I do not own Highschool of the Dead, nor do I own Harry Potter, both are the respective properties of those who created, drew and published them. This story and all listed Original characters are mine, please do not copy or redistribute without my permission. With that said – please enjoy the story and share your thoughts and opinions with me.
Summary: A holiday to Japan soon turns into a nightmare for Harry when the world ends. Language difficulties, racism, unfamiliarity and lack of trust, not to mention THEM. Its fly and live or fall and... become the enemy.
Komuro Takashi / Busujima Saeko – as I find Rei exceptionally annoying in canon. She will receive some suitable character development into not such an irritating character.
Hirano Kohta / Takagi Saya – adorable pairing, Princess and the Knight, rather old fashioned in a new age. I adore them, regardless of Takagi being a somewhat overbearing character she's one of my favs.
Harry Potter / OMC, or, if I happen to like the developed Rei, I might see myself to pairing him with her. Its a slim possibility though, please don't get your hopes up. I may not even pair Harry at all depending on how the story progresses.
EPISODE ONE – Beginning of the Dead
The night before the world ended, we got into an argument. My family and I.
It got really out of hand, more than it usually does. My Uncle and I have never seen eye to eye, nor have we ever gotten along or exchanged even the vaguest of pleasantries. We hate each other. Him through my parents and me from the abuse I experienced throughout my life ever since I was dumped on their doorstep Halloween Night, after my mum and dad were murdered. That wouldn't be much of a problem in all honesty, I can lie and fake my emotions like the best of them and my Uncle would rather avoid me these days.
The issue is that we both have rather explosive tempers and know the other's buttons entirely too well for things not to degenerate into violence.
When you add my cousin into the mix, who will always take his father's side, large and tightly packed muscle even at sixteen from spending the last two years as a Junior Lightweight Boxer, things just got messy. My Uncle is a large man, blustery and prone to violence and raising his voice. My cousin is the opposite, while being muscular and large, he prefers to get straight to the violence and leave the shouting for later. Me on the otherhand... I'm no stranger to standing up for myself. I'm small and thin and weak looking, people tend to think I'd make an easy target, they soon learn better.
Vernon slapped me hard enough to throw me into a wall though and it just hit that breaking point.
My Aunt was screaming, my Uncle was shouting, my cousin was baring down on me, fists raised. I rolled to the side, hopping back onto my feet and glaring at them.
"Enough! Fuck you!" I shouted, "Enough! I'm outta here. I taking my stuff and I'm leaving." And I did. I grabbed my backpack which had all my clothes in, a few toiletries, my wallet and phone plus a little Japanese phrase book I had bought before coming on the trip, before leaving the Hotel Room. I didn't hear a peep out of my family until the door closed behind me – that was when Uncle exploded into action and started shouting at me to come back and listen to him.
I kept my mouth shut and kept walking, ignoring the curious Tourists and businessmen who peered out of the Hotel Rooms to find out what all the racket at 11.30 at night was about. Uncle flushed an ugly colour and watched me leave with mutinous eyes, he was expecting me to come back but I was more than happy to disappoint him as I walked into the streets and paused, frowning at the alarming lack of people.
When both my cousin and I had passed our GCSEs, it was decided that we would all go on Holiday to a country of Dudley's choice. Originally, I wasn't supposed to come along, but Mrs Figg, my babysitter, had been mugged earlier in the week – she was still in hospital with stab wounds which she could thank Dudley's bestfriend Piers for. So happy day, I got to come along for the ride. And carry all the bags. I don't know what Dudley was expecting when he decided on Japan, maybe he had heard something about Ninjas and Samurai or possibly he was expecting magical schoolgirls who's skirts flew up to give all and sundry an eyeful whenever she lifted a leg. Eitherway, by the time we arrived, he was bitching about how they should have gone to America where there was decent food.
He ended up eating a Wasabi pellet from the free-snack packets which Japan Air gave out. He wasn't happy.
