A/N: From here on out, Japanese will either be there as itself, or translated to English as italics if it's too complicated for me. Some stuff will stay un-translated (I'm not bothering with Danna, for instance, or words like ninjutsu, genjutsu, and taijutsu) even in the italics, but that's a stylistic choice. Some lines will be only partly italicized, which means that they're switching back and forth, or speaking with emphasis. The following is the only 'example' there will be, because I'm pretty sure everything else is self-explanatory. If I decide to change something in the formatting, you will be notified, of course.
"Anyone hungry?" English.
"Itadakimasu." Japanese as itself.
"Why is Zetsu trying to eat me?!" Japanese translated.
"Because you look tasty." Various non-human creatures, or emphasis where italics would cause confusion. Kuro-Zetsu's speech will not be in bold due to now being his own person.
Also, Deidara says 'un' when speaking Japanese, and 'yeah' when speaking English. We cool? Cool.
ARTISTIC LICENSE: This is the first major usage of it. For various reasons, I've moved up most of muggle tech and media to modern-day levels. One of those reasons is that they can casually set up video chats in the Ninja-verse, which was unlikely in the 80s and 90s in our world, and I don't want for the Akatsuki to regress technologically. The other reason is because of one specific movie (Megamind, which would have been impossible to make in the 80s, where it's placed here), and several computer programs (specifically robot programs and vocal programs like Vocaloid and UTAU). If you hadn't noticed, I already made a few anachronisms in the last chapter, with the movie references made there (to the same movie, in fact: Megamind. I was on a bit of a kick when I came up with this plot change, but it's a good one, if you'll take the road far enough).
The violinist that Ginny sees is an expy of Lindsey Stirling. If you wish to find her YouTube videos, her username is lindseystomp.
The Weasley brothers, growing up, were a little confused by their youngest brother. He was quiet, and often calculating, to the point that Bill and Charlie joked that he would be a Slytherin, even back when he was only two years old.
He would just stare at them, eyes half lidded, a frown that was almost a pout on his face.
He got along well enough with all his family. He was polite, and at times detached, but it slowly became very apparent that he was fiercely protective as well. When Ginny was born and he was allowed into the hospital room, his eyes seemed to fill with a type of wonder that made him actually look his age for once. He even seemed to glare at the Healer once or twice as they came to check on his mother and sister, though at his size he couldn't do much.
He also glared whenever his brothers, Fred and George especially, teased him about his puppets. They called them dolls, called them girly toys. He called them puppets, and marionettes, and didn't even stumble over the words as others his age would have.
Percy liked him. Unlike Fred and George, Ron was quiet and didn't bother him. Even though he was only seven years old, when Ron was three, Percy was already adorably precocious. He acted as though the world was on his shoulders, and if Ron didn't mess around and make loud noises like most three-year-olds while Percy was reading, then it was all the better.
Fred and George thought he was too much like Percy at first. Then, when they were five and he was three, they went a little too far in their teasing. The next night they found their beds short-sheeted, and when they fixed that, filled with itching powder. They'd turned and seen Ron standing in the door, with a lazy smirk and bored eyes.
"You can tell, but no one will believe that it was me."
They stopped thinking he was such a stick in the mud after that.
Charlie thought he could see something in his eyes once in a while, something that he couldn't explain. Charlie would find Ron searching through his books once in a while, the ones on animals, which Charlie adored. It was rather creepy how often Ron would look at pictures of desert animals, especially the venomous ones.
"My favorite is the scorpion." Ron had said, pointing to a picture of one with a bored—bored, always, always bored; he almost looked stoned, though Charlie never said—expression on his face.
Creepy, but cute. He would look in on his little brother and have to remind himself of what the boy was like sometimes, when he was asleep, and especially when he was around little Ginny. Ginny seemed to hold some special place in his heart, one that softened him and brought out the protective instinct of every brother, older or not. Sometimes, when he looked at her, there was a look of such wonder on his face, like he hadn't ever imagined the possibility of a younger sibling, and that she was a miracle in and of herself.
Bill… was amused. Ron, he noticed, had not grown jealous of the newest child's arrival, as every son before him had. He had simply grown the desire to be near and, in a manner most consternating, to protect his little sister. Jealousy was not a thing of possibility to the young boy. As the eldest, Bill knew what it was like to wish to protect those in the family that were younger than you, but not a single one of his brothers had shown this… instinct so early on. It was heartening, even if Ron's tendency to act as though he were an old man was not.
Ginny adored her older brother. He was always there, and he did whatever made her happy. Now, little Ginny was very young, but she would develop the idea of doing almost anything for her brother as she got older, so devoted they were.
