Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Harry Potter and am making no money from this.
The idea for the story was given to me by michael68 who has also given a lot of help since then. I've never tried writing something quite like this before so I hope you all enjoy it.
This is now an edited version of the original. Darkest Melody was unable to continue so I have decided to go back to work on it. Be warned updates will be rather slow.
Harry stared down at the rapidly decomposing body before him in shock. It was over, finally everything was over. The young Auror smiled tiredly and turned to face the rest of the battlefield, staggering slightly as he did so. That last spell must have taken more out of him than he'd thought, despite the fact he was using the Elder Wand. His smile widened as he saw the others rejoicing as the last Death Eater fell.
"Harry!" He turned slightly and smiled at the witch that had called his name before catching her.
"You did it Harry, we're free." Hermione whispered in his ear before kissing him. He eagerly returned the kiss, swaying on his feet from exhaustion. Hermione pulled back and frowned.
"Are you alright?"
"Just tired Mione, I'll be fine." He smiled, refusing to show how worried he was, something was definitely wrong. Hermione wrapped an arm around his waist and they began to walk away. She tightened her grip as he staggered and then screamed for help as Harry's legs gave way. She held his weight as best as she could, lowering them both to the blood soaked ground.
"Harry? What is it? What's wrong?" Hermione asked even as she began running diagnostic spells over her fiancé.
"Hermione." Harry whispered tiredly. He was so tired, he just wanted to sleep.
"No Harry! Don't close your eyes love. You hear me, stay awake!" Harry struggled to keep his eyes open as his mind registered the sheer panic in her voice. Hermione never panicked, she was the most level-headed person he knew. But it was getting harder and harder to do as she asked. Part of him wanted to give into the approaching blackness, to just surrender to the silence but another part was panicking. He had done his duty and fulfilled the stupid prophecy so why was this happening? He had mastered all three of the Hallows and had destroyed Riddle so why was this happening? Was he destined to never know what it was to truly live? No! He had to fight; he had to stay for Hermione, for his friends. He couldn't give in no matter how tired he was. He forced his eyes open further and locked his gaze on Hermione, his beautiful Mione. He smiled up at her and she smiled back at him through her tears, long brown hair shielding her face from everyone else. He didn't look away even as he felt the healers surrounding them. He managed to raise his arm, reaching for her face but he couldn't reach it. Seeing his intention she grasped his hand and held it to her face.
"So beautiful, my Hermione." He whispered, eyelids fluttering tiredly.
"Hang on Harry, please hang on." She begged him, clutching his hand desperately. He squeezed back weakly. Despite his wishes he could feel the strength steadily draining from his body. He smiled at her again even as he noticed the others dropping to their knees close by although out of the Healers way.
"What's going on? He won, didn't he?" Harry managed to look over at Ron as his partner spoke. The Healers exchanged looks and Harry sighed, he knew without them having to say anything.
"I'm dieing." He whispered.
"No! Just relax mate, we'll get you out of here and all fixed up, you'll see." Ron argued. Harry managed a soft but weary laugh.
"Take care of everyone for me brother." He could tell his voice was fading but then again his sight was dimming too so it didn't really matter. He couldn't see Ron anymore. All he could see was Hermione's tearstained face.
"I love you." He breathed and she smiled sadly.
"I love you too." She bent down and sealed their lips together. Harry tried to respond but he no longer had any control over his body. He sighed and his eyes slid shut as the world went dark and cold.
Minato held the small child close as he tore onto the battlefield. His heart was torn by what he planned to do. He would do anything to protect his people but to place such a burden on a child, and a newborn at that? He could only pray that one day the small bundle he held in his arms would be able to forgive him for what he was about to do. He smiled down even as the child gurgled and clutched at his clothes. How could he even be thinking of doing this to a child and not any child but his own flesh and blood? With his Kushina's death in he was all Naruto had left and he was planning to sacrifice the boy to stop the Kyuubi. Why did he have to be the last of his family? He hoped with all his heart that the village would see the boy as a hero but he knew they wouldn't.
"Forgive me Naruto." He whispered just before he reached the actual battle.
Kyuubi roared in frustrated anger as he felt himself being drawn into the body of the small human baby. He tried to fight the pull but it was no use and as the last piece of his soul was absorbed and thrust into a cage he felt consciousness leaving him but not before he felt something very odd. He was not the only one sealed within the child.
Emerald eyes snapped open for a second as their owner felt something change but he simply didn't have the strength to stay awake and so they slowly drifted shut again. If he had been more awake he would have realised that something was very wrong however he simply wasn't able to. He had no true awareness or memories he simply existed in a world of darkness and cold. Had he been aware he would most likely be cursing his luck and threatening to hex the dieing Yondaime for what he had done so perhaps it was for the best that he was in his current state.
Several people stared down at the crying child, unaware of what was happening within him. Power, different to that they were used to was slowly integrating itself into his small body and the seal on his stomach, strengthening it in some ways. Had a Hyuuga been there they would have fainted from shock as a second set of chakra coils began developing as well. Not even a member of that esteemed clan would have managed to see the vague outline of even a third set, a set that would not develop for several years to come.