We had gone over during Spring after both Dudley and I had started College, out of the Tourist season with their insanely inflated airline prices, it didn't work out so well but Petunia wasn't complaining when she found out we would be arriving in time for one of Japan's most traditional and aristocratic festivals – the Hanami, when nobles and poets would gather to view the Cherryblossoms. They had been in Japan for three days until the End, visited several of the Touristy locations, watched a traditional Tea Ceremony under the Cherryblossoms, visited the Golden Pavilion – which resulted in Dudley getting them thrown out when he went to try and steal a piece of it, they went to Nara where Petunia nearly had a heart attack when one of the wild-yet-tame Deer ate the map clean out of her hands, Vernon hated the food but very grudgingly approved of the train systems, always on time, always clean and so smooth that it was hard to tell when the trains actually started moving, plus, it was cheap. Petunia adored the fabrics and how clean everything was, not to mention how polite everyone was, bowing them in and out of stores. Dudley was busy ogling the girls, trying to get a peek up the Lolita skirts only to prompt squeals of alarm and the words 'Hentai' and 'ecchi' from the fleeing women. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed myself. I was fucking miserable and thoroughly fed up with the whole endeavour, and somewhat annoyed that I had missed College for this bullshit.
I intended on being a Police Officer or a detective, someone who caught criminals like my Dad – true, I was scared that I would end up like him, targeted by a Serial Killer, but if no one stood up and took them down, how many more people would die to feed their perversions? That was just my belief anyway.
That was probably why I found the sudden lack of people in the area rather worrying. Japan had a very rich night-life from what I recalled, even in such a sleepy little place like Tokonosu. Briefly, I entertained the thought of returning to the Hotel room where my relatives were before sneering at myself, like fuck I was going to go crawling back just because the streets creeped me out.
Shifting my bag to a more comfortable position, I started walking. I knew what Airport we were supposed to be leaving from, I would just go and Camp out in the Departures Lounge until the Dursleys arrived and as soon as we hit England I would be gone. I'd move out entirely and go and live with Sirius and Remus – damn what the social workers said about it being inappropriate for him to live with a pair of gay men, fuck them. Better an obviously loving if unconventional couple to abusive egocentric jackasses like the Dursleys.
I suppose the fact that I left that evening saved my life. The next morning the whole block was completely overrun with "Them".
Despite the general bad vibe he was receiving that night, Harry found himself enjoying his walk through the City. It was quiet and there was a slight familiar bite to the air that reminded him of home, Japan felt rather warm to him in comparison to England, even in Spring. It wasn't wholly uncomfortable, it was just rather humid and it made the stink around Dudley and Vernon next to unholy after a day of trailing along after Petunia as she dragged them through the shrines and such. As much as the men may have been regretting the trip, at least she was wholly enjoying herself, she was utterly enchanted with almost everything she clapped her eyes on – with the exception of the Deer and the assortment of Samurai Swords and Ninja stars that Dudley tried to talk her into buying.
He must have made for an odd sight, a foreigner wondering leisurely through the local streets of Tokonosu with nothing but a backpack, he would admit, he was somewhat concerned that the police would attempt to stop him and ask after his relatives. Thanks to the childhood starvation and the continued deprivation of decent food, Harry was incredibly small and bird-boned, he looked as though he were fourteen instead of sixteen-seventeen.
While he usually had an excellent sense of direction, Harry found himself lost fairly soon as he tried to find his way to the nearest train station. He couldn't say he was surprised, and while it was annoying, he did have his little phrase-book, if worst came to worst, he could always duck into one of the restaurants or just wait until the morning before asking someone for directions. He was no stranger to rough-sleeping with his relatives.
Sighing in amused exasperation at his own unfamiliarity with the area he simply kept walking. If he didn't run into someone within the hour he would just find a good doorstep and curl up in one of Dudley's oversized sweaters.
