A/N: This story grew from a plot bunny that would not go away. I wanted to sleep, but my muse wouldn't let me until I wrote the prologue. So here it is. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Harry Potter, and I especially don't own the dangerous combination of the two.
Konoha was facing its greatest trial in over twelve years, since the attack of the Kyuubi. The village echoed with the sounds of battle, as the defenders fought valiantly against the overwhelming combined forces of Otogakure and Sunagakure.
The Chunin Exams were forgotten, and genin fought alongside jonin to defend Konoha. Huge snakes rampaged unchecked through the village, terrorizing the civilians trying desperately to escape. On a tiled roof near the stadium, separated from the raging battle by a box-like barrier shining with an unholy light, stood the Hokage and his former student.
ANBU swarmed around the barrier frantically, like moths around a flame, but they were helpless to stop the scene playing out inside. The four Oto shinobi maintaining the violet barrier had placed a secondary barrier to protect themselves, and it seemed impervious to all attempts to breach it.
Sarutobi Hiruzen knew his forces were outnumbered and outmatched, and his heart wept for Konoha. But he couldn't help his brave warriors; he had his own battle to fight. He looked across the roof at Orochimaru, and wondered how it had come to this.
"You have no idea how long I've waited for this, old man," Orochimaru crowed. "Finally, I have my revenge!"
"I pity you," Hiruzen said softly, "but that changes nothing. I should have killed you years ago, when we first discovered how far you'd fallen."
Orochimaru's features twisted with rage and hatred.
"You left it too late, sensei!" He spat out the word like a curse. "And now your precious Konoha will pay the price."
"Not as long as I have breath in my body."
Hiruzen brandished his staff, the alternate form of Enma the Monkey King, and waited for Orochimaru to attack.
Meanwhile, a weary group of genin entered Konoha at top speed, taking care to avoid the areas where the fighting was thickest. They all looked the worse for wear, but the worst off were three genin wearing Sunagakure headbands. They stayed in the center of the formation, clearly prisoners of the five Konoha genin around them.
"I still don't see why we're doing this," Kankuro grumbled. "Our comrades are still fighting, and even though we lost we shouldn't be helping the enemy."
"Quiet," Gaara ordered. Though he was by far the most injured of the eight, his voice still carried a tone of command. "I've given our parole, which means we won't offer any resistance. Try anything, and I'll kill you myself."
"Good decision," Sasuke noted dryly. "It would be a shame if we had to kill you. The three of you are more valuable as hostages."
Naruto, who was last in the formation, laughed loudly.
"Won't the Old Man be proud of us! The Kazekage will order his ninja to stand down, since we captured his kids."
"Don't be so sure," Temari commented wryly. "He isn't exactly the type to give up an advantage out of paternal love. Otherwise Gaara wouldn't have Shikaku to begin with."
Naruto ground his teeth in anger.
"When we meet that guy, I'm going to smash his face in! How could he do that to his own son? It's despicable!"
Gaara's face showed utter consternation. He was still struggling to comprehend this strange boy, who understood his pain yet never lost his faith in others. Gaara thought he'd never been so happy to be defeated. But then, he'd never been defeated before, so he had no basis for comparison.
"Slow down, Naruto," Shikamaru drawled. "You're getting ahead of yourself. We still need to report to the Hokage, before we do any face-smashing."
"Right!" said Naruto. "Let's get to the Old Man in time to get back in the fight!"
The eight young shinobi forged deeper into Konoha, using Shino's bugs as advance scouts to avoid any sizable fights. Before long they came to the roof where ANBU were congregating.
"What's that purple light?" Sakura asked. No one answered, but they all pushed more speed into their tired legs.
"I've got a bad feeling about this…" Shikamaru muttered to himself.
Shino's bugs identified the ANBU in charge, a tall man wearing a lion face mask. He was standing at ground level, relaying messages to runners while watching the violet light intently.
Naruto stepped forward, and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me, ANBU-san," he said brightly.
The ANBU whirled around, startling Naruto into taking a step back. He must have been extremely distracted, if he hadn't noticed Naruto's approach.
"What is it?" he barked gruffly. "And why aren't you helping with the evacuation?"
This was his big moment, and Naruto couldn't resist a bit of showmanship. He gestured to the three Suna genin with a flourish. Sasuke rolled his eyes in the background.
"Allow me to present the children of the Kazekage. They surrender, and promise to play nicely."
The ANBU's mask covered his expression of surprise, but it was clear from his silence that he was stunned.
"What? How did you…" he shook his head, and regained his composure. "Good work, you five. Just keep them secure, for now. We have bigger things to worry about."
"Like that barrier?" Shikamaru asked shrewdly.
