Two days ago, it had been a year since I published this fic and started writing. Now, it ends.
This is the final chapter. Might not be as earth-shattering or mind-blowing as you might expect, but here you go. (It's also very, very short.)
Thank you to the reviewers: xLoveChuuChuuTrainx, WinxPossible, Kyuubi No Tenshi, Spider's Thread, The Awesome God Apollo, poprockwitch, Ochibi and Urufu, Flower in the River, GoldenMoon1997, CalcBoy91, Jadesilkmoon, 2amBer, ladyyuuki16, Iloveallanim15, Mon Esprit Libre, hello-totoro-ninja, Furionknight, Veronyka18, Fuinjutsu Sage, Your Local Voldemort, sunfishchamp, Miko Potter, NAIgurl4everz, Kage Hatake-chan and ChelseaAnonymous
Thank you also to Fuinjutsu Sage for giving me an idea that became my pathetic attempt to save this sad excuse of a story.
This chapter is for furuba-suzume for reasons already known to her ^^ And also, this is for all of you.
Chapter Twenty Six: Thank You
What was this power? This glorious, burning power?
A lipless mouth curved into an ecstatic smile. An insane cackle burst from his throat.
Wonderful. Amazing. Addicting.
"Power," he whispered. It coursed through his veins, filling him with new strength. "Lord Voldemort is powerful!"
Voldemort waved his wand and a red spark shot into the sky, much more brightly than was per usual. It curved into the shape of a grinning skull, and joy filled him once more.
"Thank you, container of the Nine Tails Demon," Voldemort hissed. "Thank you for giving me power."
"Because when Mr Uzumaki let Kyuubi's chakra run wild in that graveyard," Dumbledore said, "it affected the spell that resulted when Voldemort and Harry's wands battled against each other. Priori Incantatem would not have worked properly."
"There were cracks in the barrier," Harry said. His voice sounded strange to his ears and he stared at the blankets in front of him without really seeing it. Dumbledore's eyes sharpened and he sat up straighter.
"Is that so?" Dumbledore said evenly. "Tell me, Harry. Did you see any… shadows? Did you see any 'ghosts' of people that came out of Voldemort's wand?"
"No," Harry said numbly. "I just heard voices." He looked up at the headmaster. "Why?"
"Well," Dumbledore said slowly. "In normal cases, you would have seen an echo of Cedric because that was the last spell that the wand performed… and perhaps more. It seems that Mr Uzumaki's chakra interfered with that process." He stopped and stared at Harry. "It seems, Harry, that the Kyuubi's chakra has somehow made Voldemort stronger."
"What?" Harry said, aghast.
"The presence that I sense… it's too powerful to be normal. Something happened back in the graveyard with Mr Uzumaki that I'm not entirely sure about."
"But… if Voldemort is stronger than he already is –" Harry started miserably, but Dumbledore cut him off.
"You forget, Harry, that you were also there, and that you were also exposed to the same effects as Voldemort," Dumbledore said. He smiled faintly. "And that means that you have received the effects of the Kyuubi chakra mixed in with the reverse spell effect… which also, somehow, gives you more power as well."
"Fudge is coming around," Mrs Weasley said softly. "He is weak-willed, certainly, but Dumbledore has done too much for Fudge and he knows that. He trusts Dumbledore a lot."
Harry nodded and tried to swallow. "I see," he said quietly. "Thanks for letting me know."
It was already the last day of term and Mrs Weasley had decided to pay the school a visit; she had matters to discuss with Dumbledore that required immediate attention. They had met in the corridor and stayed there for a bit.
Mrs Weasley nodded at him and then left. Harry stared at her retreating figure, feeling strangely light-headed.
There was a small sound and Harry did not blink when the silent ANBU dropped in from above.
"Naruto," Harry said. "How are you?"
The ANBU captain pulled his mask from his face and tried to smile at him, but failed to do so. He was clad, once again, in his armour, and there was a new scar near his hairline.