The first sign of trouble was the young woman who came sprinting past, heaving sobs.
Harry stared after her retreating form with a raised eyebrow and a squeeze of concern, what on earth had happened to reduce her to tears? Briefly he considered running after her and making sure she was alright but his lack of Japanese and the fact that he was a complete stranger might frighten her and just make things worse. So, he ignored the squeeze and carried on walking, putting her out of his mind.
The second sign was the sudden sound of sirens and his having to leap to the side of the street as about three motorbikes in full lights and uniform shot past. Traffic Police? Harry frowned in confusion but continued on, glancing occasionally over his shoulder as he continued to meander down the road, half considering turning around and chasing after them in the hopes of grabbing some directions.
The third sign that really made his whole body clench in unease was the thick blood streak on the pavement, the way it splattered and then dragged for a few metres and splattered again. Before a pair of bloody shoe prints staggered off towards what looked like a nightclub. He swallowed anxiously at the sight of the blood, true he was no stranger to it, but that was too much for a person to lose and remain healthy, whoever it was he hoped they got help and hospital treatment, and fast.
That was when the screaming from the Nightclub started.
Harry jerked backwards as the entrance practically boiled with people trying to escape, men and women kicking and punching and shoving one another in their chaotic need to escape. More than a few of them were clutching at what sickeningly enough looked like bloody bite marks, actual chunks of flesh having been ripped away – there was no way they could actually be bite marks, very few animals had the jaw strength to tear such decisive chunks out of flesh and muscle. The crocodile was one of them but it didn't have enough teeth, or of the right kind.
One of the women screamed again, pointing at him and, rather stupidly, Harry blinked, freezing in place and pointing at himself. He was hardly the most terrifying thing in the world, fuck, he didn't even top 5'5" and he wasn't as fugly as his cousin no matter what directions your sexual preferences ran in.
It was the slow hissing moan behind him that clued him in.
At 2.36am, barely three hours after he left his Hotel room, he encountered Them. Or rather... they encountered him.
He didn't understand what was being shouted but he whipped around and jerked out of reach from the... severely unwell person who lunged at him from behind, breath rattling in his lungs, skin ashen grey and eyes rolling and milky, he looked more like a walking corpse – was he suffering from leprosy? Wait, Harry stared at the blood and ribbons of flesh lodged between his teeth, the smell of blood and decay and something that reminded him of mould and rancid pork. He recalled distantly that most Fire-fighters often couldn't stomach pork, because when human flesh burned, it smelled similar to a pork roast, also that a lot of organs were artificially grown in pigs before the Animal Rights folk started kicking up a fuss. Did that mean that human flesh gave off the same smell as a pig when it rotted?
That would mean...
The thing hissed and lunged at him again. Harry turned and ran, he wove through the boiling crowd of screaming and yelling men and women as they fled down the street away from the creature – several clutching bloody wounds falling at the wayside, spitting up blood and sobbing in confusion as their bodies failed them and more of the things shuffled out of the darkness, hissing and moaning, reaching for them with grey hands, and crooked fingers, cramped up in Rigor-mortis.
Green eyes widened in horror as gaping mouths clamped down on human flesh, digging in mercilessly, heedless to the screaming and thrashing, the flailing limps and attempts to attack by its prey. He watched a man with tattoos wrapped around his arms flick a knife from somewhere on his person and ram it into a creature's chest, hard enough to pierce the heart, but the thing just kept coming, it didn't even pause, didn't even register the wound. One of them was even missing an arm as it caught a fleeing woman and, heedless of her thrashing and pushing, sank its teeth into her throat, tearing out a massive chunk. She fell, twitching and gurgling in the creature's grasp as it bent down and took another chunk from her shoulder, she rattled her last breath and then fell still, the creature continuing to leisurely eat its fill until...
