those few that didn't believe the bullshit their commander spewed out. For Ibiki to let go one of the prisoners without a valid reason was like Kyuubi playing Ja-Ken-Po with Yondaime and cheerfully losing.

In short, impossible.

So she prowled around to catch the bastard, but said bastard was clever enough to evade her and her snakes, making her even more frustrated than usual.

But then, she had a stroke of good luck. It was by accident that she had heard of a man adopting the Kyuubi brat – yes, she knew about Uzumaki's burden, but it didn't concern her much and after all, she wasn't any kind of Good Samaritan. She had ceased to believe in the goodness of human's hearts the moment her sensei, the bastard that he was, left her – a failed experiment and a target of the villagers' disdain for his misdeeds.

And hearing about that... Koizumi fellow made her gut roll around angrily. How could he? How dare he? He was, because of the Kyuubi brat, an outcast and yet, he dared to behave as if it didn't matter in the slightest. He was also a shinobi, but...

So there she was. Bored, annoyed and just itching for a session of a good old fashioned torture. And being a fellow shinobi or not... this time, her target was Koizumi Akito. Fuck Ibi – chan's warnings, she was a big girl now, and besides – what could the man do to her anyway? She was a Jounin – a Tokubetsu Jounin for fuck's sake, she had been trained by one of the best, even if her teacher turned out to be a traitor and deserter in the end, but that was neither here nor there.

What it mattered was catching the son of a bitch, torturing him to tears and proving herself superior to all those miserable bastards who thought that she was a worm under the soles of their feet.

With that thought in mind, Anko finished her tenth stick of dango and carelessly threw it near the cook's head, making him yelp with fear, before she put down some coins and licked her lips, brown eyes glinting dangerously in the daylight as she watched her prey pass by.

The hunt was on.

Meanwhile, Harry was having his own set of troubles. His beast was nagging him about his newest charge, he had a pounding headache from his practice of wandless magic and he really, really wanted to throttle the miserable bastard who had dared to raise Naruto's rent... again. The flat was okay now, what with all the modifications he had made, but it was just absurd that the fatass who was the owner of the complex where they – he and Naruto – resided – demanded thrice the rent he usually demanded of his tenants. Harry was just itching to rend the man limb from limb, but it wouldn't do for a good, honest, upstanding civilian such as him to use despicable measures such as a murder. He had thought of moving both him and Naruto into a small house, but then, all his effort would be for naught –and besides, Naruto was still safer within an apartment complex with other people, no matter how disapproving of their coexistence they were. If they were in a house, there was still a chance of Naruto being maimed, if not killed, by some person on his way home, but with such an amount of witnesses, people couldn't afford to do such a misdeed in broad daylight.

Sighing and frowning lightly, he massaged his temples. What was with the Potters and their curse of having interesting lives? Naruto was still in school, so no worries there, Itachi was on a mission, the poor brat, and so he at least had some quiet and peace for himself.

And all that quiet and peace were not reassuring. When something was brewing, it was only a matter of time until that something exploded and really, Harry just wanted some true peace. Was that too much to wish for?

He sighed with irritation, half-listening to his beast – he really should have found something better to call his Animagus form other than just a beast or partner, but he simply didn't have the time. Between educating Naruto in Krav Maga, his own training, taking care of the groceries, flat and everything else and learning about the Konoha residents and the power structure employed here more in depth, he didn't have too much time for himself or relaxing. Add that to his private 'sessions' in the Forbidden Forest, and you get one very irritated and very grumpy wizard turned shinobi who wanted to maul something into tiny itty bitty little ribbons of flesh or wood or stone or... whatever.

It was an unfortunate side effect of being an Animagus – and a really annoying habit. How on God's green Earth did anyone with talons of a bird get the urge to scratch at the trunk of a tree like some common house cat? And no, filing the damn things with a file didn't help. If anything, it damaged the used files mighty quick.

So... Scratching it was.

