AN: This is my first story, so it may not be that great. I don't have a beta reader, but I feel I did well on my spelling and grammar. Feel free to point out mistakes or give me tips.
I altered some portions of the first and second chapters. While not changing the plot, I believe the changes improved the flow.
So this doesn't waste people's time: female-Harry; AU, more so after the first two years; no slash/yaoi; no purposeful bashing.
I don't own anything but the plot.
Uchiha Itachi, or as was practiced in this new location, Itachi Uchiha, was labeled many things. A genius, a pacifist, a master of his emotions, but what he most certainly was, was a survivor. Therefore, when the newly promoted Chūnin awoke in a mist filled clearing in an unfamiliar forest caked in dried blood he did not outwardly panic. Rather, he proceeded to take stock of his situation.
He began with his surroundings. The trees here, while numerous, were smaller and of a different species than the ones in Konoha. The sun was still on its rise, showing it was morning, probably around nine; the air was definitely more humid, although that could be due to the water he heard nearby. The only thing similar was the temperature, but that did not tell him very much. The only noise was the chirping of a few birds, rustling leaves betraying the presence of small animals, and a gentle trickling of running water.
Deciding that he was safe for the moment, Itachi proceeded to check his equipment. His typical attire consisted of a Konoha's standard dark green Chūnin vest over a dark-grey, long-sleeved shirt, dark grey pants and dark blue ninja sandals. On his thighs were his kunai and shuriken holders, each about a quarter full. Three fūma shuriken occupied his back and his leaf hitai-ate his forehead. However, much of his gear was now brown with dried blood, a problem he would need to rectify as soon as he could.
He silently followed the sound of water and quickly came across a creek. Still not sensing anything dangerous, he stripped down and washed himself and his clothes of blood. Satisfied with his efforts, he redressed. Now for the challenge, he thought, finding where I am and how I got here.
Following the creek, he took off. He soon came across a road made of black stone. Traveling this road was a multitude of large metal vehicles, the types of which he had never before seen. Making a quick decision on which direction to travel, he began running in the direction most of the metal objects were while remaining out of sight.
After travelling for about half an hour, he discovered the destination of most of the vehicles: a building, larger than any in Konoha, or anywhere else in the Elemental Countries, made of concrete and glass, with colorful signs and banners. Hundreds of people walked in and out of this place using large glass doors. If I want answers, I'll need to go inside, but as it is I stand out. Good thing for the henge. He henged into a nondescript young man with brown hair, brown eyes a blue jacket and jeans, and walked inside.
Hours later, the same nondescript man left the building, a mall, he had learned. The security was practically non-existent; the few uniformed guards seemed to lack even the most basic training; most were hardly attentive to their surroundings. While he was inside, Itachi had entered a book store of sorts and used his training to gain much needed knowledge. Luckily the location's language was similar to his own. He was in a place called England, more specifically Surrey and the inhabitants spoke a language called English. It seemed his language was a mixture of this 'English' and another called 'Japanese.' He easily stole a few self-study language books, a map of the United Kingdom, the kingdom he was currently in. He also nabbed a few tourist guides to give him well-known landmarks in case he got lost.
A week later, Itachi had successfully learned enough English to communicate with the locals. While he wasn't perfect, often reverting back to his native language when he didn't know the English word or phrase, he was passable. Learning to read, they used letters rather than the kanji he was used to, was easier with the Sharingan. Gaining information about the culture was much simpler given the sheer number of texts devoted to it, as well as the multiple news programs and newspapers readily available. Using his specialty, genjutsu, he had managed to purchase a decent sized house in Little Whinging, Surrey. His house, Number Six Privet Drive, was identical to every other on the street, which suited Itachi fine. Obtaining furniture was criminally easy with his knowledge of storage seals and stealth, and his house was comfortably furnished within the week. In order to keep him and his belongings safe, Itachi had duplicated the security seals from his clan's compound. Now non-Uchiha could only enter if given permission. Simple, yes, but quite effective.
His neighbors, while polite, were grating on his nerves. When he first moved in, they had come to greet the new neighbor and every one of them asked about his parents. He explained that his father was dead and his mother worked double shifts at a hospital to support them. Thankfully, the sad story and his polite demeanor caused them not to delve deeper. Soon, rumors were circulating about the unfortunate young child in Number Six and his poor, hard-working mother. The occasional henge gave proof of her existence to spying neighbors; that she was hardly seen added yet more credence to his story.
