Hari stood in the clearing. By tomorrow Kakashi would be recovered enough to be of use, as would Zabuza by his reckoning. He was trying something with the Nara clan shadow technique. While he respected Shinobi a hell lot more than mages, he was a bit disappointed at how few of them actually tried to create something new.
At least they were more original than mages, who just stuck to the old ways and didn't try anything new.
What Hari was trying was throwing a large kunai or any weapon with a long thin chain tied to it and having his shadow follow it. He hoped to get it to a point where he could control the trajectory of the weapon with the shadow alone, which was mentioned somewhere in the Nara archives, but had yet to be successfully completed.
He stopped right as he was about to feel the pain of chakra exhaustion. Because he didn't want to lose his new body, he had become as acutely aware of his limits as an Aburame was.
He sat down to recover, snacking on an apple. He had already gained a reputation in Wave as someone who didn't tolerate the blatant bullying of Gato, and who would give children small baskets of food to take home. He knew far, far too well what the feeling of an empty stomach crying out in pain was. He grew up with it until he went to Hogwarts, and even then he had to eat small amounts before his stomach could properly hold the food.
He heard someone come up and a discreet pulse revealed it to be Naruto.
"Come on and join me fox boy. How's the leaf exercise going?"
"Slow. Every time I try to cut it on my palm the thing just spins like a top..." complained Naruto.
As if guided by another source, one which he wasn't familiar with, Hari decided to try another route. Something told him of a jutsu which created a ball of spinning chakra in the hand. He didn't know where it came from, but the source was fairly close.
As Hari described the jutsu, following the voice's instructions, he could see Naruto getting interested. It didn't take long for the blond to attempt it, only he didn't have any balloons to try it with.
Hari concentrated with his magic (which for some reason didn't drain him like chakra did) and created ten of them. He found his magic much more responsive since losing his wand and learning chakra.
He could create simple objects, but that was about it at this point.
Soon Naruto was trying to break the balloon with only his chakra. It wasn't until Hari mentioned currents that Naruto had the idea to make it go all over the place.
He could sense the pride in the voice, and not for the first time he wondered who it was. When it described the second part, Hari had him take a break while he healed the wounds the previous three hours had caused.
Then he had Naruto tree walk for five minutes before attempting the next part, which was to make the rubber ball pop. Naruto was still going at it when Hari told him it was time for supper.
"You're all going to die! There's no point in trying to win, because Gato's going to..."
Dead silence was heard in the house, as Hari attempted to get his anger under control.
"Brat, shut the hell up. You think you got it bad because your step dad had the balls to at least try to stand up to the tyrant and ended up dying? You don't know the worst this world has to offer. I've been beaten, starved, kicked and burned, and it was all thanks to my Aunt! All of that before I was even ten, and I was related to her by blood! No one ever stood up for me, and I had to learn the hard way how to take care of my own wounds. I would have killed for a family like yours, who actually gives a damn about you when I was your age. I swear to kami if you don't grow up and grow a pair, I'll strangle you bare handed," snapped Hari. His patience had finally broken.
Inari glared at him, holding his face where Hari had slapped him.
"Kid, you have it better than I did. At least you had someone to take care of you growing up. I didn't even have that. Hell, I was never even allowed to celebrate my own birthday or play with the other kids until I was eight. But I keep on smiling because I don't know how else to handle the pain," said Naruto seriously.
The two boys left the house, both fuming at Inari's attitude, when he still had a family who loved him.
It was Kakashi who told Inari what he knew of Naruto's life, and the kid started to realize how good he actually had it.
Hari came back near one in the morning with a tired, but very happy Naruto. A few hours and tips from the odd voice, and he had managed to get to the second stage of the odd jutsu.
The moment Hari crashed on the futon next to Naruto, he felt himself being pulled into the seal. It wasn't the first time, and Kyuubi enjoyed chatting with the mage.
Mostly because Hari offered constructive criticism and his own thoughts on torture.
This time was different. This time he was confronted by two spirits, one of a blond man with blue eyes and a woman with warm green and red hair.
He could tell immediately that they were Naruto's parents.
"Alright, what the hell? Why are you talking to me and not Naruto?"