Partial transformation now went much quicker as the stubborn furball acquiesced some of his control to him. Not all of it, but at least the claws and really, Harry didn't know whether to be happy he didn't have hooves or annoyed because the itch to scratch some poor tree was sometimes just overwhelming.

Luckily for him, the Forbidden forest was well-equipped with an abundance of Iron Trees – the kind of trees that had wood like iron and they was just perfect to claw out their frustrations on. Iron Trees were not used much, because of their incredibly hard density – even seasoned shinobi would have trouble taking one of those monstrous things down, because the older they were, the harder their wood became – and because of this, the wood was very coveted for light armor and also very hard to harvest. But Harry didn't have any trouble with literally clawing the tree down – provided he had enough time and an ample amount of frustration to work out on the poor tree.

He twitched slightly as his sixth sense piped up that he had a stalker, but otherwise, he did nothing.

Chimera instincts were a bitch. And with him not controlling all of them... yet, they were a triple bitch. It was an overdose of paranoia that dwarfed even Moody's, and the old Auror was considered a paranoid freak among his own kind. Inhaling the cold air, he stalked through the crowd, resisting the temptation to just use Apparation to get to his favourite place.

Some days, it was a chore to deal with the stupid, hairless monkeys. Never mind the fact he was one of those stupid, hairless monkeys himself.

'Hypocrite much?' His conscience mocked him, but Harry ignored it in favour of walking the shortest route he could find to get to his scratching place, disregarding his... stalker.

Anko couldn't believe her luck. The dumbass was heading straight to the Forbidden Forest, and that was Anko's territory... well, mostly, anyways. Since that... Thing... Appeared in there and hogged the majority of the places, she had only her little tree house and a small glade for training. And even then, she noticed those scratch marks that were too deep to be anything from ligers or other big predators in the forest. Sure, Kakashi was babbling something about the thing with red eyes, but Anko dismissed it as the babbling of some over imaginative man. Kakashi could swear it up and down, but until he actually brought the beast in as proof, Anko wouldn't be convinced about his harebrained story. Although, really what was it that gouged the Iron Trees so deeply? The monster had to be pretty strong and have a sharp set of claws to do the deed.

She licked her lips as she grinned nastily at the thought of finally catching that elusive Cookie of hers. And she would finally break him...

She jumped on the roof, running after the man, her beige overcoat fluttering in the wind.

Yes. Finally.

Fifteen minutes later, Harry was in the forest, heading to his usual patch, when his instincts screamed in danger.


He automatically obeyed the warning – his instincts, were, after all, always right, and they had saved his life more times he could count.

A soft swish and then the dull thwack of those strange knives – kunai, was it? Almost as soon as he heard the sound of impact, he sprang away, and not a moment too late.

The long senbon whizzed past him.

"Aww. I missed." A woman's playful voice made his teeth itch.

His beast agreed.

A singular green eye looked at the adversary.

"Hello, bitch."

Anko grinned a wide, bloodthirsty grin. Even if she was surprised at his reflexes and quick pinpointing of her location, she still had the advantage of being on a tree, while he was still on the ground – meaning, he was a sitting duck.

"Aww. That's not how you greet a lady," She mock – cooed, her mocha colored, pupiless eyes flashing with killing intent. Predictably, her prey didn't even flinch under it. After so many times of being tortured, he apparently got used to it.

"Ladies don't traipse half – naked around, like some kind of common harlots." The man's voice was throaty and mocking, making Anko grind her teeth, but she kept her temper back. After all, she had an advantage here.

"Ooh, you don't like it?" She pouted. "Oh, poo. And I thought you appreciated the view in our sessions. You know, I dressed especially for you, and it just hurts my heart to hear you being unappreciative of my efforts." She purred sexily, while she fingered the next set of the kunai.

"Yes, I am sure you were positively crushed," The man commented dryly. Anko almost guffawed, but then she remembered this wasn't her comrade, but prey and she really had a score to settle with him.

She tilted his head as she watched him.

He was still emaciated, his features still a little too sunken to be healthy, but otherwise, she would have been almost fooled by him, what with Cookie looking like some kind of shinobi.

