Harry looked forlornly out the window. He was waiting for Hedwig to return with his replies. He had given her explicit instructions not to return without good ones.

She did better than that. She came back with presents. And a rather interesting scroll with Sirius' messy scrawl.

Harry opened that first, being too angry at his friends to even consider opening his presents.

It turned out to be a wise choice. Within the first few lines, Harry took the presents with a pair of tongs (he kept them on hand to deal with Ron's clothes in the dorms) and when he saw what was in them he threw them out the window.

Ron, he could understand, but Hermione too? The only present he kept was the one from the twins, who were doing very well after he gave them his winnings. Their joke business was still in the early stages, but all signs pointed to a rather lucrative business very soon.

Hermione had sent him a diary and Ron had sent him a wand holster.

What neither of them mentioned was that they had allowed Dumbledore to place listening and tracking charms on his presents.

Sirius' letter...

"Dear Pup,

What you are about to read is vitally important. Dumbledore has been spreading lies about you since the death of Diggory. He has conspired with Ron and Hermione to keep tabs on you at all times by placing charms on your presents. If you want to show Dumbledore that you're not a mindless sheep like the rest of the magical communities, I would advise ditching them.

You can trust the twins, they sent theirs ahead of time.

Harry, what I am about to tell you is for your eyes only. Dumbledore isn't aware that I know about this, or that I am telling you. If he knew he would obliviate the knowledge before I could blink.

Harry, you have family outside of England. Family that is closely related to has cousins in a village called Konohagakure, or the Village Hidden in the Leaf.

James' cousins were called the Uchiha clan, and they are a rather uptight lot.

Harry, I encourage you to get a hold of at least one of them. I don't care what Dumbledore said about Petunia's house, with the blood Voldemort took from you before you left, blood wards won't cut it anymore. And I know he hasn't added any wards to that house while you started school.

Just know that I will support any decision you make Pup.

Love Snuffles."

Harry collapsed on his bed. His aunt and uncle were sound asleep. He had family outside the Dursleys? And Dumbledore really expected him to stay here with how they treated him?

He could see why the old goat didn't want this getting out. If he he had known about his family sooner, he would have had Vernon drop him off at the air port the second first year had ended. His uncle probably would have done it without question.

Harry tried not to scream. He had just run into dementors of all things in Little Whinging.

Sirius was right. After the ritual and losing his blood, Voldemort wouldn't be hindered by the wards anymore. He had had enough.

He went upstairs, jamming the door to keep Vernon from locking it on him. The walrus shaped male stomped up the stairs, furious even though Harry had saved his son's life.

Green eyes met the man's face squarely.

"I've had it up to here with that bastard's so called protection. I'm leaving tomorrow, and I don't give a damn what the old man says."

Vernon's eyes glinted hard. The freak was leaving?

"I'll make you a deal. Take me to the bus stop, where I'll make my way to the London and get a passport. Once I have the things I need, I will leave and you can say you have no idea where I vanished to."

"You have a deal."

The next morning when Vernon went to work, he dropped Harry off at the bus stop. He took the earliest bus to London, where he made his way to the Leaky Cauldron.

Wizards were, sadly to say, completely oblivious to the fact that Harry was walking among them. A simple baseball cap and some hair dye, and they didn't even notice it was him.

Harry walked right into Gringotts and asked for the only goblin who's name he knew. Surprised, the goblin brought Griphook out.

"What can I do for you Mr. Potter?"

"I need a passport to Konohagakure and something that would allow me to withdraw from my account anonymously. I don't intent to return to England anytime soon."

"Are you aware Fudge has recently made it illegal for you to purchase anything in Diagon?"

"What? When?"

"As early as this morning."

Griphook was amused by the curses Harry let loose.

"Was Dumbledore behind this?"

"Unlikely, but it is highly possible. However, I believe with your current disguise the shopkeepers are unlikely to realize it's you."

"Just in case...do you have any polyjuice handy?"

Griphook chuckled darkly before yelling something in goblin. One of the younger ones brought a flask out.

"Take this under the eaves of the employee entrance. As far as the shopkeepers will be aware, you are buying for a client who couldn't come out during normal business hours. We'll take the fee out of your account for you."

"Thank you. How long will this last me?"

"One gulp should prove sufficient for at least an hour, and that flask holds four or five."

Griphook handed him a bag of gold, already taken from his vault for him. Once Harry was outside, he took a gulp unseen by anyone. Once the transformation was over, he went on a three and a half hour shopping spree.