There were a few people he distinctly remembered. First was Arabella Figg, an odd, old woman with an unhealthy obsession with cats. Although she didn't live on Privet Drive, instead the next street over, Wisteria Walk, she frequently walked past his house, paying an undue amount of attention to Number Four, which housed the Dursely family, another distinctive family. They were amongst the first to visit, due either to their obvious desire to appear 'perfect' or simply because they were immediately adjacent to him Itachi was unsure, and had thoroughly disgusted him: he could hear both the fat of Vernon and his son Dudley squelching at even the minutest movements. Not to mention Petunia, the mother, possessed a shill voice sent shivers down his spine, and not in a good way. Needless to say, he wasn't keen on interacting with his neighbors after meeting them.
Once he was settled, he spent the majority of his time training in the woods he arrived in. Despite how weak the civilians he encountered were, the strength of their military was as yet unknown. It was during one of his sessions where he made a startling discovery: he had obtained the Mangekyō Sharingan. His discovery sparked the memory of how he had come to be here.
His clan had revolted. He, along with the rest of Konoha, had been taken by surprise. He had sided with Konoha, which resulted in him fighting, and subsequently killing, his best friend, Uchiha Shisui. He cried blood as he gained his bloodline's infamous advancement. But he couldn't stop there, no; he couldn't stop until the leader of his clan was killed. He couldn't stop until his father lay dead. And so he had fought on, killing countless people he had grown up with; more tears falling as he did so. Their cries of 'traitor' and other such titles hurt him more than the wounds he received.
Eventually he made it to the clan head's house, his house. He could have let the ANBU or the Hokage or any other ninja confront the clan head, but he did so himself; he needed to know why. He needed to know why his father had ordered the rest of his clan, his family, to betray his home. He was disappointed with the answer: power. Once stripped of all the political nonsense and claims of clan rights, all there was, was a bid for power. He was disgusted.
With the fervor that led to him being named a prodigy, Itachi attacked. His father stood no chance. While powerful in his own right, years of sitting on the Hokage's council and neglecting his training had weakened him immensely. The fight was short, but brutal. The ultimate irony was Itachi's finishing move: Amaterasu. Fugaku's own son sent him to Hell with the deadly black fire of his clan's legends. Unfortunately, Itachi didn't see his brother, Sasuke, watching.
"Why, Itachi?" the five year old had asked; the tears streaming down his face served only to emphasize the confusion, horror and betrayal that were alight in his eyes.
So distracted with that simple question he didn't notice a few of his clansmen burst into the room. Only four cries of "Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu" brought him back to the situation at hand, but it was too late for him to dodge. Left with no other option, he had tried to use Kamui to vanish the flames.
Fate, it seemed, had other plans.
Instead of opening a vortex between him and the approaching fire, the Kamui opened where he stood and sent him from his home. The only thing that came with him was the fading cry of Sasuke screaming out to him.
May faded way into June and his birthday rolled around, a fact that only served to increase his sense of solitude. The day began the same as the others, a good workout followed by a nutritious and filling breakfast. However, the day soon became odd. As he was finishing his meal he heard a knocking on a nearby window. He drew a kunai from his pouch, holding it discretely in his hand, and went to investigate.
At the window was a brown owl. That was odd, but more so was the letter attached to the owl's leg. Keeping a firm grip on his kunai, Itachi opened the window. The owl immediately hopped inside and lifted its leg to Itachi. Feeling slightly apprehensive, Itachi formed a Kage Bunshin. The clone grabbed the letter and opened it. Nothing happened. So far, so good, he thought. Not detecting any poisons, airborne or otherwise, the clone unfolded the letter. It read:
Of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Dumbledore Albus
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Uchiha,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. If you require assistance, please mention so in your reply.
For possibly the first time in his life, Itachi was stunned.
"Is this a joke?"
The owl merely stared. Deciding it wasn't worth his sanity to further question the bird, he decided to reply. I have seen some rather unusual occurences, this isn't the strangest. Perhaps this 'magic' is similar to chakra. It is worth looking into.He finished his reply, requesting the offered assistance, and attached the letter to the owl. Said bird rolled its head, as if to say 'About time,' then flew away. Things definitely took a turn for the strange.
A few hours later, there was another knock, this one louder and on the front door. Probably the 'assistance.' Like last time, he drew a kunai and answered the door. What he saw was not what he expected, not that he knew what to expect. Standing there was someone not entirely human. To start, he was short, shorter than Itachi. Next, his ears and nose were a bit too long and more pointed than normal. Other than that he was fairly standard looking, dressed in a slightly too long suit jacket, a white dress shirt and a blue bow tie; he could pass for a successful business man.