Harry sighed and looked around his little corner. He wasn't entirely sure how long he'd been here considering there had been a period of time when he had either been unaware or completely amnesiac but he knew it had been several years. He also didn't really know where here was although he had some pretty scary ideas considering his last memories were of dieing. Either this was some sort of purgatory or his soul had somehow been contained in something or someone and neither of those options was very comforting. He still wore the Resurrection Stone one his right hand but he had no clue what had happened to the Cloak or Wand and that was more than a little nerve wracking. There were few people he'd trust with that sort of power after all.
Once he had gotten his memories back he had set to making his new accommodations a little more welcoming. The dank walls had been covered with tapestries reconstructed from memories of Hogwarts and his family home while the floor was now richly carpeted. He had created individual rooms as well so he now had a separate bedroom, lounge room and bath. Since he didn't need to eat he saw no use in a kitchen and the bath contained simply that, a bath for when he felt like relaxing. The twenty year old Auror had to admit that having the time to finally fully relax was nice but he was beginning to become very bored and that was a bad thing considering that in the last few years of life he had started living up to his legacy as a Marauders heir.
The only other thing of any note in his new 'home' was the creature caged behind thick bars in the next corridor over. Harry had been exploring the limited amount he could when he had found the room and cage and had promptly backed off. He didn't know what the animal was but it made Fluffy look like a Chihuahua and it was always asleep. The cage looked fairly strong to begin with yes but Harry had felt the evil energy leaking from it and had added his own security measures, learnt from the goblins and curse breakers of Egypt.
Harry glared up at the ceiling, officially bored out of his mind. He had absolutely nothing to do and hadn't for he didn't know how any years but lately it seemed worse. He also had that annoying feeling that something important was going to happen soon.
He sat up and then froze, stretching out his senses to their maximum. Something was different but he couldn't work out what.
Harry's jaw dropped in shock as he made out two different but distant voices. What on earth? His vision blurred for a second and he could have sworn he saw a street of some sort with some people yelling but the image was gone before he could be sure. Something very strange was definitely going on. He was pretty sure whatever it was ruled out the purgatory idea and added more points to the contained in something one. He relaxed slightly as everything went back to normal but got off the bed and got dressed in some casual clothes, deciding to look around in case anything had changed.
Harry stared in shock. Yep, something was different all right. Maybe twenty minutes after the voices and vision he'd been ready to go lay on his bed again when he'd heard another noise. Only this time it sounded like someone was crying and it was close. Being the Gryffindor he was he'd decided to go check it out. So here he was, standing at the edge of how far he could wander staring at the curled up form of a kid no older than four who was crying. He felt a pang of sympathy as he dropped to his knees, he could only hope the kid wasn't stuck here as well.
"Hey there kiddo, you okay?" Harry asked quietly, not wanting to startle the kid too badly. The way the blond head shot up at an incredible speed even as the child, a boy part of his mind noted, shoved himself backwards and away from Harry told him he'd failed.
"It's okay, I won't hurt you." Harry smiled softly, hoping to calm the boy.
"My name's Harry, what's yours?" Incredible blue eyes studied him carefully as the small boy sniffled a bit.
"Na…Naruto." The boy finally answered. Harry smiled widely and sat back on his heels.
"Nice to meet you Naruto. Why were you crying little one?" Harry kept his voice soft and gentle and he could see it was working; Naruto was beginning to calm somewhat.
"The villagers, they…they called me names and threw things. I don't know what I did! Please don't hate me." The last was a whisper that pierced Harry's heart. Suddenly the snatches he'd heard made sense; they had been aimed at the child, which meant he was sealed within the boy. Was it his presence that made the boy so hated? He doubted it and was willing to bet his entire inheritance that the creature was the reason.
"Come here little one." He held out a hand to the boy and smiled softly in welcome.
"I don't hate you Naruto. No child should ever know such hate." Harry swallowed, remembering his treatment at the hands of his 'family'.
"I won't hurt you little one." He reassured the boy and ever so slowly Naruto crept forward. As a small hand brushed his Harry gathered the boy into his arms and held him gently, cradling him to his chest and rocking gently.
"It's going to be okay, I'm here for you." He whispered. He held him gently until Naruto fell asleep and then stood slowly so as not to wake him, he walked back to his room and placed the boy under the covers before materialising a chair beside the bed so that he could watch over Naruto as he slept.
Harry stretched and checked on Naruto who was still sound asleep. At least he had many of his answers now. He'd known as soon as they'd touched. Naruto was he as he was Naruto. Something had happened to split his soul, leaving part with none of his memories to be the controlling force of the body. Obviously he was meant to have been reincarnated and something had gone wrong, causing his soul to be split into two. He only hoped the split had been clean enough for there to be no drastic consequence further down the line but he wouldn't bet on it. He was Fate's favourite whipping boy after all. No, sooner or later he would have to find a way to merge them, to become one again even if it meant his memories and personality were wiped out. At least he had a pretty good idea what had caused the split, the creature and its cage did not belong. He would have to study it further but it could wait. For now Naruto needed him. From what he had seen of his memories when they touched Naruto was going to need all the help he could give him. Harry only hoped his ability to do magic had been passed on to the child.