Like Griphook had said, none of the clerks asked who he was buying for, aside from being one of the goblin runners. Harry knew that Griphook was being uncommonly helpful, and he suspected it was because he had bothered to remember the goblin's name and face.

The fact he didn't even bother to argue about price didn't hurt either. Once he was done, he snuck to the entrance he had used earlier, where a goblin had him wait until the polyjuice wore off before ushering him in.

The wards around Gringotts were designed to alert the goblins if someone tried to enter using polyjuice or transformation magic. Simple muggle tricks went undetected.

Since he wouldn't be able to rent a room without alerting Dumbledore, Griphook hooked Harry up to a muggle hotel across an unused entrance to the alley.

Harry would be able to pick up his passport (which would serve even in the muggle world) and his card by the next day.

Harry had converted a few galleons to pounds, and decided to do some shopping in the muggle world before he left London. Mostly so he could finally go clothes shopping and get new glasses.

The ones he used were so outdated that his eyesight was too fuzzy.

He walked out of the eye doctors with a new pair of glasses and some contacts.

It was with no little sense of relief that Harry went into the air port. He had gotten the first flight he could to Japan, which was the closest he could get to the Elemental Countries. Griphook had explained that the village he was seeking lay behind a veil of wards that were so old that they were before the founders time.

The plane he was taking also carried animals, which was the only reason Harry had picked it.

He didn't want to chance Hedwig being spotted while en route to Japan.

Out of all his minders, only Sirius had any idea where his godson was heading. And he was a natural Occulmens, so Dumbledore wouldn't be able to get it out of him that easily.

Harry took one last breath of English air... and walked onto the plane without a second thought.

Thanks to the translation charm, Harry was able to find his guide. He wasn't going to stay long in Japan.

He had already gotten a hold of the Uchiha clan, so they were expecting him. The person they had to lead him to Konoha was as pale as Harry was, and had hair just as dark. He wore an odd headband with a symbol etched into the metal. His outfit wasn't out of place, just strange. His eyes were a deep obsidian color.

He looked to be about Harry age, if not a bit younger.

"Are you Potta Hari?" he asked slowly. Harry winced at the mangling of his name, but nodded.

"I am Uchiha Itachi."

Harry held out his hand, then remembered that the Japanese didn't shake hands. Itachi didn't seem to notice that, shaking his hand firmly.

Itachi wasn't fazed by the fact that Harry only had a single carry-on. Though he did raise an eyebrow (which Harry only caught a glimpse of out of the corner of his eye) once Harry reclaimed Hedwig from the customs control.

After about a day of traveling, Harry finally worked out the courage to talk to his cousin.

"So...What's Konoha like?"

"Warm, almost tropical. We rarely get any snow in the winter," said Itachi calmly.

"In England it mostly rains. Not a very warm place except for summer, and then it turns into a hotbox."

Itachi made an uninterested sound, so Harry tried some other tactics. Eventually he hit on a subject both could agree on...which turned out to be rabid fangirls.

"You have them too, huh?"

"They are most annoying," Itachi agreed.

"I find them mildly irritating, but then again I did find the perfect defense to keep them busy."

Now he had Itachi's full attention.

"I told them that I have far too many enemies, like the man who killed my parents, so in order to become my girlfriend they have to best me in a duel."

"And that actually worked?" Itachi asked incredulous.

"I got most of them to go away and study more, and they only ever bother me once every other month instead of every other day. Eventually some of them gave up and got real boyfriends."

"So the trick is to tell them that if they want to date me they have to beat me in combat?"

"Or at least match your abilities."

"I have to admit, I'm surprised no one else has thought of that."

"How bad is your fangirl infestation?"

"Bad. Since we live in a shinobi village, it's almost impossible to ditch them without extreme measures."


"I thought you knew. Konohagakure is an elite ninja village."

"Tell me more," said Harry. It was going to be a long walk to the village after all.

After Harry finally found the perfect topic to break the ice, Itachi actually talked to him. While he was explaining chakra in detail, Harry's eyes lit up with recognition. He reached into his messenger bag and pulled out an ancient scroll he had found in his primary school library before first year at Hogwarts.

Itachi recognized it as a rather dumbed down teaching scroll for how to unlock someone's chakra.

"Did you ever use it?"

"At the house I was living at, I didn't have anything better to do at night, so I waited until I had plenty of free time and I did exactly what the instructions said. Hurt like hell at the time, but I'm fairly sure I pulled it off. Come to think of it, there were a lot of oddly dressed people the next day."

