Title: Always You
Fandom(s): Naruto, Harry Potter
Categories: AU, fusion, crossover, xover, yaoi, slash, gen, drama, romance, friendship
Summary: Akatsuki captures Naruto before he ever becomes a genin and Uchiha Itachi makes a drastic choice to save the Yondaime's Legacy. It exiles them both to a different world, one without the restrictions of their old lives. Along the way they become new people and find something more in each other.
Warnings: Underage. Itachi-dominant, having upper hand as a teacher/elder. Romantic intimacy. Yaoi/Slash.
Spoilers: Some. Canon AU, pre-series Naruto. Chuunin Exam Arc, Madara and Akatsuki's true goals. It's mostly not in the Elemental Continent and the story diverges before the manga/anime even starts (Naruto never graduates and becomes a genin).
Beta: scratchywilson. Thank you so much for your kick-in-the-ass comments…precisely what I needed to get moving.
Author Note: Crossover with the wizarding universe created by J.K. Rowling. The characters of Potterverse are not direct players in this story, but their world is. Inspired by the primary plot device/concept from the novel 'Daddy-Long-Legs' by Jean Webster
Author Note: I'm a fan of consensual relationships. If it doesn't hurt the parties involved, and they're old enough to know their own minds, it's their business. Naruto may have acted childish but that was only around adults. Living on your own, taking care of yourself, it's a huge responsibility and he did it long before he ever became a genin. He might have reliable adult guardians in this world but that mentality doesn't just vanish, just recedes.
For: LJ Community itanaruswap 2012 – Noirjyre
Disclaimer: The characters and 'verses hereon belong to their respective owners. No profit is being made from this work.
~ooO (1) New Beginnings Ooo~
Less than two seconds had passed since former ANBU Captain Uchiha Itachi had activated his dojutsu. Then he blinked and stepped forward.
Pein frowned at the action and then ignored it. It was too late for Itachi to have grown a conscience. The seal was fractured and only a kami could stop them at this point.
The one known as Tobi screamed, enraged, as the seal splintered and broke too quickly to be the results of their actions. The Uzumaki brat had done something!
And Madara was right. The energy began filling to cavern too quickly to be siphoned into the statue. The wild backlash killed the less wary members and searing untreatable burns into others. Before he could do anything, Itachi had stepped into the maelstrom which had twisted into a sphere, enveloping both his student and the vessel. As it contracted into an increasingly smaller pinpoint, several blasts of energy destroyed the cave ceiling's support. The sphere vanished and the ceiling collapsed.
Madara knew he would survive the cave-in but the rest of his followers would need a long time to recover, if they survived being buried under several tons of rocks.
Naruto carefully wiped the just rinsed plates and began stacking them neatly in the drying racks. This week it was his turn to be on kitchen duty. He smiled faintly, remembering his initial reaction when he was told of the orphanage rules and the restrictions. It had been a shock, adjusting to a very different life in a completely unfamiliar world. Obeying rules set by adults when he had once lived on his own, surviving on instant ramen and rotten food. The first few weeks had been hard. He had spent more time scurrying around, avoiding the adults, certain he was going to be driven out with kicks and fists.
But he hadn't been. The caretakers had been kind and patient. When he broke plates and glasses the first time on kitchen duty they had not hit him, simply assigned him different tasks until he became less jumpy. They did not force him to sleep in a cupboard and give him the smallest portions and scraps. He did not need to yell and scream for attention. Sure he didn't have anyone who'd buy him whatever he wanted, but Naruto had never had that so he didn't miss it. What he did get was something he never had—positive attention.
He didn't have to yell and scream and pull pranks to get people to look and see him. The orphanage didn't have tons of money, but the caretakers and social workers were always willing to listen to the kids and teach them what they knew. Some of the kids couldn't adjust, but Naruto, who had lived by himself for so long, thrived. He didn't mind learning sewing so he could help the oba-sans repair clothes and toys. He followed the oji-sans when they did repairs and maintenance on the building and grounds. He watched and helped the kitchen staff even when it wasn't his week on kitchen duties. He loved running around and playing tag and hide-and-seek with the little ones. Slowly he had been coaxed into attending classes, first to catch up on the basics like writing, reading, and math, and then more advanced lessons in science, geography, and history. It would have certainly shocked his teachers from before.
