(((((||||||||Harry Potter, to JK Rowling Belongs!|||||||||)))))))

((((((((||||||| Rorschach's Blot, for Mr. Black is Responsible!|||||||||||||)))))))

(((((((||||||||Hidan's God, from Calyspo-Antonsen came!|||||||)))))))))



AN: Apparently, FFnet is removing "" repeatedly from my upload for some reason; I'll fix it, but it might take time. Sorry!

As Hidan began to whimper at his literally 'god'-given fate, the rest of the Akatsuki members who had been relieved by the announcement were beginning to realize – based on the utter looks of horror and despair on the faces of no less than Uchiha Itachi, Kakuzu, and Hidan – that the punishments to follow would not be as much of a walk in the park as they previously thought. Hidan levered himself off of the scythe, falling onto the debris of the former cave strewn about the ground. As he crawled over to the feet of his 'Jashin-sama', he began his plaintive moan.

"Ohhh, no, Jashin-SAMA! PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME DO IT! I'll do anything – I'll make small children laugh, and give out free teddy bears to orphans – ANYTHING!"

It was safe to say that Hidan's deepest fears, having been awakened in such a manner, were now far more in control of him that he was. Deidara merely looked on, before turning to his artistic rival and saying,

"Sasori-sempai…I had D-ranks in Iwa, and they weren't exactly an art expo, but…isn't this a bit far?"

Sasori, not having any real experience with either D-ranks or emotional responses in general, could only shrug. Kakuzu, meanwhile, had begun contemplating exactly how much money this was going to set him back; he didn't calculate based on the Akatsuki, given that they had been about to disband (and he was going to steal that money anyway, so it was already figured into the calculations of his own finances). If each member did approximately 100 D-ranks per month for five years…and if he could steal all that money…they'd still be broke in comparison given the current bounties and contracts they already had 'in the wings'. At that point, he began to bawl like an unhappy infant and pound the ground with his fists and hands. That was apparently enough of an unforeseen moment that the rest of the group (including the previously panic-ridden Mr. Black) managed to reassert their respective senses of situational balance.

"Jashin-sama," Itachi interjected as he knelt, having apparently become the negotiator between the missing-nin and the ersatz primordial horror, "we accept your punishment of 100 D-ranks, to be performed within the bounds of the Hidden Leaf village….could you skip the Tora bit?", he ended with a whisper.

Harry, having been somewhat pleased that it was seemingly coming to the desired (and to him, unexpected) conclusion of 'I'm the top dog, now do what I say', was startled out of his self-congratulatory mental back-patting – leading to his rather tangential outburst of,

"Genin! Or no ice cream!", complete with waving arms that had been set alight by accidental magic.

Itachi, who was the only one to hear the complete words – or so he thought, in any case – was now thoroughly convinced he was fated to suffer throughout his life.

Konohagakure no Sato, Hyuuga Clan Residence

"A'CHOO!", sneezed the Inuzuka-nin Kiba, who had come to visit his teammate Hinata.

"Hey, Neji! I guess some cute girl was talking about me, eh?"

"No, Kiba-san…Hyuuga merely do not stoop to sneezing for themselves in such a situation," said Neji, as he continued to drink his tea unhindered by olfactory dysfunction.

What Itachi heard 'Jashin-sama' say had been, quite contrary to the actual words,

"Genin [which he inferred meant, you'll also take the rank of Genin as part of your suffering for lacking hatred – Itachi may have taken some paraphrasing liberties there] ! No eyes [i.e., no doujutsu to be used during the 'suffering'] , Team! [referencing the typical three genin, one jounin team]

So, in addition to the perceived sentencing of D-ranks + Tora, they were now to be humiliated with a reduction in rank and to be assigned to the academy teams – not as teachers (though that would be bad enough), but as fellow team members.

Itachi quickly relayed all this to Deidara, Sasori, and Kisame – Kakuzu, Hidan, and Tobi having been respectively mentally incapacitated by the events of the day. Zetsu had been observing this display through his hidden white half, while his black half communicated the information to Nagato and Konan. Unlike the others, the three (well, two and one half) who weren't present for the sideshow of destruction were actually looking forward to doing the punishment. Nagato, having been thoroughly 'de-deified' in his own eyes, thought it might be a useful step towards finding his place in what was to him a totally different world. Konan wanted to experience the lighter side of the ninja lifestyle, having never partaken of anything but its darkest heart.

Zetsu's reaction was perhaps the most conflicted, if not the most negative. His 'brothers', having been under the cave when it exploded, were now diffused – not quite dead, but returned to the roots and dirt that they had once been part of. Their experiences in that form tempted him to drop his cloak and hit the ground running, literally. However, his more human side wanted to feel what it was to be a child of the leaf.

In the end, any choice was taken from the three; Mr. Black suddenly used his most powerful summoning spell and pulled them ten miles through the air to land at his feet. Harry, of course, would have attributed it to his 'advanced skill' or his 'preternatural sensing abilities' – in point of fact, he had begun randomly throwing out summoning spells out of a dazed and somewhat-disturbed feeling that shopkeepers must be nearby. Once he felt a 'tug on the line', he merely pulled in as powerfully as he could and prepared to give an unholy smackdown on the offending 'haberdasher/cartographist/who-the-hell-cares-die-die-die!'. Upon seeing the three Akatsuki members before him, he could only remark as he resheathed his scythe and released his overwhelming urge to destroy,

"Oh…it's only you".

Just prior to this unexpected turn of events, Konan had been getting a strange feeling while Nagato was being briefed by Zetsu on the 'punishments'. Every so often, a piece of her paper would suddenly shift towards the north-east. Having been manipulating her paper for many years, she could immediately tell that there was an outside force pulling on it, however small. As she looked at the paper, she noticed that the bottoms of their robes were also flowing in that direction, as was some of the dust on the floor. She took in a breath to shout out a warning, but it was far too late. The walls of the paper enclosure were ripped apart as the three abruptly burst into the sky, seeming for all the world like newly-reincarnated pelicans that had forgotten that humans don't have wings. Slowly, they began to tumble, having risen high into the sky. As they fell, Konan took the chance to latch onto Nagato and kiss him goodbye, at the same time as she grasped Zetsu's shoulders in a one-armed embrace. As all three were occupied by their unaccustomed expression of feelings, they did not notice that their descent was slowing – not enough to make the landing pleasant, but certainly enough to keep their bodies from instantly becoming tomato paste of the finely pureed variety.

Their unceremonious landing brought all of their gazes upon the most terrifying sight they had ever seen (given the context of having just had the mother of all ass-beatings handed to them and their compatriots without so much as a glare) – Jashin, his scythe held high in the air, face like fire and countenance most foul, preparing to send them directly to the worst of hells via evisceration. Which was rather confusingly halted mid-swing, as 'Jashin' put his scythe…sword?... back into its sheathe and – unbeknownst to 'Jashin' – delivered a most hearty blow to their self-esteem by stating,

"Oh,…it's only you".

It's been a while since the update, but I had no muse! I've got a lot of it now, just from writing this - you'll enjoy where I'll go, I think. I'm not even in the village yet!