"Simple really. You're more in sync with the seal than he is, and we're mostly fail safes at this point. As it stands, we barely have any time to chat anyway," said the man.
"I can fix that..." said Harry, hitting them with an Ennervate. Magic, he had come to realize, did wonders for him when he was running low on chakra.
The two stood up straighter, and it was clear the sudden rush of energy had given them a longer extension to talk.
"Right, now which of you two was giving me instructions for that odd jutsu?"
"That would be me. I didn't know whether you would hear me, but I figured it couldn't hurt."
"I know you're his parents, but what are your names?"
"I am Minato Namikaze, also known as the Yellow Flash."
"The Fourth Hokage. Don't be surprised if Naruto clocks you for the fox," said Hari dryly.
"Kushina Uzumaki. Nice to meet ya Dattebane," said the red head.
Hari chuckled. Apparently Naruto had inherited his mother's verbal tick as well as her personality.
"So how is it I can hear you? Is it because I already died or what?"
"No. From what I understand, you are descended from Shinigami-sama. We can talk to him, even if we can't speak to our son. He said, and I quote, that you are one of the three descendants who were granted a boon, and the only one who had any common bloody sense."
"So what do you plan to do?"
"Would you mind if we trained our son through you? At least that way he can be given his heritage no matter what the council says," asked Kushina.
"Sure. After all, it's not like I wouldn't have given and arm or leg just for a chance to learn about my parents at his age."
He was jolted awake when he sensed Naruto getting up.
Zabuza was slightly relieved the green eyed brat wasn't there. The look in his eyes quite terrified him, and for good reason.
People who had that look generally didn't stop until whatever was in their way died or they were taken out first.
As Zabuza fought Kakashi, he had to ask who the teen was. If only so he knew what to call him.
"Hari Nara, possibly the only adopted Nara who can use the clan jutsu. His nickname among the ANBU is the Nara Poltergeist."
"It's German for Noisy Ghost, according to him. He was a ghost long before he became a genin, and once he was made aware of his death he started causing all sorts of pranks. He's even pranked the Hokage."
Zabuza's eyes widened.
"How the hell did he get a Kage?"
"Dropped a bookshelf and revealed his Icha Icha collection to a female ANBU. Most of the kunoichi were rather pissed when word got out the Hokage had the entire rare Platinum set of the series."
Zabuza couldn't believe what he was hearing. A Kage had the entire Platinum series when the things were more expensive than most B ranks?
"How did a Kage get the platinum series? Those things cost more than what the Midget is paying me to kill you!" complained the Mist nin.
As if hearing his master complaining about the expense of porn, Haku growled. He didn't like the series, as it was so full of plot holes and the raunchy bits were half assed.
He heard a chuckle from behind him, and his eyes widened behind the mask. Hari was by the ice mirrors watching him turn the Uchiha into a pin cushion.
"Do us all a favor and knock his ass out before he gets those stupid red eyes of his. He's arrogant enough that he needs to train before he gets them," advised Hari quietly. Sasuke didn't hear the comment, but Haku did put him out of his misery with a few senbon.
"Naruto, don't go in there, as I am fairly sure Haku-kun would be obligated to skewer you and I'm not in the mood to deal with a Fuzzy induced attack," said Hari, still leaning against the bridge.
"Why aren't you trying to take me out?" asked Haku honestly confused.
"I just saw Gato heading this way with a large numbers of mercenaries about five minutes ago. I don't think he plans to pay your master, and if that's the case Zabuza is going to be pissed enough to want to kill the midget anyway as his contract is voided. And that being the case, it's easier to conserve energy so I can possibly kick some ass," said Hari bluntly.
"Gato is coming? Here?" said Haku sharply.
"Yup. With at least a hundred mercs. If he doesn't, then we can get to the obligatory fight. Sound fair?"
"About how far were they?"
Haku got his answer when the mist cleared, revealing Zabuza and Kakashi at a stalemate with a lot of dogs on the missing nin and Kakashi ready to skewer the nin.
"Oi Scarecrow! Don't bother trying to kill him, Gato's heading this way with a hundred mercs!" Hari yelled out.
"HE'S WHAT?!" said Zabuza pissed.