The pre-teen put away stacks of plates, dishes, cups, and cutlery before starting on the pots. His mind drifted, distracted from his chores. Naruto wasn't sure why, but today he woke up feeling jumpy, certain that something was going to happen. He wasn't sure how he knew. The last time he felt this way was when he woke up in the hospital with odd fragmented memories.
Naruto opened his eyes and stared up at an unfamiliar white ceiling. He looked around. He was in a long room with several beds. The last time he'd been in a similar room was the orphanage. But he had never slept in a bed. The matron had always locked him in a closet.
"Suzaku be praised, you are finally awake," someone murmured.
Naruto whirled to stare at the lady on the other side of his bed. She was older, with grey streaked black hair and brown eyes. She was dressed in an odd dress that looked more like a long pale green coat.
"How are you feeling?" she asked pulling out a slender stick and doing something.
Naruto gasped seeing the yellow and blue sparks coming from the tip, the odd tingling sensation moving from his arms and stomach, then to his legs. She did something else, making a doll appear above him, glowing with different colours in different spots.
"Healing nicely," she murmured. "A pity you are too malnourished for Skele-grow."
"Skil-lee-grow?" Naruto asked warily.
She smiled kindly. "A potion to make cracked and broken bones heal quickly. Can you tell us what happened to you, child?"
"Naruto," he blurted out quickly.
"Excuse me?" she asked looking confused.
"Naruto," he repeated. "It's my name. I think," he allowed because he didn't know if it was the name his parents had wanted to give him. The Yondaime was Namikaze Minato and kids always had their father's clan name. Maybe if his parents had lived he would have been a Namikaze, and maybe they would have given him a different name than Naruto. But he did not know and he was used to being called Uzumaki Naruto.
"You think?" The nice lady suddenly looked more sympathetic. "Do you remember anything else child?"
"I come from…Konoha?" he tried hesitantly. "It's a shinobi village in Hi no Kuni."
Now she looked sad and concerned. "Child, there is no land called Hi no Kuni. There are shinobi clans and practitioners, but no shinobi villages. Not any more."
"What do you mean?" Naruto demanded sitting up, ignoring the pain in his body. "Of course there are shinobi villages! All the big countries have one."
She shook her head. "You are in Kyoto, a city in Japan. There are no shinobi villages. There haven't been for two centuries now."
"But you know jutsus!" Naruto sputtered. "You do it with a stick, but still!"
She laughed. "Oh you mean my wand." She held up the slender shaft before waving it around. Blue and green sparks shot from the tip like miniature fireworks. "This is magic. I used a spell to numb your body and to do a quick check-up. You are healing up nicely."
"A spell?" Naruto was confused and intrigued. "What do you mean 'magic'?"
"Yes, magic. Don't you know? You are magical yourself."
Naruto tried to understand what was happening. "I know chakra. I'm supposed to learn jutsus at the Academy."
"Yeah, Konoha Academy. Where I'm learning to be a shinobi."
The nice lady looked like she wanted to argue before stopping herself. "Just rest Naruto-kun. You are still healing."
Naruto wanted to jump out of bed and go exploring but his body was beginning to throb so he obeyed her orders and lay down. He watched her walk towards the door where a younger lady dressed in a similar green dress-coat was waiting.
"How is he Natsumi-sempai?"
"Amnesiac and delusional Kaori-san. The poor child believes he was studying to be a shinobi in some place called Konoha Academy in a shinobi village, in a land called Hi no Kuni."
"Hi no Kuni? Fire Country? There is no such country."
The younger lady seemed very surprised. Was it all a dream? A lie?
"I know. He seems familiar with spells and magic but he calls them jutsus and chakra. He didn't recognize my wand or understand when I told him he was in Kyoto, Japan."
"But he speaks Japanese!"
"What do you think is wrong with him Natsumi-sempai?"
"That is up to the more experienced Healers to diagnose."
"I think he suffered a bad shock. Something terrible enough to make him forget his true past and create a delusional fantasy in order to stay sane."
"Do you think he'll ever remember his true past?"
Natsumi sighed. "I don't know Kaori-san. But honestly I hope he doesn't. It must be truly horrible to be forgotten so thoroughly."
"Do you think anyone is looking for him?"