Harry could feel himself becoming light headed as he saw the woman move again, limbs twitching and jerking sporadically as another rattle came from her throat, this one a sad gurgling hiss, disturbingly similar to the creature that had finally given up interest in eating her. She stared at him from across the street, her eyes sightless, milky and utterly soulless as her skin faded in the lights, becoming grey and papery, lifeless with blood oozing from the open wounds on her throat. No longer spurting now that her heart had stopped beating.
He ran as far and as fast and as hard as his legs could physically carry him until she was in the more populated parts of the town, panting and horrified he darted into a nearby convenience store and in very rushed and poorly spoken Japanese begged the Cashier to call the police. The man looked thoroughly confused but did as requested, he even went as far as to ask for an English speaking officer before handing the phone over to Harry who explained about the strange riot – leaving out the parts where people were eating each other, just mentioning that they weren't acting like humans and didn't seem to even stop when stabbed or pushed or struck.
The police must have received similar calls because the woman on the other end asked him if he had been bitten, he replied no and she told him, sounding very urgent and hurried, that he had to get to Shintoko Elementary School – on the otherside of the Onbetsu Bridge. Where the fuck they were he didn't have the slightest idea but the fact that it was a bridge meant that he was looking for a river. That would just have to do.
He thanked the woman on the other end of the line and hung up, telling the Cashier in very staggering Japanese that he had to run, he probably totally butchered his words but he seemed to understand 'go to Shintoko School' and 'Onbetsu' if nothing else. The man stubbornly shook his head and scowled, ushering Harry from the store firmly, saying 'no' repeatedly in English whenever he opened his mouth to try and convince him.
Giving up, Harry looked around him at the peaceful street, everyone going about their business without the slightest idea of what was happening out of the bright neon lights of the main-road, his stomach clenched in fear and guilt.
The Dursleys didn't know. They were holed up in their Hotel room none the wiser.
Swinging his bag off he dug in for his phone and keyed in Dudley's number, biting his lip and bouncing his foot up and down as he waited for an answer. It went to voicemail after a few minutes and he hung up in frustration before trying again. Only to go to voice mail after a few minutes. He may have hated them, but he hoped that it was just Dudley being thick and forgetting his phone when they all decided to get out of there.
Taking a breath, Harry put his phone on silent and shoved it into the pocket of his jeans before swinging his backpack into place, using the clips to fasten it over his stomach at the same time. This bag had everything in it, his passport, wallet, clothes, everything and he couldn't afford to lose it in a foreign country where he barely knew how to ask for directions.
He sat down on a low wall at the side of the street, taking a deep breath and thought of his next move.
Flesh eating corpses, check. Like a fucking zombie movie, but at least they weren't sprinters, or anything from Left 4 Dead, they would be pretty fucking screwed if Hunters and Tanks were roaming the streets of Japan. Right, right, right. Ignoring the stupidity of his brain.
It was night time, he needed a place to crash, he'd been up since 6.30am the previous morning and now it was hitting onto 3am, only a few hours short of a full 24 hours. He needed sleep. He needed somewhere safe to crash and he needed the daylight hours to move – he didn't know this city, this neighbourhood, he needed to see where he was going to safely make his way to the Elementary school. Otherwise he would get dragged down an alley-way and killed, eaten alive like one of Dudley's snack-bags. Messy and painful. Not to mention gross for anyone watching.
He couldn't go back, that would be suicide. It was a fairly warm evening so he could, in all honesty, sleep rather comfortably outside so he wouldn't have to spend money he didn't have on hotels. Now he just needed to find a safe place to sleep.
Easier said than done.
It wasn't ideal, it certainly wasn't safe, but it was about the best he could do under the circumstances.
The roof that he took sanctuary within wasn't the highest or the warmest of places, he had climbed on top of a collection of vents, just under the roofing or a little utility room that was padlocked from the outside, and donned all of Dudley's old hand-me downs before curling up to get some sleep, using his backpack as a pillow.