"Hello, can I help you?" Itachi asked, his voice betraying no emotion.
"Ah, yes, Mr. Itachi Uchiha, I presume? I am Filius Flitwick, Charms Master of Hogwarts and Head of Ravenclaw House. How are you today?" the short man asked in a squeaky voiced filled with happiness.
"I am well, though slightly confused, as you may imagine," Itachi answered, still masking his thoughts and feelings.
"Yes, yes, that is why I'm here, after all," Flitwick replied, nearly bouncing out in either joy or anticipation. I bet if I showed any excitement at all he would actually start bouncing, Itachi thought. Despite his somewhat cynical thought, he nodded and invited the professor in.
"Now, I'm assuming you have never seen proof that magic is real, correct?" Flitwick asked, showing a hint of seriousness not present before.
"I have not."
"Are your parents in?"
"My father is dead and my mother is away at work."
Flitwick visibly saddened at this. "I'm sorry. Is she expected home soon?"
Frowning, but then brightening, as if he decided it couldn't be helped, Flitwick continued, "Very well then. We can determine how to deal with this later, if you'd like."
"That would be for the best."
Mildly alarmed at how mature and cold the young boy was acting, Flitwick continued, "Now as I am a Charms Master as well as the Charms professor, I shall demonstrate a simple charm that you will be able to accomplish at the end of the school year, should you decide to attend Hogwarts."
The professor then pulled a wooden stick from his jacket and began waving it in some obscure pattern while muttering under his breath. Suddenly, Itachi's new couch began dancing? Yes, dancing would be a short yet accurate description, although, bouncing and swirling would also work. To Itachi's credit, the only sign of surprise was a slightly raised eyebrow. As the couch settled down to its previous, stationary position, Itachi turned to Flitwick.
"Intriguing," was Itachi's vocal response. His silent response was much different. How was he able to do that? Chakra strings. Possible, but highly unlikely. After the initial movements I did not detect any motion that could have been used to control the couch. I wish I could have used my Sharingan, but I don't know how he'd react to my eyes suddenly changing. At the very least, this 'magic' seems worth looking into.
"Quite. Now, you have your list, yes? Then let us be off. Merely grab hold of this parchment and don't let go," Flitwick instructed as he pulled a piece of parchment out. Cautious of a trick, Itachi grabbed hold. The two disappeared. Miles away in London, two figures, child-like in height, appeared in an alleyway.
"That was a portkey, one of the standard methods of transportation witches and wizards use," the shorter of the two stated, noticeably less disheveled than the other.
"Hn, I see." While Itachi's tone hadn't changed, he was upset at his less-than-spectacular landing. What the hell? One minute we're at the house and now we're in the middle of a city! It was similar to a Shunshin, but it was faster and seemed to be centered on that paper.
After straightening up, the two left the alleyway, Itachi following closely behind and to the side of Flitwick. They quickly entered a shabby looking pub which, conveniently, was next to the alley. A well-worn sign announced it as 'The Leaky Cauldron.' A handful of patrons occupied the interior, all dressed in flowing robes of various colors. Two had hoods of some sort hiding their faces from view, increasing Itachi's wariness of them. A bald and wrinkly man stood behind the bar, washing used dishes.
Having heard the door open, the bartender looked up from drying a mug. Seeing a familiar face, he opened his toothless mouth and asked, "Hey, Filius how are you today? Can I get you anything? A soda with cherry syrup, perhaps?"
"Not at the moment, Tom. I'm showing Mr. Uchiha here the Alley. I may come back for that drink once we're done, though. Take care." Flitwick responded cheerily with a nod to the barkeep.
The pair exited through the back and entered a small, bricked-off enclosure. Itachi tensed, anticipating an attack of some sort. His Sharingan flared to life when Flitwick drew his wand. Fortunately for him, Flitwick was facing one of the walls and not the Uchiha. Rather than attack, however, the short professor instead tapped the bricks in a seemingly random pattern then stepped back. Realizing that there was no imminent threat, the Uchiha deactivated his doujutsu. He almost wished he hadn't when he saw what was beyond the wall.