"I doubt it. There were no notices from the Aurors and he has been malnourished for years. He might be a Firstgen whose family reacted badly to his magic and threw him out."
"What's going to happen to him?"
"He'll probably go to an orphanage. Fortunately the government will pick up the cost of his magical training since he has no identifiable family and is probably a Firstgen."
Naruto sank into a troubled sleep disbelieving what he had just heard. It wasn't possible. He couldn't have dreamed of all that had happened, right? Despite his mind working frantically, his body was weary enough to drive him into a healing sleep.
The pre-teen put down the plate he was wiping dry and stepped out of the dish washing area of the orphanage kitchen.
"I'm in the back Kaede-san!"
The grey-haired orphanage matron stepped around the corner and eyed him critically, before reaching out to straighten his shirt sleeve and futilely attempt to flatten his spiky hair.
"Keiko-san is here to see you. Go and see her before returning to finish your chores."
Naruto nodded and hung up his wiping cloths to dry before following the matron to the orphanage administration offices. Watanabe Keiko was a special social worker who visited once a week, a counsellor from the magical enclaves who made rounds between several orphanages with magical children. Keiko-san was kind and stern, very strict and quick to remind the older magical teens they had to be discreet and smart and not use magic to harm or take advantage of the non-magicals, because if enough of them found out it could be lethal to the magicals. There were other magical children in the orphanage but Naruto did not get along with them. They were older and elitist, reminding Naruto of shinobi clan brats, seeing themselves as special because they had a kekkai genkai. Naruto was determined to never become like them, like Sasuke-teme.
Sometimes Naruto had to hide himself in a closet and cry. Because he remembered how bad his life had been before. By this point he was uncertain if Konoha and the shinobi world was real, if it had ever been real, because this world was so different. But if it was a dream Naruto did not mind. He found he preferred this world; a life without beatings and glares. Sure he couldn't become a ninja and kick enough ass to become Hokage, but here he had friends who played with him and adults who cared. This life was so much better than his past one, and for that he was grateful. There were only two people he missed, jiijii and the ANBU who had protected him in his last memories of the shinobi world.
He only hoped that one day he didn't wake up and find himself back in his old life, his cold lonely apartment with no friends or adults who looked after him like a real parent; a world where everyone hated him or looked down on him as an incompetent fool.
Kaede-san must have noticed his nervousness because she patted his shoulder reassuringly.
"Don't be so worried Naruto-kun. I'm sure Keiko-san is here to confirm arrangements for your schooling. You are one of the residents who will be going to boarding school, not regular day school."
Naruto relaxed a fraction before entering the special office set aside for Keiko-san. She was smiling.
"Come on Naruto. I've got something special for you."
She flipped through a folder on the desk and produced a rectangle of folded parchment. It had to be an invitation to one of the Japanese magical academies since he was ten years old, and old enough to attend.
Naruto's hands shook as he reached out and took the heavy parchment letter from Keiko-san. He cracked the distinctive wax seal he recognized from the books Keiko gave him. It was the emblem of Tenshiro Academy for Mages—one of the most exclusive magical schools in Japan. Only the brightest, or those with proven magical bloodlines were ever offered places at Tenshiro. And it was not cheap. He read the letter quickly then looked up at the grinning face of his caseworker.
"You have a sponsor," she said simply. "He will pay for your tuition and board, the government will pick up the additional expenses of books and supplies. But there is a condition," she added.
Naruto squared his shoulders. Nothing in life was free, especially with magic. "What is it?"
"He wants you to write to him, at least once a month."
Naruto blinked taken aback. "He wants me to write letters?" he asked in stunned tones.
"Letters yes, but not through owl, conventional post, or even e-mail." She reached into her bag and pulled out a notebook bound in embossed black leather. There was a discreet design of fans in each corner and a swirl in the middle of the cover. "This is a Protean-charmed journal, enchanted to be opened and readable by only two people: the owner of this journal and the owner of the other journal linked to this one. It is also spelled with Veritas charms so the only thing you can write in it will be the truth as you see it. You must write a letter to your sponsor through this journal at least once a month. He will be able to read what you write through his journal. He may respond, but do not expect it as he is a busy wizard." She cocked her head. "Do you accept? You can still attend Mugen Academy if you prefer."