Harry looked up as Naruto began to stir restlessly and placed a gentle hand on his forehead. Naruto flinched back even in his sleep but Harry kept his hand there until Naruto calmed and eventually leant into his touch. He smiled as clear blue eyes fluttered open.
"Hello Naruto, did you sleep well?" A cautious nod was his answer.
"Where?" The boy whispered.
"That will take a lot of explaining. Could you answer a few questions first little one? I promise you are safe." Harry spoke softly and calmly and the boy stared at him for a while before nodding.
"How old are you?"
"Six." That surprised Harry, he was rather small for six but then again so had he been and that worried him.
"Six years old? Such a big young man." Harry smiled warmly and Naruto smiled back.
"Do you know why the villagers were calling you names?" That received an almost violent headshake.
"Where are your parents? Family?"
"Don't have any." Naruto answered sadly and Harry moved onto the bed, pulling the child onto his lap and into a hug.
"Do you remember them?" He asked softly and Naruto shook his head.
"My parents died when I was very little too." He told the boy, wanting him to know he wasn't alone.
"Who takes care of you?"
"No one, they don't want me." Naruto paused for a bit.
"Will…will you take care of me?" The boy asked almost fearfully and Harry sighed.
"As much as I can Naruto, I promise. I…okay how do I explain this so it'll make sense?" Harry muttered and Naruto looked up at him. Harry picked him up and put him on the bed so that they were facing each other, knees touching.
"Do you believe in magic Naruto?" Harry asked seriously and Naruto scrunched his nose up.
"Is that like Chakra?" The boy asked and Harry blinked. Chakra? He'd heard of that vaguely when studying martial arts.
"In a way I guess so. I'm a Wizard Naruto, that means I can use magic. When I was born a prophecy was made concerning me and another Wizard, one who was as bad as can be. Because of that the other Wizard killed my parents. When I was twenty years old I faced him for the final time and managed to destroy him but in the process I was mortally wounded." He didn't think Naruto was old enough to fully understand the whole mentally and magically linked bit so mortally wounded would do for now. Naruto's eyes widened comically but it wasn't funny when the boy paled and went to run. Harry grabbed him and held him gently.
"Hush little one, its okay."
"But you're dead! Am I dead? Where are we? I can't be dead!" Harry held on tightly as the boy panicked, rocking him and making soothing noises and until he had calmed some.
"You're not dead Naruto, I promise. Unconscious or asleep yes, but not dead."
"Then where? How?"
"Do you know what reincarnation is?" Harry asked seriously and Naruto nodded slowly before his eyes went wide again.
"You and me?" The boy whispered in shock.
"Something went wrong and split my soul in two, you and me. This is your mind, your soul Naruto. I'm trapped in here so I can't care for you in the real world but I will be here for you. I think you managed to bring yourself here after what happened with the villagers because subconsciously you knew you'd be safe. I can't protect you out there but I can teach you things, magic if you've received my abilities, languages, maths, science, medicine, tracking, how to fight."
"You can teach me to fight? Really? I want to be a ninja! I'm going to the Academy and everything!" Harry smiled at the sudden change in the boy, all he'd had to do was mention fighting and the kid did a total one eighty emotionally. And a ninja? Was he in a different time period or a whole other world entirely?
"Naruto, will you trust me to do something? See, I've been stuck in here your whole life and know nothing of the outside world. So I want to take a look at your memories. It won't hurt or anything, although it may feel a little weird." Harry let him think about it for a bit. Naruto stared at him for a while, thinking.
"Will you be my nii-san?" Huh? That was not what Harry was expecting.
"What?" He asked, bewildered.
"My nii-san, my big brother. You can trust family. You're older than me and you said you'd look after me and stuff…" Naruto trailed off, now unsure. Harry stared at the small blonde before slowly smiling.
"Yeah, I can be your nii-san Naruto." Naruto let out a whoop of joy and tackled Harry who laughed and began tickling his new little brother.
Harry lay on the bed mulling over Naruto's memories. Well the first thing he needed to teach the kid was how to shield his mind. He had learnt quite a bit about this new world, sure it was from a child's viewpoint but it was still a lot to think about. From Naruto's memories he had managed to piece together some very disturbing clues. If he was right then the creature was actually a demon, the Kyuubi to be precise. He'd made a quick stop after Naruto had left to once again reinforce the cage. Some of its energy still leaked through but what did he had managed to make sure would be converted to match Naruto's. Hopefully he'd be able to keep its influence in Naruto's life to an absolute minimum; he didn't want Naruto going Dark Lord on the village, no matter how nasty they were. But not for their sake, he knew what that would do to Naruto's and therefore his own soul. So he would do everything he could do make sure the fox stayed asleep for as log as possible.
Next chapter will skip forward a bit and show things more from Naruto's view.