In front of him was one of the most glorious sights he had ever seen. Whereas the Leaky Cauldron had seemed decrepit and ancient, this place was literally glowing with vitality and life. The people walked around without a care, children ran across the street with large smiles on their faces. Shops lined the streets, leading to one massive building. The building was massive, made of marble and decorated with gold. Even the various sounds one would associate with a market such as this seemed happiersomehow, like everyone was a child again and the biggest problem to be overcome was what to flavor of ice cream they wanted. For someone that grew up during the Third Great Shinobi War and had taken countless lives before he was even a teenager, the feeling was new and, if Itachi was honest with himself, nearly addicting.
"Welcome, Itachi, to Diagon Alley."
Regardless of if I learn this 'magic' or not, this sight made being here worth whatever trouble it was worth it. If this is how they feel even half of the time I can see how the people here would become so soft and weak. I feel like nothing could possibly go wrong.
"Marvelous, isn't it?" Flitwick asked rhetorically. "That large building there is are destination: Gringotts, the Wizard Bank." As he said this, he pointed to the marble building that commanded attention.
Itachi was taken out of his thoughts; he cursed his slip-up in a potentially dangerous situation. He once again masked his emotions, replacing his stone-like façade he was known for. "Very well, whenever you're ready."
"Then let us be off!" Flitwick cheered, although slightly disturbed as to what could have caused this child to his feelings so easily. Whatever caused it, he hoped, perhaps being at Hogwarts would heal him.
At the bank, Itachi couldn't help but stare at the small yet ferocious looking creatures behind the counters and standing guard. They ranged from three to four feet in height. The tellers were dressed in expensive looking robes, mostly dark colors inlaid with gold. The guards, however, were ostentatious in a frightening way. Gold, full-body armor with spiked pauldrons and swirls of some black metal attracted attention while the battle axes and halberds, edges gleaming in the artificial light, kept people from approaching. All in all, they were very effective in quelling any thought robbing the tellers. Itachi couldn't help but notice a general resemblance between these creatures and Professor Flitwick.
"Goblins, Itachi. Make sure to watch yourself," Flitwick cautioned, "they don't take kindly to insults and only tolerate rudeness if you have enough gold to make your presence worthwhile."
Itachi nodded and turned to the customers, about a dozen witches and wizards with three children. There wasn't much to notice about them, all were dressed in decently new clothing, probably middle class. There were seven tellers in action, leaving five in the line ahead of the duo. The goblins must have been good at their jobs as the wait didn't last long.
"How can I help you?" the goblin growled.
Flitwick responded in a different language, a combination of grunts and growls with the occasional snarl thrown in, which the goblin responded in. The young Uchiha assumed it was the goblin language. A few sentences later, the goblin handed over a sack filled with some form of coin. The professor thanked him and motioned Itachi to follow as he left the bank.
Once outside Flitwick reached into the sack and pulled out three different coins. The largest was gold and about three centimeters in length. The next was silver and two centimeters. The final was bronze and one. "Alright, Itachi, these are the coins we use for currency. The gold one is a galleon, the silver a sickle, and the bronze a knut. Twenty-nine knuts equal one sickle, seventeen sickles to a galleon. One galleon is about five pounds. It sounds complicated, but it's easier than it seems."
"I imagine. If you don't mind me asking, where did that money come from?"
"Ah, not at all. This actually came from the vault Hogwarts has to supply first year muggleborns and various special case students. It wouldn't be fair if we came and invited you to a school you had no information on and demanded you pay."
"I see. So the first year is a sort of trial period?"
"That would be fairly accurate, yes. Now I suggest we get you your wand first, as with that you can visit here anytime, so long as you have about fifteen sickles or so."
This puzzled Itachi, "How would having a wand allow me to travel here?"
"Why, the Knight Bus of course! Simply hold your wand out and it will come to you. Ask the driver to take you to the Leaky Cauldron and you can get Tom to let you in."
With a nod, they set off to Olivander's, Makers of Fine Wands Since 562 B.C.They entered to a musky interior, dust visibly floated in the air. There was no noise, no sign of life even. Itachi's instincts were screaming 'Ambush' but he stayed his hand. A white-haired with pearlescent grey eyes seemingly appeared out of nowhere and nearly received a kunai through the heart because of it. Luckily for him, Itachi never acted without meaning to.
"Ah, Filius Flitwick, Willow with a Unicorn Tail, a bit on the flexible side, excellent for charms work. How is it after all these years?" the grey-eyed man asked in a whispery voice.
"Still as good as the day I bought it, Olivander."
"Good, good. Now, who do we have here?"