"No!" Naruto yelled quickly, grabbing the notebook from Keiko and hugging it tightly. "I'll write to him!"
Keiko smirked. "Good. Next week I'll take you to Ryuuken Shopping District for your supplies so you might want to make a list of what you need. The required supplies have been specified in the offer letter from Tenshiro but you might want to take extras like references or extra potion ingredients. And you can afford it since the government stipend will not be going towards your fees."
"I understand. I'll talk with Kaede-oba-san and see what I can get from the common cupboards first."
Keiko smiled pleased. Few kids were as mature and smart as Naruto. The moment they got any money they blew it on whatever toys and entertainment they wanted. Naruto actually had a bank account he used to save the money he got from doing odd jobs in the evenings and holidays.
"All right then Naruto-kun. I'll see you next week."
Naruto rolled out of his narrow futon in a rush, bruising his knees on the wooden floors. His sleeping yukata was sweat stained, blue eyes wide and panicky until he realized he was in the orphanage, not that place. He shuddered minutely. It had been months since he'd had that dream.
Naruto could not stop crying. Oh, he was not making any noise—that would attract his attackers even more quickly—but he could not stop the tears leaking from his eyes, or the tremors racking his body.
The voice sounded nice, but his attackers always sounded nice until they got close enough to hurt him.
"I'm not going to hurt you. I don't expect you to believe me, but I want you to at least listen."
The pre-teen forced his limbs to unlock and relax long enough to roll onto his knees then into a crouch, ready to run.
The shinobi kinda looked like Sasuke-teme—without the duck-butt hair—but tired, like Jiijii. He was also kneeling about ten feet away.
"What do you want?" Naruto was proud his voice did not shake like his body.
"Do you know what happened?"
Naruto shrugged. "The mob chased me. I hid to avoid them. I came out when I thought I was safe but guess I was wrong. Someone stuck me with a senbon and I couldn't move and tied a cloth bag over my head. They only removed it long enough for me to eat and go to the bathroom behind the bushes. When I tried to run away they didn't feed me or let me pee for two days." He looked away ashamed at the memory of pissing himself, unable to control his bladder from the strain of holding it for so long.
The shinobi nodded. "Those men kidnapped you for a reason. Because you hold the Kyuubi."
Naruto stared in disbelief. "Bullshit! Everyone knows the Yondaime defeated the Kyuubi!"
"Everyone is wrong Naruto-kun. No human being can destroy a bijuu, a creature of chakra. The only thing we can do is contain it, imprison it into a physical being. Like a tree, a teapot, or a human being."
Naruto wanted to scream and shout it wasn't possible, that the shinobi was a liar. But deep inside he knew otherwise. It explained so much, like why everyone always called him a demon, why no one liked him, and why they tried to kill him.
"Does Jiijii know?" The shinobi looked confused. "The Hokage. Sandaime-sama."
"Ah. He does. He has tried to protect you but it seems he chose your current guards unwisely."
"Current?" Naruto was surprised and shocked to hear that. "No one has ever guarded me."
"You are wrong Naruto-kun. You have been guarded since the moment you were born. You may not have seen the ANBU watching over you, but we have always been there."
"We? You're an ANBU?" Naruto stared at the older teen with an awed expression. Everyone in Konoha knew ANBU were the best of the best. Every Academy student wanted to be good enough to be accepted into the ANBU ranks.
"I was," the shinobi murmured with a faint smile. "Guarding you was one of my first long-term missions."
"You're not my guard anymore?"
"I have a different mission. But I swore I would protect you. And I have failed." He looked very sad and Naruto wanted to comfort him.
"Don't be so down! I fail the Academy tests all the time. But I don't give up!"
The shinobi smiled more openly this time and Naruto was happy. But then the smile faded. "I don't want to give up Naruto-kun, but right now you are the only one who can help me complete my mission."
Naruto blinked, surprised. This super strong shinobi—he had to be strong to be ANBU— needed his help to complete his mission? "What do you mean? How can I help you?" he asked warily.
"I want you to listen to me Naruto-kun…"
Naruto listened with horrified fascination then acceptance. He knew he was hurting, that something was being torn from him. The shinobi's explanation about his father, his mother, and why Naruto was chosen to become jinchuuriki to the Kyuubi. It all made so much sense. And Naruto was determined to make sure his kidnappers did not benefit in anyway from his death. If he had to release the bijuu then so be it.