The ANBU nodded once, tightly.
"What happened, sir?" asked Shino.
"That's what we're trying to find out," the ANBU replied, and his voice was filled with tension and fear. "But we know the Kazekage was a fake. It was Orochimaru, a missing-nin who left the village years ago. Some Oto shinobi set up a barrier sealing him and the Hokage from the rest of us. Anyone who touches the barrier catches fire, and we haven't found a way in yet."
Gaara spoke up, his raspy voice drawing everyone's attention despite the low tone.
"My father must be dead," Gaara said. "He would never have willingly missed the opportunity to see Konoha fall."
"But if that's true," Kankuro responded, a horrified expression on his face, "then we were betrayed!"
The ANBU captain stepped forward, intent.
"Can you tell your warriors that? They know your faces, they'll trust you. If Suna throws down arms, we can deal with the Oto trash ourselves."
"We'll leave now," Temari agreed. "Maybe we can save a few of our own from this fool's errand."
"HOLD IT!" Naruto shouted. Everyone looked at him in surprise.
"The Hokage is sealed inside that barrier? We have to help him!"
"There's nothing we can do!" Sasuke said heatedly. "All these ANBU can't get in, we'll just be in the way."
The ANBU captain nodded agreement.
"The best thing you can do is protect the Kazekage's children while they rally Suna's forces."
"No," Naruto declared, "I have to help the old man!"
Sakura reached out with a restraining arm, but Naruto spun away and raced to the rooftop.
"Let him go," Shikamaru said, seeing Sakura about to follow. "We don't have any time to waste, not if we want Suna to surrender before any more die."
"Besides," Gaara added quietly, "Naruto may just be able to do what your men can't. I was no match for him, after all. Come on, there's no time to lose. We have a debt to repay."
The seven genin left the area, this time with Gaara and his siblings in the lead. Gaara spared one last glance at the rooftop, where the barrier shone like a beacon in the fading twilight.
"Good luck, Naruto."
Naruto gained the rooftop, looking on the scene with increasing horror. Through the translucent barrier, he could see the old man squaring off against his opponent. The Hokage was wearing armor and wielding a staff. Naruto had never seen him in fighting gear before, and it made the scene even more surreal. The barrier let no sound through, but Naruto could see the Hokage was not doing well.
Then, to Naruto's unbelieving eyes, Orochimaru summoned two more figures to his side. The first had long, black hair down to his shoulders, while the other had an unruly shock of white hair. Both moved with a dangerous grace, and the Hokage struggled to avoid their coordinated attacks.
Naruto saw red. He clenched his hands so tightly that his nails drew blood. The Old Man was in there alone, and Naruto was unable to do anything. The closest thing he had to a father was going to die, while he just watched.
No. It wouldn't end like this! He wouldn't let it! Naruto surrendered to the red-hot rage, letting it fill him with power.
Naruto was beyond noticing, but everyone else on the rooftop reeled from the explosion of killing intent. They looked at the blond genin, who was now covered with red, roiling chakra. Two giant tails waved far over his head, made of the same angry chakra.
He charged the barrier with a roar, and impacted the outer wall with a crash that seemed to shake the very earth. ANBU were blown off by the force of the explosion, most knocked unconscious by the blast.
The outer barrier disappeared like a popped soap bubble. The four Oto shinobi were incinerated by the wave of chakra, turning into piles of dust at the four corners of the barrier. Naruto's wave of red chakra fused with the violet light from the barrier, creating a hellish glow that became completely opaque. The barrier lost its box-like shape, warping violently and shooting out random spikes.
The light grew brighter, and still brighter, until it became a blinding white glare impossible to look upon. Without warning, the barrier collapsed in on itself. Then… nothing. Silence reigned, and the rooftop was empty save for Naruto, who lay unconscious on the orange tiles.
It was a few hours before the fighting finally died down. When the Suna shinobi learned of Otogakure's betrayal, they surrendered immediately. Without the help of Suna's elite force, Otogakure's less disciplined fighters lost confidence. Once news of Orochimaru's defeat reached the front lines, they lost the rest of their will to fight. At the end of a long day Konoha remained whole, bloodied but unbroken.
It was a bitter victory, however. Konoha was a wreck, and the death toll was high. At the top of the list was the Third Hokage, who perished with Orochimaru when the barrier imploded. Even hardened veterans wept openly, mourning the loss of their beloved leader.
Once the injured were cared for, and the walls rebuilt, they would hold the funeral. Together the shinobi of Konoha would honor the memory of Sarutobi Hiruzen, for it was all that was left of him. The barrier had imploded with such force that he left no corpse behind; though ANBU scoured the rooftop for hours, there was not so much as a speck of dust to mark his passing.