... Wait. Shinobi?

Mocha – colored eyes narrowed.

"Who did you kill?" She demanded harshly.

A green eye stared at her. "Wanna compare the tally?" The man asked her flatly, making her growl with irritation. "Sorry bitch, but you'd lose."

He was standing down there, looking as if he hadn't any trouble in the world except for pissing her off.

"Mouthy little shit, aren't you?" She growled at him. He tilted his head, like a confused dog.

"And you are a slutty little bitch who masquerades as an interrogator. So I think we're even."

Harry didn't know why he was so... brash against her – wait, he did. The bitch, as he called her, was responsible for him losing one of his eyes, and while it wasn't such a great loss when he was in his Animagus form, it still irked him.

She was a mad dog that someone would have to put down, sooner or later. She reminded him of Bellatrix, but while the Lestrange was certifiably insane and all that rot, this bitch, as he called her, was clever and that made her doubly dangerous as the skull fucked excuse for a witch Bellatrix had been. If he hadn't been trained, he would have broken under her psychological torture, but thanks to Snape and Malfoy Sr., he was well versed on how to deal with such torture. Still, that didn't mean she didn't come painfully close to some very unpleasant truths in her search of answers.

Truths Harry himself wasn't ready to deal with yet.

Besides, baiting her was fun. This time, he could – and would strike back.

He may have been instated as a shinobi of Konoha, and as such under orders of not harming his comrades except in spar of if the said comrades defected, but... fuck the rules. The bitch above him definitley earnes home good old mauling... in a punishment sense, of couse.

The beast inside him purred in anticipation.

He was still tired from his workout, so he would have to play his cards carefully to get the maximum impact possible and revenge in one hit.

He kept the impassive face, but underneath it, he was grinning with blood thirst.

She was snarling at him, like some kind of a wild dog, and he prepared himself.

She was still clothed in that beige coat and netted... Thing that revealed more than it covered, but he was immune to that childish trick. Seen one pair of boobs, seen them all and really, war wasn't luxurious enough to afford separate quarters when on a hunt for Horcruxes. Her skirt could be called scandalously short, but what he was interested the most, was where she hauled her pretty little knives from. Did she have some kind of Mallet space or something?

He had to learn the trick. It would be very useful – Whoa!

He dodged another hail of the pretty little knives nimbly, making her curse, before she quickly made some signs and –

"Katon – Goukakyuu no Jutsu!" She snarled out, and then, out of her mouth, she blew a stream of fire at the shocked Harry.

His hair was singed a little, but he managed to get to safety...

He felt cold iron on his neck.

... or not.


She was happy and disappointed at the same time. Happy because she finally caught the little fucker, and disappointed that he didn't offer a little more resistance.

"Ah, ah... but this 'bitch' thinks you owe her something," She purred into one of the man's ears seductively. "Besides, no one gets away with badmouthing Mitarashi Anko and not pay for it in some way."

She heard an almost inaudible growl of frustration, and smiled happily. "Now, now," She cooed. "You were a bad little boy, so I think you will have to call me Mistress. Or you will lose something very precious..." Her kunai travelled up from the neck to the edge of the man's remaining eye, digging lightly in the sensitive skin here. A droplet of red liquid slid down, making her grin with ecstasy.

'Ha, Ibi –chan was wrong! He was as easy to catch as a Genin!' She bragged to herself. "And to think they rated you as very dangerous." She mused to herself, lightly nibbling on his right ear and making him twitch.

The man stood still as a statue. And if Anko had seen his face right then, she would have trembled with terror.

"I think not." The man spoke out, and then, Anko's work exploded in pain.

He winced as she howled in agony. His eardrums would surely burst after that, but to hell with it.

A wandless Cruciatus was hard to pull off, but Harry was just insane enough to make it work.

She was too cocky. Of course, he could've Apparated away from her little hug of death, but that would be a waste of energy, and he felt a certain vindictive satisfaction at the thought of her being scared of doing anything similar to anyone in the future.

Served the little bitch right.