He knew he could not go to sleep now but it was too early to start his morning routine. He debated his options before deciding to complete one of his self-set tasks. He turned on the small desk lamp and opened his second-hand trunk to retrieve his stationary box and the linked journal from his sponsor. The stationary box was battered and second-hand like most of his belongings, but the fountain pen he removed was not. It was one of his first purchases from Ryuken Alley. Carefully he uncapped it and began writing in the linked journal. This would be his first correspondence with the wizard who would be paying for his schooling, and he wanted to make everything as perfect as he could make it.
This is Naruto.
Naruto hesitated at this point uncertain of how to continue. He tried out several possibilities in his mind before deciding to go with his first idea.
I know Keiko-san warned me not to expect responses but I'd like an answer to this question: What should I call you? You aren't my father or uncle. Keiko-san says you are my sponsor but I don't want to write 'Dear Sponsor' letters for the next seven years.
Naruto dearly hoped his sponsor would not take offence. But it was not in Naruto's nature to hold back or really think. If he felt or thought something he generally blurted it out. Keiko-san and Kaede-oba-san were trying to teach him something called 'tact' but it just sounded like polite lying to Naruto.
Even if you don't write back hopefully I'll have a better idea the next time I write. Anyway, I don't know how much you know about me so I want to tell you a little about myself.
I don't have much real memories of my time from before. Most of my memories begin from waking up in Ki-Ryn Memorial Hospital for Mages but I didn't spend much time awake. The Healers say I have am-nee-sia and de-lu-son. I don't think I'm de-lu-son. I sometimes have odd dreams about before. I tried to tell them but they just smiled and ignored me. At least they didn't glare like the adults from before. Keiko-san is my magical social worker and she's taught me a lot about the traditions and ways but she's really strict about using magic in 'public'.
Anyways, my first visit to Ryuken Shopping District was a wonderful adventure. I kept pinching myself. I spent so much time gawking I know everyone knows I'm a Firstgen. But I don't care. I'm going to be the best wizard I can be. Believe it!
Keiko-san took me to Rumiko's Fine Wands. It took twenty-seven tries before I got my wand. It's made from sakura wood, nine inches long with a core of kitsune whiskers. Rumiko-san said it was rare to have a wand with kitsune whiskers core. She said a stranger brought the kitsune whiskers in one day and asked her to make a wand. She said it was the only wand with kitsune whiskers in the whole store!
Naruto glanced at his wand resting on the desk and could not resist the urge to stroke the shaft of polished sakura wood. The handle was covered in vine carvings. Rumiko-san had suggested he buy a wand-polishing kit. Keiko-san had promised to show him the correct way to look after his wand during her next visit.
The rest of my shopping trip was pretty ordinary. Sure it was for buying magical supplies but it was still supplies. I haven't formed enough of a connection with anything but my wand.
Naruto sighed and rolled the back of his fountain pen between his lips. It was true. Everything did seem so dreamlike, like smoke and shadows. Sometimes he did wonder if he was going to wake up from this wonderful dream and find himself in lonely cold isolation that was his life from before. He shook his head firmly, forcing himself/his mind to concentrate on the good things of his new life. Keiko-san always said it was always better to 'Think Positive' so Naruto would.
The only thing that really stood out in my shopping trip in Ryuken is some weirdo who kept running into me. He kinda looks like a guy from my dreams, from before. It's probably some coincidence. I mean lots of Japanese have black hair and pale skin.
Until next time,
Naruto cast a delayed light spell and settled on his futon. He picked up his linked journal and fountain pen and prepared to write his first letter from Tenshiro.
I hope you don't mind me calling you that. The strongest shinobi in my dreams were given the title of Kage and I want to honour you, for all you have done for me. You've given me a huge opportunity by sponsoring my acceptance to Tenshiro.
And it was true. Naruto had eavesdropped enough on the train to realize all the smart and rich kids went to Tenshiro. Naruto was not rich and not a genius but he was a hard worker and determined to prove it!
We arrived at Tenshiro Academy today. It was a bit odd, I mean why use a train when we have portkeys and Floo that are much faster? One of the prefects on the train said it was to give us a chance to meet and talk to the other students, because we'll be working and living with them for the next seven years. I did meet a few girls and boys who seem nice but I haven't made up my mind about them yet.