Itachi recognized that this man had power, what type he didn't know, but it was power, so he bowed his head respectfully as he introduced himself, "Itachi Uchiha."
"Hm, first in your family to receive one of my wands? Yes, yes," he muttered the last bit. Before Itachi could respond, Olivander continued, "Let's try a Maple with Dragon Heartstring, twelve inches."
The Uchiha grabbed the wand and gave a swing. A few papers on the counter caught fire. Itachi smirked.
"No, no, let's try this one. Nine inches, yew, unicorn hair."
Itachi repeated the action. The entire counter caught fire. He smiled.
The process repeated a few times, with various things combusting. This made Itachi very happy. Eventually, Olivander gave him a ten and one quarter wand made of elder wood with a core of dragon heartstring. When Itachi picked it up and swished it, after the other two took cover of course, he felt a comfortable warmth travel up his arm and spread out through his being. Once again there was a fire, but rather than destroying something this stayed in front of him and swirled in a breath-taking dance.
"I see we found you your wand, and one that matches exceedingly well with you, at that. This particular wand is good for complex charms. That will be seven galleons, please."
After handing over the required amount of gold, Itachi and Flitwick left the shop. Their next destination was Madam Malkin's for robes. He placed a custom order for acromantula silk with extra maneuverability, which he would pick up and pay for the next day. He decided to purchase a trunk the next day as well, seeing as how he was interested in the options they had available and didn't want to take advantage of Flitwick's, or more accurately Hogwarts', generosity. The bookstore, the location Itachi was looking forward to most, followed a quick run through the potion supply store. There, he picked out a large number of books on a variety of topics, which he purchase the next day as well. It was dusk when they left, after buying the required literature.
"Well, I would say that was a productive day," Flitwick said with a smile.
"Yes, it was. Thank you for taking me and explaining so much."
"Not at all, my boy, I was happy to do so. Now, just grab on to my arm and I'll take you home."
Remembering the portkey, he did so. Moments later they disappeared with a small crack and reappeared in front of his house. "That was called apparition, you'll learn to do that during your sixth year. It was nice to meet you and I look forward to teaching you this year. Alas, I must be off. I look forward to seeing you in class, Itachi. One last thing, to get on the platform you must walk through the pillar that separates platforms nine and ten." Before Itachi could respond, Flitwick had disappeared with another crack. He hurried inside, he had much to do.
The next day he returned to Diagon Alley and, after exchanging some of his stolen pounds into Galleons, purchased as many useful looking texts as he could. The shopkeeper was even kind enough to shrink his purchase for him; all he had to do when he returned to his home was tap them with his wand to return them to normal. That's when the real work began.
With a multitude of books to read on subjects ranging from Astronomy to Wards, with some very theory heavy topics in between, September first came rapidly. With the Kage Bunshin no Jutsu he was able to get a decent understanding of all of the core subjects offered at Hogwarts and a more-than-substantial understanding of most of the other subjects he had available, even if he could only safely make one clone. While he didn't actually cast any spells, not wanting to risk detection, he did go through the motions and practice the pronunciation of many first and some second year spells.
One of the more useful topics he covered was Rune-Based Wards; very similar to Seal-Based Wards and supposedly casting them was undetectable. Unfortunately the books he had didn't offer enough information to be practical, but if he could learn more than he had yet another method of protecting his home, and thereby himself.
King's Cross Station was not what he expected. After seeing the Leaky Cauldron and reading how the magical community preferred isolating themselves from their Muggle counterparts, Itachi expected either a magical-only station or a run-down, unpopular one. Instead Muggles were everywhere. There were more people here than the entirety of Diagon Alley both times he had visited. Making it through the barrier without being noticed may be difficult, but if the entire school population can do it with no stealth training it should be easier than it seems. Perhaps there's a charm that distracts the Muggles from noticing us.
He strode purposefully towards platforms nine and ten, head forward and eyes only moving enough to prevent a collision. No one would suspect him of doing anything but heading to his train. Upon reaching the barrier, Itachi activated his Sharingan. There was magic of some sort where Flitwick had told him the barrier was, but nowhere else. Clearly he was at the right spot, with fifteen minutes to spare.
After gathering his courage and forming an excuse in case the wall actually was solid, he walked into the wall, only to pass through safely. Letting out a small sigh of relief, Itachi gazed upon the newly revealed platform. It was crowded, but nowhere close to the rest of King's Cross. Families were tearfully saying their goodbyes while a few students ran around trying to find their friends. A large, red steam-powered train sat in the background, attracting attention in a gentle yet demanding way. Gold letters on a wooden background labeled it as the Hogwarts Express.