He cancelled the curse after a minute and looked at her.

She was crumpled on the frosty ground, her skin covered with a sheen of sweat and her face had tear tracks smudged on the dirty cheeks as she had writhed in a futile attempt to get away from the terrible pain. Her once pristine beige cloak was a mess now, the same with her hair.

Those mocha colored eyes looked at him, full of pain and fear. And his beast relished it.

"Not as pretty when you're on the receiving end, no?" Harry spoke out coldly. Inside, he was sick with use of one of the Unforgivables – even if it was used as retribution for her torturing him, it still wasn't right, and he too, was winded.

She sniffled and tried to scoot away from him, making him wince inwardly.

She was... so young.

So foolish.

She didn't know how long she was under that terrible pain. A month? A week? A year?

It had came, a terrible onslaught of hottest fire and freezing ice flooding her veins, making her feel as if all her bones were broken simultaneously, and then forcibly repaired, without anything to take the pain away and yet – her body was whole, as if nothing had happened, making her thrash helplessly on the ground.

"Not as pretty when you are on the receiving end, no?" She barely heard the man speak out, but even then, she flinched and instinctively tried to get away.

But her muscles didn't obey her. She trembled as he crouched down.

She was helpless, nobody was here to save her – she gave out a light sob of terror as she imagined what else the man could do to her now and for the first time in her life, she regretted the choice of her provocative dress.

Her body twitched and it felt like the aftermath of a terrible burn, like she had acid in her veins and hot coals pressed against all of her nerves.

"And that, little bitch..." A hand grabbed her for her hair, making her wail weakly at the aftershocks of that terrible agony – "Is true pain. But you know what's funny?"

Her watery mocha colored eyes looked at the bastard and in that moment, she hated him, hated him even more than her snake freak of a teacher. Her sight was blurred with tears, her stomach was rolling around and she felt sick.

"You were under it for one minute." He muttered to her, tilting his head a little, so that she could see the eye patch.

She blinked, taken aback. "Wha - ?" She croaked, staring at him disbelievingly.

A bitter slant of his mouth told her he was telling her the truth. "One minute, little bitch. Just one minute. And you didn't last." He shook his head as if disappointed. "You make yourself seem so tough, bragging, cursing and teasing... and look at you now. A sniveling and sobbing little cookie, that's what you are."

"Fuck. You." She spat out, and began struggling weakly. His words burned like acid in her consciousness, unpleasant and true.

The man stared at her then he shook his head.

And then, Anko struck.

"Sen'eijashu!" She bit out and two snakes flew from her sleeves, one immediately biting the man, and other immediately wound around his throat.

Anko smirked. " The last laugh will be mine, bastard. You were just bitten by a Black Mamba, and in fifteen minutes, you'll be a corpse. If you aren't strangled first. "

The man quirked his eyebrow, making her wary.

Then, he chuckled, his lone green eyes glinting red.

"That's what you think." He hissed something, and the snake on his neck reared back in surprise, before uncoiling and sliding down his back, along with the other one. "Care for a little wager, Mitarashi?" He purred, his eye dark with an unholy glee.

She gulped, sweating. "Making a deal with a dick-ass like you? No fuckin' chance." She managed to get out, her throat sore with screams.

Harry just smirked. He didn't intend to, but he would have his heyday with freaking her out. Breaking her little superior, snobbish, bloodthirsty attitude would be fun. After all, he fucking owed her for his eye.

"You have no fucking choice," He returned pleasantly, his voice almost a purr, making the woman beneath him shiver with dread. "Your little pet bit me, and if you're right, I'll die in fifteen minutes, no skin off your back. But if I survive..." he paused, looking at her incredulous face he grinned a mirthless grin. "You leave me the fuck alone – me and mine, except if it's in an official capacity. Anything else and the pain you experienced today will feel like a bee's prick in comparison with a fully powered one." He didn't suppress his grin at her pale face when she found out just how much over her head she really was.

She swallowed loudly. He could read the emotions in her eyes. Surprise. Fear. Dread. Wariness...