Naruto hoped they would become his friends. He had friends in the orphanage but they weren't magical and were going to regular day school. And he could not tell them about magic, just that he was going to a special boarding school. It sucked big time, but Keiko-san had been very stern about the Statute of Secrecy. Sometimes she reminded him of Iruka-sensei. The only thing she couldn't do was Iruka-sensei's big-head jutsu.
The Houses at Tenshiro Academy remind me of the shinobi clans, except everyone gets a clan. Sometimes Houses don't get along with each other, but I hope I can have friends in other Houses too.
Naruto frowned faintly. He didn't like the clans in Konoha. The clan kids always looked down on him. And the civilian kids who wanted to be accepted by the clan kids also looked down on him. He hoped that would not happen here.
Tenshiro Academy is the coolest place, but I think you'd know that. I mean you have to be a graduate to have enough pull to sponsor me. I mean I'm a Firstgen and I didn't have any big magical outbursts when I was younger. At least I think I didn't. Anyhow being a mage is much better than my old dreams of being a kick ass ninja. I was a little worried when it was my turn to put my name on the orb, the one that chooses your House. I kept thinking if nothing happened they would kick me out. But the orb did change colour! It turned bright green. I'm in Kitsune, House of Earth.
That had been a big shock. Finding out Kitsune was the House of Earth and Plants, not Fire and Destruction. Well, it kinda made sense since a Kyuubi no Yoko did not attack Japan and nearly destroy everything.
The kids I met and liked were sorted into Kappa and Kitsune so I'm happy I haven't lost any potential friends.
I'm writing this just before bedtime. Tomorrow and the next weeks are going to be busy so don't be surprised if I don't write for a while.
Until next time,
He blew on the pages to dry the ink before closing the linked journal and sliding it under his pillow. Carefully he capped the pen and stowed it in his stationary box beside his pillow before sliding under the covers and settling down.
Tomorrow was going to be a busy day.
You won't believe who I ran into today—the creepy weirdo from Ryuuken Shopping District!
Naruto chewed on the back of his pen frowning faintly. He didn't want Kage-san to have the wrong impression of his new friend.
Actually he's not creepy and weird at all. Itachi-sempai is a final year student in Tengu and is quite nice. He tutors Defensive Magical Arts and offered to give me extra lessons on the weekends. I said yes of course.
Naruto blinked back tears. Every time someone offered to teach Naruto something, he was slightly shocked. He still hadn't completely adjusted to this new world where people wanted, and were happy, to teach him.
I'm not smart enough to read and understand everything straight from a book, and I don't have practical experience like the students from magical families. I might not be a natural or a genius but I like DMA.
DMA reminded Naruto of Konoha Academy, only without jutsus. Instead they learnt to cast spells using wands. He hesitated before continuing to write.
It kind of reminds me of the Academy from my dreams, the one where all mages are shinobis. But I don't want to be a shinobi anymore. I don't want to kill because someone orders it. But I want to be able to defend myself and those I care for. So I'm going to study very hard at DMA and become the best duellist in Japan. That's going to be my new goal!
Naruto nodded firmly. He was going to be a kick-ass duellist! Dattebayo!
Until next time,
Naruto was pleased he had not left his linked journal in his dorm room. He wanted to tell Kage-san what happened today!
You won't believe what I saw today—a formal duel! An actual duel not the practice drills we have in DMA. I wish I was old enough to join the duelling club but they only accept Third-year and up students.
Naruto scowled. He still thought the age-limit was a load of BS. If they were worried about the younger students getting hurt couldn't they arranged practice pairings by year group? At least Hazuno-sensei was nice enough to let them watch.
Firsties and Seconds can still watch them practice though. Itachi-sempai is the coolest and smartest wizard ever! He even beat the Hazuno-sensei, the DMA teacher and made it look easy!
Naruto sighed. He wished he could be as cool and smart as Itachi-sempai.
I heard from the older students that Itachi-sempai is also an orphan but he is e-man-ci-pa-ted. That means he looks after himself. He has permission to leave the Academy grounds for business reasons.