"Fine," Naruto said. "No permanent damage. I heard you got something off old Kyuubi here."
"Yeah," Harry said. "Just a little bit more power to defeat Voldemort."
Naruto nodded sagely, but said nothing. Harry looked around at the ninja, who all stared back. Their expressions were stiff and their postures were erect.
"We owe you an apology," Shikamaru said seriously. "We did not protect you."
"I'm still here, aren't I?" Harry said, raising an eyebrow.
"No," Sakura pressed. "We didn't protect you. We did not protect your heart."
"Your mission was not to protect my heart," Harry said, shaking his head. "It was just to protect my physical body."
"Nevertheless," Neji said, "we're sorry."
Neji was hunched over, just barely, in pain as his mending ribs took on the strain.
"But," Gaara added, "we're glad we came here. It was an experience that we needed."
"And we made friends with you all," Tenten said.
"So, I suppose we should also say thank you," Sasuke said almost grudgingly.
"Stay safe," Hinata said. "And take care of yourself."
"Take care of your friends as well," Ino murmured.
"Because they'll be the ones who'll support you in the end," Kiba continued.
Tears pricked at Harry's eyes as he, too, said, "Thank you. And I will."
"So… we'll be going now," Naruto said. "Our mission is officially over."
"Is this mission a fail or a success?" Harry asked.
"Both," Sasuke shrugged. "We'll only get half the money because we let a student die. But we protected you, so…"
Though the ten of them did not smile, the looks in their eyes was more than enough. They understood how Harry was feeling and it was something that Harry was immensely thankful for.
"Will you be back?" Harry asked.
"Perhaps," Sakura said. "It really depends on if we get any mission requests here."
"We might just drop in and pay you a visit, though," Ino said.
"Good luck for everything," Hinata said finally.
Naruto glanced at his comrades and said, "Well then. It's time to go. Be careful on your way home."
The tissue box that he held in his hands started to glow and the other nine ANBU hurried forwards to put a finger on it.
The glow blinded Harry, but still, this time, he managed a grin as his ten friends disappeared back to their lands.
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked the empty corridor. "I am home."
You fucked up this story!
Yes, I know.
The storyline didn't change at all!
I'm well aware of that.
What kind of crossover is this?
My first one.
I bet half of you are reading this and thinking, "This is a shit of a chapter. What the hell? There's nothing in it!"
So, everyone, if you put any one of the above lines in italics in your review, you'll know my response. I know that this story was boring and I know that nothing changed; don't remind me. But now I can finally click on the 'complete' button, sit back and savour the feeling of finishing this story.
But I'm very glad I wrote this story at all, because it's been a huge stepping stone for me. This was my first more-than-three-chapters story, and so I was unprepared and very naïve. Writing this story has made me realise a lot of things which I won't name because it'll take too long. But most of all, it made me realise that deviating from the plot is okay and no one will hate me for it, and it also made me aware that I do not know the first things about a flame. Looking back, I can't believe that I classed the review that I received back in Chapter One as a flame (it wasn't really a flame). Now, of course, I know better.
Thank you to all my readers who stuck with me from the beginning till the end and witnessed my decreasing quality of chapters and still said, "I love this story!" Reading those comments are very heart-warming (and they inflate my ego! … Joking) and I sincerely thank you all for reading.
Eh… enough of all that heart-to-heart… But I really do mean it!
Now… some Shameless Self-Advertising:
I have written another Naruto x Harry Potter crossover by the name of Zinnia. The main character is Shikamaru, who is twenty-nine and a jounin sensei in the story and he has to hunt down a missing-nin who has escaped to the wizarding world. I thought it made a nice change from the usual, so there you go ;D I will be forever happy if you gave it a chance ^^
Once again, thank you. Thank you for the criticism, the praise and the loyalty, because if you guys are still here reading this… I think that's very loyal. Or maybe you guys just want to get to the end already…
Yes, yes, I'm going now. *Waves*