Like he said, it wasn't ideal and it wasn't safe, but he slept. Badly though. His dreams punctuated with nightmares, the hissing moans of the Things, screaming and the sound of crunching glass and metal, the wailing of children as the world around him went to shit. His sleep was uneasy and not at all restful, it was cold and uncomfortable and whenever he closed his eyes he saw Hell. But in the end, he managed to sleep just as green and pink began to streak the sky.
And woke up to the smell of smoke, the screaming of women and the hissing moans of the things scrabbling just out of reach. He yelped like a dog trodden on, bolting upright when he realised their fingers were literally inches from the edge of the vents he slept on, close enough for him to reach out and have his fingers bitten off and heard a woman shriek and what was unmistakably a metal pole narrowly miss his head to scrape on the concrete of the roofing above his head.
"Hey, Lady!" he yelped in horror, ducking quickly enough to avoid the blow before peering at her over the lip with wide green eyes. She was a mature woman, probably a mother or a business woman, with short black hair and dark eyes, she was wearing a bloodstained sweater and a pair of jeans. She had obviously managed to make her way up here alone because there was no one else there, just the moaning and clamouring things just out of reach. How she could have missed Harry curled up on the vents was an utter mystery but at least she stopped trying to cave his skull in when he spoke to her.
The two of them sat in thoroughly uncomfortable and tense silence as the creatures moaned and scraped at the walls below. They knew they were up here, so it was doubtful they were going to leave.
Harry sighed as his stomach growled plaintively, he hadn't eaten much yesterday, the Dursleys weren't willing to waste money on getting him any decent food so he was stuck with condiments and a bowl of plain white rice at breakfast and lunch – he didn't have dinner at all. Now he was paying the price and having his stomach make its displeasure known. The woman was giving him edgy and suspicious looks as well, as if she were expecting him to attack her, kill her or rape her, she was utterly terrified and gripping that pipe so hard her knuckles were white. Honestly, he wasn't sure what to make of her. When he tried to speak to her or even get closer from his little corner – about to fall backwards into the waiting teeth of the things below – she would scowl and jab that pole at him threateningly at him. Once she had even tried to hit him with it when he didn't stop talking.
He got the feeling that she wouldn't be interested in joining him when he left.
He tried to anyway. He got to his feet and, ignoring the jutting pole, began to stretch and pack away the majority of the clothes he had worn to sleep in, the woman whimpered in horror when she saw him unclothing which pretty much confirmed that she thought he was going to rape her. Anger burned hot and low in his veins but he studiously didn't look at her, she obviously thought the worst of him but for what reason? Sure there were fresh eating freaks trying to kill them but he was quite clearly not one of them and not bitten so not going to become one of them, but really, they had never met, she knew nothing about him and he knew nothing about her. Why was she thinking that?
Sighing in frustration he looked at her and tried to speak again in rather faltering Japanese. Explaining that he was going down, did she want to go as well?
All he got was another jab of the staff and a cry of "Ya da! Ya da, ya da, ya da!" she screamed at him, waving her staff frantically from side to side.
He sighed and shrugged, he really needed a weapon if he was going to get out of here alive.
He contemplated the woman's pole, he could probably do a lot better with that than she would but on the other hand, she was already terrified of him, he couldn't make her even more scared by taking her weapon and leaving her up here to die. Well, he was going to leave her up here anyway, but with the weapon she at least had a chance of escape.
He sighed again, he was doing that too much, and looked out over as much of the city as he could. Smoke and flame was the predominant vision, men and women running and screaming, the things shuffling slowly, ponderously and yet menacingly unstoppably through the streets after the survivors. Distantly, he could see the river and he hoped that was the one he was supposed to be going for. There weren't all that many of the things on the roof, he had enough space to jump them and get back to the fire-escape he'd climbed up, the question was, were they on the Fire escape as well? Below it? He would find out when he got there.