None of the students asked Itachi-sempai to buy banned stuff and smuggle it in for them because he wasn't the type to break the rules. And the younger students asked the more approachable upper years to buy stuff from Shirozu village.
I remember living alone and I didn't like it. It might be crowded and tight at the orphanage but I'm never alone, even when I want to be!
Something hit him. Itachi-sempai didn't have any family to stay with during the summers!
I hope Itachi-sempai doesn't get lonely in the summers. He doesn't have too many friends in school either. He spends more time with us younger students than his own year mates. He could easily be a seeker in Tengu's Quidditch team with his reflexes. He's really good on a broom. I saw him flying once.
And he had looked so peaceful and graceful gliding in the air, almost effortlessly.
My broom never obeys me like his does. He doesn't even need to think to make it glide. Matsuo-sensei, the Flying instructor, is offering extra workshops for flying on the weekends. I think I'm going to sign up for one. I'm not going to give up or be happy with being just okay. I want to be the best! That's my nindo.
Will write soon,
Naruto rushed through his last-minute packing. Today was the last day of school. The carriages would start arriving at ten to take the students to the train station and back home for the summer. He wished he had finished his packing earlier in the day but he had been too busy saying his goodbyes. And he also wanted to write in his linked journal before going to bed.
When he was done he sat down and opened the journal to begin writing.
I hope this letter finds you well and healthy.
It's the last day of school. I'm certain I achieved at least EE, if not O in all my courses. We will not be receiving the final grades for another week but I'm certain you, Keiko-san, and Kaede-oba-san will be pleased.
And Naruto was also very pleased with himself. He was sure these would be some of the best marks he had ever earned, thanks to his own efforts and the supportive teachers and the helpful upper years. His smile faded remembering one particular upper year.
Itachi-sempai is graduating and won't be returning next year. I heard he received an apprenticeship to a Duel Master. I'm proud and pleased for him but part of me feels sick. I can't believe I won't see him again. I managed to screw up enough courage to tell him that I'll miss him at lunch today. He looked surprised, as though no one had ever told him that before! That made me mad.
Naruto's clenched hands shook slightly from suppressed rage. He had to force himself to wait and calm down before continuing to write.
Doesn't he have a family he remembers? Or did they die when he was really young? Doesn't he have anyone who cares? All the oba-sans and oji-sans and Keiko-san care for me. They might not be my blood relatives but they care. Doesn't Itachi-sempai have anyone who cares for him? Who misses him when he's at school? I don't have the courage to ask him something so personal but I don't think he does.
And it hurt Naruto. He knew what it was like to be alone with no one who cared. He didn't want Itachi-sempai to know that feeling.
Next year I won't see him and even the thought of it makes me hurt. Part of me wants to transfer to Mugen Academy so I won't keep being reminded of Itachi but a good education is important. You're giving me a chance that I never would have otherwise had. I won't waste your generosity Kage-san.
Until next time,
When Naruto got back to the orphanage it was like he had never left. The oji-sans had a list of minor repairs and odd-jobs that needed to be done. The oba-sans needed extra hands in the kitchen and for the yearly cleaning chores. It was several weeks before Naruto had the chance to write in his linked journal.
I spent three weeks trying to get my head on straight. Playing with the kids is good for that. They remind me to focus on the little treasures that I do have, not what I wish I did.
And it was true. Naruto knew how bad things could really be so he was determined not to whine and wish he had more.
Keiko-san is going to take me on a shopping trip to Ryuuken in two weeks, so I can buy some books I need. Itachi-sempai helped me outline a course of self-study, topics that Tenshiro doesn't teach until the later years, but things I can still learn by myself if I make the effort.
Itachi-sempai had stressed 'Knowledge is Power' and Naruto was more than willing to take that lesson to heart. Knowledge was power. If he could do things other people couldn't they would have to come to him, ask him for favours, pay for his services, hire him.
The teachers and Keiko-san were very pleased with my final marks. I'm in the top five of my House and I hope to be in the top five of all four Houses by the time I graduate. It's going to be a lot of work but I know I can do it.
Until next time,
Carefully he put the journal and his writing box away in his school trunk before activating the defences. Thank heavens Keiko-san had insisted he buy a persona-locked trunk. Some of the younger kids were too curious for their own good. And the older kids always wanted to 'borrow' his property.