"Naruto just kicked some samurai wannabes who went to kidnap Tsunami...she's perfectly fine, no worse for wear by the way...and I noticed some odd chakra signatures in the east. Naruto and I went to check it out and overheard Gato gloating about how he was going to renege on the mission he gave you and how he plans to kill everyone on the bridge. He'll be here in a few minutes," said Hari calmly.
Sure enough, five minutes later Gato appeared. He didn't expect to see a pissed off Zabuza, an annoyed Kakashi, and an alive Haku waiting with an eager Hari.
Though Kakashi have time to ask why he had Haku knock Sasuke out before he even had a chance at gaining the Sharingan.
"Kakashi, I somewhat respect you as a teacher, but you clearly missed the signs this kid has been giving off. If he gained the Sharingan now, when he was completely unready to handle the responsibility of the eyes, there is a very, very high chance he would abandon the village the second he had a good offer on enough power to kill his brother. I, unlike a majority of the civilian council, am not a complete idiot. He can wait to gain those eyes."
Naruto snorted, but he was in complete agreement.
"Besides...this way we can bring up his skill level to the point where he won't rely on his eye like most of his kin did. The Kyuubi has admitted that of the Uchiha who have gained the Sharingan, the only one who has even remotely earned his respect was Itachi," said Hari flatly.
"What about me?" asked Kakashi.
"Transplanted, not inherited. You don't count, because you got yours after it was awakened by a proper Uchiha. And by the way, the one who mentioned that was your teacher," said Hari amused.
Before he could ask what the hell he meant by that, Gato had already sent a good portion of his thugs to kill the nin on the bridge. Naruto had been given the all important task of protecting both Sakura (who was beyond useless) and Tazuna (who was a civilian and not trained to fight) while Hari and Haku took out the initial wave of mercs.
The two worked surprisingly very well together, as Hari blasted the mercs and covered for Haku while he struck with needles. When Hari somehow summoned the same scythe he had used on Zabuza (with no clear idea how he brought that thing out when he didn't OWN a scythe to begin with) the mercs really began to sweat.
Zabuza gleefully took his sword and charged at the midget fully intent on killing him. Since he never really liked Gato to begin with, the fact the man was stupid enough to try and kill him (thereby voiding any contract he had) he was fully justified in slitting the man's throat. He only vaguely noticed Haku and Hari double teaming to give him a clear path.
The minute Gato's head rolled on the bridge, the mercs gave them dirty looks. They would have considered attacking the nin anyway, since it was obvious that they were all tired (with the exception of the blond, who didn't look that bright to begin with and the pink haired girl who was obviously useless)...except Inari chose that time to arrive with most of Wave carrying weapons. And it was clear they would fight if pushed.
They wisely chose to give it up as a bad job, and went back to what they were doing before being recruited.
"So Haku, what's your opinion of Green Eyes?" asked Zabuza. They were back in their base, but had decided to meet up with the Konoha nin once the bridge was finally done.
Zabuza was very interested in Hari Nara.
"He's...strange. But in a good way. He didn't even react when I mentioned I could use Ice."
Zabuza's nonexistent eyebrows shot up. Haku hated mentioning his kekkei genkai to strangers. For him to reveal that much to an enemy on their first meeting was not only unusual, it was unheard of!
"Give me an honest answer. Like why, for instance, did the brat have such an extreme reaction to my KI?"
"Ah. Hari mentioned the reason he reacted like that was because he had been under a great deal of stress and had yet to vent his anger towards something he had no control over. The fact that your KI was psychotic and bloodthirsty in nature only made it worse. He also said that part of the reason why Kakashi even agreed to do a C rank with a team that can barely work together without violence is because he wanted to keep Hari from letting go inside village limits," admitted Haku.
"You've got to be kidding me. The brat was a time bomb until I accidentally pissed him off?!"
"Shit. What about those odd abilities of his? I think Kakashi mentioned his name was Nara..."
"He's adopted into the family, and even then there were mitigating circumstances. Something about possessing the clan heir by accident."
"You've going to be joking. A ghost can't up and get a new body!"
"He can. He has a knack for possessing others once he was made aware that he had been killed. Apparently he used this skill to prank his sensei into actually teaching him..." said Haku, trying not to grin when Hari had mentioned how he had pranked Kakashi.
He fully planned to use that on Zabuza if given half a chance.