Well, she didn't need to know that his little torture was a onetime deed for the day, because his magic was still not fully under his control. Him getting the successful Cruciatus cast on her was just a fluke, made from adrenaline and a healthy dose of malice and retribution.

In the war, he didn't use the Cruciatus much – he had bad memories attached to that particular use of magic, but that still didn't mean he couldn't cast it. A Black Chimera was one mean, mad piece of work, and some of its bloodthirsty nature rubbed off on him, thus his need for the Occlumency and meditation lessons. His spirit, or better, the Chimera's spirit, changed him, and not always for the better. And with Bellatrix's little advice... well, suffice to say, any idiotic Death Eaters who were captured rued the day they joined Voldemort. If they thought that the light side was merciful, then they were terribly wrong.

Harry's friends didn't know about his... extracurricular activities. Oh, Hermione suspected, but she knew that if you had to fight fire, you had to fight it with fire. Ron would have had a heart attack, but that was well over and done with.

He blinked, cutting his reminiscing short.

"F – Fine." She bit out, pissed, her teeth rattling in a similarly disturbing manner his had had when he had first experienced exposure to that particular curse. "But get your paws the hell off of my body!" She snarled, jerking her head back in an attempt to get him to let her go.

Rolling his eye, Harry released her, making her yelp with shock and a little pain when her head hit against the ground.

"Suit yourself, little bitch."

He snarked back, making her glare at him hatefully.

She was glaring at him as they waited, willing him to drop dead in the most painful manner possible. The bastard was just... just impossible! Whether he was being tortured by T&I's best team or he was doing the torturing – Anko winced at the last thought – Cookie was just – just so –

Infuriating. Quiet little bastard, quite stubborn but with a revenge streak mile wide.

Her bones still felt as if they were on fire, along with her muscles feeling as if they were dipped in a slow acting acid and her nerves were shot to hell and back – she couldn't control them anymore – her Sen'eijashu was her last desperate try to get the upper hand over the bastard who could've gutted her at any given moment.

Said bastard was sitting in front of her, idly musing about something, his lone green eye betraying nothing of his thoughts. And that was making her nervous. Anko knew how dangerous her little serpent friends were; she had used them many a time to get herself out of difficult situations, and they were one of her weapons for dealing with the more... rowdy and disrespectful village men who thought she would be an easy lay just because she was an outcast.

He was clothed very simply – black trousers with a deep blue jumper and a red and black jacket with a gray scarf that made his facial features even paler than usual and the green of his lone eye even more vivid. On his left bicep he had tied on a hitai-ate with the sign of the Konoha leaf, and his missing eye was covered with an eye patch. Today, his hair was in a messy disarray of different shades of gray, as if it were some kind of mane. She didn't detect any weapons other than those strange black ones and the dagger, but she had experienced firsthand that he really didn't need any additional ones, if his ability to cause pain so efficiently was any indication. In opposition to other shinobi, he was wearing boots instead of sandals, making his legs longer and sleeker looking….

She blinked. Why the fuck was she contemplating about boots making his legs more yummy – 'No! Bad, bad Anko! Bad girl! Down!' She swallowed down a hysteric laugh at the image of her having puppy ears and tail wagging.

Gods… Was she really turning into a bitch, like Cookie had called her?

And wasn't that a disturbing thought. She whimpered, only to see her captor quirk his eyebrow at her. With a mortified blush, she found out that she had whimpered aloud and … This day just plain fucking sucked.

The ground was cold, making her shiver, wishing the bastard had either dropped dead already or the time had moved faster –


She blinked.

Ten minutes had passed – she was sure of it – and Cookie still didn't show the signs of being poisoned. By now, he should have had trouble breathing and moving and he should have been writhing on the ground like some kind of lowly worm, but noo, he was happy as a clam.

Well, not happy per se, but he was alive, and that was unacceptable, Anko moodily thought to herself.

"You should have keeled over already." She ground out, narrowing her eyes suspiciously at him.