Itachi walked briskly to the train, having no need to stand around with no family of his own, a fact that made his heart clench. Once onboard he made his way to an empty compartment and stowed his trunk, a task made easy with his stronger-than-average physique. He pulled out a copy of The Many Uses of Charmsand sat down to read. The book, as its name suggested, outlined multiple ways the subject of Charms could be used and offered a few example spells as well as referenced books for more detailed content. Inside he had come across sense-altering charms and was eager to see if he could combine them with his Genjutsu to create more powerful and more realistic illusions, but so far it appeared he would need to find copies of the referenced books.
A few minutes before eleven, someone knocked on the door. He looked up to see who it was. Standing in the entryway was a short, slightly pale girl about his age with dark red hair that trailed past her shoulders and covered her forehead, shining, deep green eyes and pink lips. She was dressed in a shabby grey sweatshirt and torn blue jeans. Both looked to be several sizes too big for her.
"Um, excuse me, would you mind if I sit here?" she asked in a small voice, but managed to maintain eye contact.
"Not at all, make yourself comfortable," he replied coolly.
She immediately smiled and her eyes brightened even more than they were before. With an ecstatic 'thanks,' she began to make her way in, only to have difficulty placing her trunk on the luggage rack.
Itachi put his book down, stood and asked, "Would you like some help?"
The girl nodded slightly. "That'd be great, thank you."
Like he did with his own, hers was easily lifted and placed gently upon the rack. Satisfied with his efforts he sat down and picked up his book again. She sat across from him and placed her hands on her lap. She was radiating excitement and was rolling her feet back and forth.
"So," she said, drawing out the 'oh' sound longer than normal, "are you a first year, too?"
"Yes, I am. I am Itachi Uchiha," he answered, not looking up from his book.
"Oh, sorry, I'm Rose Potter." The girl looked at him as if she was nervous about how he would react.
Looking up but remaining stoic, Itachi replied with a, "It's a pleasure to meet you," then went back to his book.
They were spared any potential awkward silences when the door opened and a scrawny boy with orange-red hair entered. Freckles covered his face and his brown eyes announced his unease to the world. His maroon sweater and khaki pants were worn, but still in decent condition.
"Do you mind if I sit here, everywhere else is full?" he asked, looking more at Itachi than Rose.
Seeing as Itachi didn't appear to have heard, Rose answered, "Not at all."
With a quick 'thanks,' much louder than Rose's earlier exclamation, he quickly entered and put his trunk up, though not without great difficulty. He sat on the side with Itachi, but far enough away so as not to intrude upon Itachi's personal space.
"I'm Ron Weasley."
"Nice to meet you, I'm Rose Potter," she glanced at Itachi, who was still reading, then continued, "and that's Itachi Uchiha."
"Blimey, do you really have it? The scar?" he asked, his eyes wide and staring at her forehead.
Rose shrank a bit, unnoticeable to most, but not Itachi.
"Rather soon to ask such a personal question, is it not?" he asked.
Ron blushed and began to splutter an apology, but was silenced by Rose, who did not want to lose a potential friend so quickly.
"It's alright, and yes I do," she said as she moved her bangs out of the way of her lightning-bolt shaped scar above her right eye.
"Wicked," the red-headed male whispered, entranced by the oddly shaped scar. After a minute or two of staring, he was apparently satisfied that said scar was real and not going to disappear. "So what house do you think you'll be in? I'm going to be in Gryffindor, everyone in my family has been."
Rose looked confused and glanced at Itachi to see if he knew what Ron was talking about. He did, as he answered, "Probably Ravenclaw or Slytherin. I have qualities of a Hufflepuff and a Gryffindor, but I don't think I belong in either."
Rose assumed that 'Gryffindor', 'Slytherin', 'Ravenclaw', and 'Hufflepuff' were different 'teams' of Hogwarts based off personality traits. Hagrid had mentioned her parents were Gryffindors and the blonde haired boy from Madam Malkin's talked about Slytherin.
"Why would you want to be a slimy snake? They're evil!" Ron declared loudly, outraged at the villain he had been sitting next to. "And why the bloody hell are you reading! We don't have homework yet!"
"That's stereotyping. You don't honestly believe that an eleven year old is evil, do you? And if all people from Slytherin turn evil, why not abolish the house? Simple, it's not true. And I am reading to gain information; you never know when you may need to know something. Also, I do believe you interrupted Ms. Potter."