"There is one way to find out," said Itachi. If Harry had unlocked his chakra by accident, he would need proper training.

Itachi showed Harry the signs for one of the Uchiha's signature techniques. It was called the Grand Fireball. He then demonstrated it to the boy.

Harry, for the most part, was a very quick study. Once he had the explanation and the hand signs down properly, he tried it. His first attempt wasn't that good, but he did produce a little flame. Barely more than a lighter's worth.

But it was more than enough to convince Itachi that his newly found cousin needed training.

By the next day, Harry was up to a cantaloupe sized flame. It wasn't until Harry imagined the jutsu as a spell that he managed to pull it off properly.

After that, Itachi helped Harry learn a few more techniques, and at night helped him learn how to throw a kunai and shuriken.

Itachi was relieved to discover that while Harry learned jutsu fairly quickly, his aim with the most basic of all ninja weapons was below that of an academy student just starting out.

Catching them, on the other hand, was another story entirely. Harry could catch anything Itachi threw at him, no matter how small a target.

Though he had to suffer a few cuffs to the head from Hedwig when he started training Harry. She was nothing if not overprotective.

Harry stared at the gates of Konoha, and only one word came to mind.


Itachi snorted, and lead him past the gates. Two chunin, Izumo and Kotetsu waved them on by once they recognized Itachi.

The calm boy lead his cousin into the Hokage building to fill out the citizenship paperwork...and eventually help him find an apartment near the Uchiha complex.

"So you are Hari Potta."

Harry winced.

"Are there any Japanese words similar to my first name that I could use to keep it from being mangled?" he asked.

The Hokage chuckled.

"Well there is 'Hari', which means needle, or even 'Haru' which means spring."

"Haru then."

"Very well, Haru. I must admit I was surprised to get a letter from you asking to come to Konoha. We don't get that many Outsiders from the Veil anymore."

"Considering it was hidden by magic, I'm not surprised. And judging from what I've seen of your techniques, that's not entirely a bad thing."

The Hokage shot Itachi a look.

"I found out along the way he accidentally unlocked his chakra coils when he was nine," he said blandly.

"Oi! How was I supposed to know that scroll was real?" Haru shot back.

Itachi grinned at him. He had become rather fond of Haru, if only because he had found a viable solution to his growing fangirl horde. Even if he was a bit odd at times.

"Well I see no reason to deny your citizenship. Here are the forms you'll have to fill out."

Seeing the look Haru shot the paperwork, the Hokage hid another chuckle. Haru sat there and filled them out on a book he brought out of his bag (which Itachi was wondering how deep it was. He had seen several things too big to fit come out of it!) and then handed it over.

The Hokage double checked it, and filed it appropriately.

"It seems to be in order. Welcome to Konoha, Haru."

Haru bowed (Itachi had taught him that, among other things) and they left.

"Mind if we stop by the Academy first?"


"NII-SAN! You're back!" yelled a black and navy blue blur.


Itachi was tackled by a small boy about seven. Haru didn't bother hiding his reaction, he started howling with laughter.

"Traitor," growled Itachi.

"Who's the kid?"

"My little brother. Sasuke, I want you to meet our cousin from the outside, Haru."

Sasuke, when he saw Haru, became extremely shy.


Haru grinned, and messed the boy's duck butt hairstyle. Sasuke let out a squawk of surprise, but relaxed. Clearly Haru wasn't like the other cousins.

"Hmm, I think I'll call you...Chibi-chan."


"Or how about Ducky?"

"I resent that!"

"Grumpy?" said Haru. Itachi was trying and failing to hide a grin.

"Grumpy would be our dad," said Sasuke, pouting. Then Haru got back on his good side by introducing the boy to a sweet known only as chocolate frogs.

Once he got over the surprise that the chocolate moved (and kept them away from his brother, who had a sweet tooth) Sasuke gleefully bit the head off. Haru grinned and handed another frog to Itachi.

"And you didn't bring these out earlier why?"

"Because I have a sneaking suspicion you would have raided my bag for the rest?" replied Haru with a smirk.

Sasuke laughed at the indignant look on Itachi's face.

Things were going great...until Haru finally meet Fugaku Uchiha, the head of the Uchiha clan.

He spent the night in the guest house...and spent the next day with Itachi apartment hunting. While he was glad to have meet his family, he didn't want to spend another night in such a cloying atmosphere.