He only cocked his head, infuriating her further. "Oh? Should I? So sorry that I don't fulfill your expectations, but it couldn't be helped." He muttered back mockingly.

Anko ground her teeth together. She hadn't been so incensed since -since that lecherous little toad tried to spy on her and she had stomped the toad ten feet into the ground. Not that it stopped the idiot from spying on the onsen anyway.

The Toad Sage was just a super pervert like that.

And someday, Anko swore, she would find out just how the old pervert survived the epic wham-bams doled out from the enraged masses of women, disable the secret and then send him on a short sightseeing tour to Hell and back.

"What's your name?" She asked instead, forcing herself to be civil.

Cookie coughed with surprise. "My name?" He repeated dumbly.

Anko nodded. It was pretty dumb question, but… yeah. The entire situation was dumb to begin with.

"Don't tell me, your parents named you Cookie as well?" She asked sarcastically, making the man bark out with amusement.

"You wish." The man volleyed back. "Although it wouldn't have been such a bad idea, I fear I would have been traumatized by a… unique choice such as this. You want to get me a tombstone or what?"

Wincing, Anko made a sour face as she tried to sit up, and to her surprise, the man helped her.

"No duh, genius." She snarked back, biting back a curse.

"Eloquent as always." Cookie fired back, making her scowl and he smirked.

Harry smirked. The bitch, as he called Anko, was pretty relentless in her pursuit of knowledge about him and well…right now, she reminded him of Hermione, what with her inquisitive nature. When she wasn't cackling or baby – talking, she was an okay person to be around.

"Mm. "He hummed, and she twitched, making him amused with her impatience. She was a right little fireball, that one.

"I am Koizumi Akito." He finally relented, making her blink in astonishment. Apparently she had expected some kind of cruel prank on her, but to get his name right off the bat…Well, it stumped her.

Oh, the joy of mental games.

"Koizumi… Koizumi… Hey, aren't you the one who's the guardian of that fox brat?" She asked rudely, nodding at him and wincing at the movement. Harry could sympathize – the Cruciatus was a bitch on the body, especially for a first timer. He had been under it so many times he had built some kind of an immunity to it… at least a partial one. That didn't mean he couldn't feel the pain, it just meant he had gotten better in blocking it from his rational thought processes.

"Yeah. I take it the news has already spread?" He asked unnecessarily, and she snorted rudely. "Che. You bet your arse they did. Just what did you threaten those old fossils with that they allowed you to babysit the gaki permanently?"

Harry chuckled at her straightforward manner of questioning. "Oh, this and that," he waved her question off nonchalantly, making her growl in frustration. He hid his smirk carefully. Oh, was she fun to tease… His beast purred with agreement at the thought.

/Yarn ball./ Harry froze at the chimed in impression of his partner. Then, he had to choke down a loud guffaw at the thought of Anko in the shape of a yarn ball, spiky hair, netted shirt, cloak and that ridiculous orange skirt.

Yarn ball, indeed.

Chimera sure did have some very unusual categories to file the people they met in. Itachi became Cub, Naruto was termed as a Kit, the Sandaime Hokage was called Wrinkles, and that annoying gray haired menace was Dog Piss – well, he stank of dogs and fresh piss every time they met him in the forest, at any rate.

What? He wasn't scaring the man intentionally... noo, nope, not in a million years. He just... happened upon him and unexpectedly greeted him. He was innoncent, honest!

Amusement was just a side bonus.

"… You are toying with me, aren't you?" she asked, almost hissing with anger. He blinked. "You are fun to tease." He replied back blankly, just for the fun of it.

Her poleaxed expression finally tipped him over, and he roared with laughter.

Anko gaped, but then he began to laugh, and her bewildered look changed into a miffed one, until she had seen the situation from his point of view and her lips began to twitch.

Soon enough, she also began to laugh, and for the next few moments, both of them were laughing aloud, their bellies almost hurting with mirth, as well as their facial muscles.

Unknown to either of them, the fifteen minutes mark was way past and maybe… Anko thought, maybe that Koizumi fellow wasn't so bad to know.