Ron turned red with rage, and began grumbling about 'evil Slytherin gits.'
Slightly perturbed by her fellow red-head's behavior, Rose stated her opinion, "I think Gryffindor, both my parents were."
Itachi nodded, but countered, "But not all children follow their parents, you could just as easily be a Ravenclaw. You appear quite intelligent, given that you seemed to have pieced together what the 'houses' we were discussing were."
Rose blushed at the compliment, not used to receiving them. There was another knock on the door. This time there were two people, an average looking boy, a bit on the portly side, and a bushy-haired girl with buck teeth. They were both dressed in their school robes, but with the school crest, showing they had yet to be sorted. The boy was close to tears and looked quite nervous while the girl looked confident, but had a hidden nervousness that Itachi caught.
"Hello, have any of you seen a toad? Neville here has lost one," the girl announced, head held high as she looked down to the occupants of the compartment.
Ron shook his head and went back to grumbling. Rose responded with a sincere, "Sorry, but no."
Itachi, however, gave an easy solution, "No, but have you asked an older student to summon it? I read about summoning charms in this book earlier."
Neville thanked him quietly then went off to find an older student. The girl remained behind.
"What book is that, I don't think that was on the book list. I'd have read it if it was. I'm Hermione Granger, by the way."
"Itachi Uchiha and this is The Many Uses of Charms. It's not part of the book list, but it looked interesting so I picked it up."
"Do you think I could borrow it?" Hermione asked, a strange gleam in her eye.
"We'll see," Itachi answered, not looking up.
The bushy-haired girl looked a bit downtrodden then turned to the other people present. "Aren't you going to introduce yourselves?"
"Oh sorry, I'm Rose Potter," the sitting female said, embarrassed about being rude.
"Are you really? I've read about you in The Downfall of the Darkand theGreatest Witched and Wizards of the Twentieth Century."
Rose shifted uncomfortably, "I didn't know I was in books…"
"Really, then how do they know what happened that night?" Hermione asked skeptically.
"Obviously they don't and simply procured their own theories with Ms. Potter's name attached," Itachi stated calmly.
"That's absurd, they wouldn't lie in books!" Hermione practically shouted.
Itachi raised an eyebrow, "Are you sure? By all accounts only one person was left alive and she just admitted to not knowing she was in the books, which implies she wasn't interviewed for them. Ergo, they lied in books."
Hermione spluttered for a moment then left the compartment. Rose relaxed now that the night of her parents' murders was no longer being discussed. Ron, meanwhile, was eating a sandwich he had taken out of…somewhere during the conversation. He seemed content with focusing on his food and not the credibility of something as disgusting as books.
They went back to conversing, well Rose went back to talking with Ron while Itachi commented every once in a while, often either presenting a different point of view or playing Devil's Advocate. Not that she would admit this out loud, but Rose much preferred Itachi to Ron. Itachi was cool, polite and intelligent. He would ask her opinion, ask why and if he disagreed he would point out flaws and explain why he thought the way he did. Plus he possessed a mysterious aura that demanded she learn as much about him as she could.
The group had been involved in a heated discussion on Quidditch, i.e. Ron was championing the Chudley Cannons and explaining the 'logic' of how even though they had yet to have a winning season they were going to go win the National League Cup this year, when, to the relief of the other two, the door slid open and a kindly old woman asked, "Anything off the trolley, dears?"
With his arms still in the air from his 'dramatic' gesturing, Ron turned and declined, though his stomach grumbled. Feeling a bit bad for him, Rose decided to purchase a few snacks she could share, plus she did want to try wizarding sweets. She ended up ordering one of each since she couldn't pick which ones she wanted, not that she knew what was what anyway. Itachi ended up not ordering anything once he saw the didn't have pocky or anything resembling it.
Ron was in the middle of explaining something about some candy, though what and which neither Rose nor Itachi knew, as the boy was holding two different types in his hand and was chewing on a third as he spoke, when the door opened again. A pale, blonde haired boy in silk school robes flanked by two overly large boys now stood in the doorway.
"I heard Rose Potter was on the train, is she here?" the blonde haired boy announced, sneering in disgust at Ron.
"I'm Rose Potter," said girl responded, slightly wary of the boy as he had seemed like her bully of a cousin when she encountered him at Madam Malkin's.
"I am Draco Malfoy, heir to the Ancient and Noble House of Malfoy. These are Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. You will learn that in the Wizarding World, some families are better than others, I can help you there," the boy proclaimed, sticking out his hand.