Looking back at the trembling woman he offered her a small smile, "Sayonara," he told her before turning and taking a deep breath, hopping back a few paces, for once not suffering the woman's pole as she stared at him in stupefied disbelief, and ran.
Bending his leg at the edge of the roof, he launched himself up and over the squirming mass of creatures. The woman screamed behind him and his legs hit the concrete of the roof. Shock jarred up his body and his teeth as he tucked his body forward and rolled to prevent himself from breaking his ankles or harming himself. Climbing to his feet, he half expected to find the creatures baring down on him, but none of them had even noticed his escape, they were still busy trying to claw the shrieking woman down from the top of the roof.
He turned away to check the fire-escape, it looked clear but there was an unpleasant sight below, a corpse, a real non-moving completely dead and non-cannibalistic corpse, splattered across the pavement. Someone had jumped and landed head first. But at least it was safe.
He sighed as the woman continued shrieking after him, he recognised some of the words, such as 'save me' and 'bastard foreigner' and 'please oh god please'. Huffing irately about pushy women, he made his way to the opposite side of the roof to the fire-escape, he gestured at her to be quiet, when she had finally ceased shrieking at him, he opened his mouth and started shouting at the things. Drawing their attention away from the woman and towards him.
Being both swifter and lighter on his feet than the things, he easily ran along the edge of the roof and made his way back to the roof where the woman was leaning down and watching them shuffle away with hissing moans of hunger.
"Quickly, quickly," he told her in an undertone, helping her down, ignoring the way she fairly shoved him away once she was on the same level, he also ignored how she gripped her pole and glared at him warningly.
Gesturing at her to follow, he quickly made his way to the fire-escape and began to climb down, the woman seemed determined to have him go first, probably thinking that he would be the one to get chomped so better him than her. Elitist bitch.
They were just reaching the bottom floor when the window shattered.
The woman screamed as one of the things lunged at her, clawed fingers digging into her calves as teeth latched onto her Achilles tendon and tore it out. All her motor-control went to hell as she flailed, lashing out with the pole and striking Harry around the face with it, making him tumble backwards as he caught the pole and fell out of the fire-escape. Landing hard on the concrete below, all the air being forced out of his lungs, metal pipe in hand and clattering noisily on the ground as the woman screamed blue murder, unable to escape and already blinded with the pain of having her tendon torn out – flopping around like a marionette.
However these things picked their prey, Harry was horrified and frightened to realise that there was a large number of them converging on them right now. The woman was certainly kicking up enough racket to wake the dead – apparently she was summoning them now as well.
All too soon he heard the familiar death rattle as he staggered to his feet, thanking the padding of his backpack as he struggled to breathe and grabbed the metal pipe. If he hadn't been wearing the bag stuffed with clothes, that fall would have been a lot worse, and he would be unable to move and thus dead. Retreating down the alleyway, he nimbly climbed the chain-link fence and dropped down to the other side, startling a cat from under a dumpster before he hurried on.
Not even ten O'clock and he had already seen a woman die and nearly done so himself. This was not a good omen.
And that's Episode One finished. For those of you confused with the timeline, this is now the Day of Infection - which I recently discovered was April 13th. The same day that Komuro's school gets attacked. This is Z-day. Harry encounters Them for the first time at 2.30am on this day. He goes to sleep at 3am and wakes up at roughly 8am, after about five hours sleep. I'm trying to keep the plot from progressing in an unrealistically speedy fashion but that's the problem with fictions like this, you do tend to pack a lot into a chapter.
As for Harry's attitude, I know this will be an issue for some people, but I'm trying to keep him as close to canon as possible while enhancing certain characteristics that seem to be logical in him. Such as his ability to adapt to the situation, he's always been adaptive in the books and now, without magic, he's had to increase that ability three fold in order to stay safe and comfortable. Because lets face it, if Stonewall is anything like the public school I went to, people would be getting stabbed, Harry's going to have some measure of badassity. That will feature later.