They were both insane, at any rate.

Meanwhile, a shadow vanished into the trees, intent on reporting to its leader about the unexpected development.

Danzo would be interested in that strange power that could cause an almost untold amount of agony, that was for sure.

Much to Anko's chagrin, she was stuck with her nickname of 'little bitch'. Although she did cry herself sick at the nickname Naruto had given his guardian.

'Zombie-san', indeed.

They parted in the late afternoon, exchanging pleasantries and underhanded insults. The shadows were crawling on the trees and the ground silently, like assassins of cold. Harry closed his eye thoughtfully, pondering about what had just happened. They went from adversaries to acquitances so fast he still couldn't believe it. But he got revenge out of his system now - Well, now he knew why was Voldemort using the Cruciatus so often. The Cruciatus curse was really very, very therapeutic, indeed.


He frowned.

Twitch, twitch.

The tips of his fingers itched.

Twitch, twitch twitch.

The itch became stronger, and with it, his dread.

One smug twitch later, Harry groaned and stalked deeper in the forest.

It seemed that he wouldn't be able to skip his manicure, no matter how much he wanted to.

He glared at his innocent human nails. They were all but innocent.

One last tingle had him bolting with all the speed, and just in time, too.

He hurriedly allowed his hands to transform into the claws, the soft pink of human skin and nails became golden ochre tough skin and wickedly curved black claws. Muscles bulged and rearranged and Harry had to grit his teeth as it itched something terrible. He flexed his hands – claws, marvelling at the power they contained within. He could slice apart or choke a grown man effortlessly , as if he were made from tissue paper – and he had done so in the past and undoubtedly, he would have to do it sometime in future – if not for himself, then for the safety of his kit.


Green eye narrowed at the claws. The damned itch still persisted.

Placing his claws on the tree, he pressed down, stiffening the claws and...moved.

The relief was so strong he could cry.

"Mm. Better than orgasm." He muttered to himself, almost purring aloud, as he placed second hand and began, for the lack of better word, clawing the trunk of the unfortunate Iron Tree.

The next hour was a pure bliss for him. At the end of his impromptu manicuring session via shredding two trees to itty bitty pieces, his nails – oops, claws were sharper than ever, his mood also lifted and he had a plan on how to extract the rest of the revenge against the little bitch.

Somewhere in Konoha, Anko felt a cold dread of premonition slide down her spine, despite of her being in hot onsen water. She gulped.

'It wasn't over yet. Not by a long shot.'

She resolved to talk to Ibi-chan and give him all-you-can eat coupon for Akimichi's yakiniku restaurant she had pilfered from Hana in one of their scuffles. It would be her apology for her not heeding his words about Koizumi being dangerous... not that she had any illusions Ibiki wouldn't punish her anyway.

Swallowing her dread about meeting her superior and confessing her crime to him, she lowered herself deeper into the water, until she was covered with it to her nose.

Still, Cookie was interesting. And she always did like interesting things. Her small, tremulous smile was hidden under the watery surface, forming into something a little less innocent.

'Bitch, he dares to call me, huh? Zombie-chan, you have no idea. No idea at all...' She chuckled darkly, creeping out her fellow bathing companions as her eyes became pure black and yellow for a second before they returned to her normal appearance.

Somewhere in the darkened room a nameless and faceless shinobi finished droning the report on his target to his superior.

A long pause, when the shinobi didn't move an inch as his superior contemplated the latest unravelling of the mystery that was Kyuubi Jinchuuriki's permanent guardian.

"Dismissed." An authoritative voice spoke out, and the shinobi bowed before melting black into the shadows.

Dark eyes narrowed. "Sarutobi, you have a lot of explaining to do." The leader of Ne forces muttered to himself, before looking over the reports about one Koizumi Akito. For Sandaime Hokage to so abruptly unveil the ryuma to guard his most precious pawn...The game plan shifted abruptly, and it was yet to be known whether it was for better or for worse.

Right now, the name of the game was... Waiting.