Ron looked at Draco in anger, glaring heatedly at the blonde. Rose wanted to keep her distance, but didn't want to make enemies, especially before even arriving at school. Therefore, she grabbed his hand and shook.
"I'm sure you could, but I would prefer to find out for myself. I wouldn't want to act prematurely I'm sure you can understand."
Draco looked torn between being affronted that she didn't accept his offer and being surprised that she didn't reject it. He compromised with a nod. "A very practical decision, I look forward to your decision. Now who are you?"
"Not you, you idiot!" Malfoy snapped. "Red hair and hand me down clothes you have to be a Weasley. No, I meant him" Malfoy gestured at Itachi as Ron fumed and Rose was regretting being polite.
"Itachi Uchiha," Itachi stated, looking up from his book.
"Uchiha, I don't recognize the name."
"I doubt you would. I just recently moved to Britain and am the first of my family to leave our home."
Malfoy nodded; Itachi hadn't mentioned his blood status and he did act more like a pureblood than a mudblood, so he decided to tread carefully should the Uchiha belong to an Ancient and Noble House.
"A pleasure. Well, my friends and I should be leaving for our own cabin."
With that, the three turned and left. Ron, who had been containing his rage, exploded. "What the hell was that? Why were you talking with him? He's a slimy snake!"
Both Itachi narrowed his eyes slightly and Rose looked at him questioningly. The female in the group stated, "It was smarter to be nice than to make him an enemy."
"Well, it won't matter if you're in Gryffindor! Gryffindors and snakes always hate each other!"
Before an argument could escalate there was an announcement stating Hogwarts was fifteen minutes away. Itachi stood up, uniform in hand, and grabbed Ron, dragging him to his feet.
"What the hell?" the red-head shouted.
Itachi responded coldly, "Rose is a female, we are male. We are leaving so she can change in privacy."
Rose was happy at the courtesy. Ron obviously didn't understand, "But there are two of us, shouldn't she leave?"
Inwardly shaking his head, Itachi decided it wasn't worth the effort to argue and merely continued dragging him, "We're leaving. Get over it."
Once the train arrived the trio debarked. Itachi noticed Rose stood closer to him than Ron, though he wasn't sure if it was purposeful or accidental. He had no time to ponder it as a large man, easily over ten feet tall, with long shaggy hair and beard, was calling for the first years. As they got close, he called out, "Hey, Rose, enjoy the ride?"
"Yeah, I did Hagrid, thanks for asking," Rose answered cheerfully.
"That's good; now get going to a boat, no more than four in though," Hagrid dismissed them, waving.
It appeared Ron didn't want to ride with the 'Uchiha git' as he got in a boat with three other guys. Rose shrugged her shoulders and pointed out one that had two girls in it. Itachi gestured that that was fine. The two approached the targeted boat and Rose asked the two girls, "Would you mind if we shared the boat with you?"
The two girls looked at each other then back at Rose. One of them had long, straight, blonde hair that stopped around her mid-back. She had fair skin, icy blue eyes and dark pink lips. Her face was set in a neutral expression, like a female Itachi, Rose thought with a smirk. The other had wavy brown hair that stopped at her shoulders, brown eyes that glistened even in the darkness, and red lips upturned in a smile. The brunette replied, "Go for it we don't mind."
Both Itachi and Rose thanked them and got in. Raised in a noble clan, Itachi helped Rose in. Eager to make some female friends, she asked them, "So, I'm Rose Potter, this is Itachi Uchiha. What are your names, if you don't mind me asking?"
"Not at all," said the brunette, "I'm Tracy Davis and this energetic young woman beside me is Daphne Greengrass."
Rose laughed as Daphne glared at Tracey. "It looks like we both know someone like that."
Tracey laughed, "I'll trade you mine for yours."
Daphne heightened her glare and Rose laughed harder.
"Heads down everyone!" Hagrid called out.
After avoiding the low-hanging branch, the first years got their first look at Hogwarts. There was a collective gasp as they saw it. A full moon shone behind the silhouette of the medieval castle, yellow light from the windows contrasted majestically with the deep blue of the sky and whites of the stars. The lake reflected the glory in a nearly perfect mirror image.
All too soon they arrived on shore. The trek up to the castle was silent, each thinking of the challenges they would soon face. Hagrid pounded on the gates and the massive wooden doors swung open. They had arrived at Hogwarts.