Serena Lovegood first brought Luna for a play-date with Ginny when Ron was four, and the two girls were three.
Sasori was practicing with his puppets. It was annoying, really, that he'd lost so much skill, but he supposed it was a small price to pay to be alive again.
The marionette's body jerked around, not yet moving with the fluid motions he had grown accustomed to creating in his days as a shinobi.
A knock came at the door, and the marionette came quickly to his hand. Ginny was on the other side of the door, along with a chakra he didn't quite recognize. He let the age, the stress, the ridiculous intelligence leak away, and put up the not-quite-façade that was how he acted around his little sister.
"Won?" She still spoke with the lisp that all little kids had, and stepped hesitantly into the room. She, along with all the other Weasley children, was strangely wary of entering the room with the ghoul above it. At least, that's what they attributed their leeriness to. It was probably just the fact that they often walked in on Sasori, rather than Ron.
"Won, I got a new fwend." She stepped further into the room, pulling someone along behind her.
The girl was small, almost as small as Ginny, with dark blonde hair that already reached the middle of her back, despite her young age. She had remarkably large blue eyes, though they were definitively pale, with a sort of far-away look to them that he couldn't quite place. The eyes were focused on him for a second, and then dropped to her gloved hands. These hands, encased in fingerless black cloth, were in the process of wringing themselves like extraordinarily wet bed sheets.
"'Dith ith Luna." Ginny tugged the girl further into the room. "She live-th a few kiwomel… kilometahth away."
Ron stood up slowly and walked over to the girl. He stuck out his hand in a decidedly un-childish gesture. "I'm Ron."
He, of course, had no lisp.
Luna nodded, and quickly shook his hand, though she let go remarkably quickly. "I'm Luna, yeah."
She bit her lip, looking around.
"…You play with dolls, yeah?" She didn't have much of a lisp either. That verbal tic, however, did tickle at his memory, calling up the memory of another rather… flighty blonde that he'd worked with for years.
But that was all in the past.
"Puppets." He said, and there was no room for argument.
The girl blinked and tilted her head to the side. "Okay."
The simple acceptance was just that: acceptance. She didn't bother with either agreeing or disagreeing, just accepted what he'd said.
Her eyes drifted to the side a little, and grew less focused. "There are a lot of Wrackspurts around your head, yeah. More like the ones around the grown-ups. Kids don't usually have that many, yeah."
She walked closer, and her eyes grew less focused. Ron simply raised an eyebrow. He couldn't quite bring himself to really care.
"Radishes help, you know, yeah." She said, wafting a hand through the air next to his head. "It's not good for you to have a lot of Wrackspurts, because they make your head all fuzzy, yeah."
He reached up and grabbed her wrist, tugging her hand away from his head. She frowned, but looked down at the ground after a few seconds of Ron just staring at her. She pulled her hand away from him, pouting a little.
"Bye, Won." Ginny said, and pulled Luna out of the room with her. The blonde followed without question.
Ron went back to being Sasori, once again manipulating his puppets as he was wont to do.
Molly took Luna in for a play-date again when Serena needed to go to the Ministry of Magic to register a spell she'd developed.
Luna and Ginny were playing rather calmly, but then the twins showed up.
You can see why this might be a problem.
It wasn't that bad at first. They just talked in turn, twin-speak and all to try and confuse the poor girls, but things took a downward spiral when they got a little too curious.
"GIVE ME BACK MY GLOVE, YEAH!"
Ron's head turned in the direction of the noise, and he quickly slipped downstairs to see what was going on.
Luna was angry. She wasn't crying, exactly, but her face was an angry red. She was hopping up and down and trying to get the glove that the six-year-old Fred was holding out of her reach.
"GIVE! IT! BACK! YEAH!"
"What are you doing?" Ron asked, standing at the foot of the stairs. Molly, bless her heart, was outside hanging laundry, with Celestina Warbeck playing on the radio. She assumed that one of the children would run to come and get her if there was trouble. Troublesome for her, then, that they didn't.
"I want my glove back, yeah!" Luna said glaring at the twins, but more at Fred than George.
"It was just—" Fred began.
"—a joke, Ronnie." George finished, grinning as he placated his little brother.
Ron stared at them through half-lidded eyes. "I'm getting Bill."
"No!" George yelled out.
"Here are your gloves, Luna, dear." Fred said, and the twins rushed off.
Neither of them wanted to get Bill angry. He was the cool older brother. If he was unhappy with you, all the other kids would shun you for a week.
"Thanks, yeah." Luna was looking at the ground near Ron's feet, but she was still obviously talking to him.
"…Don't mention it." He walked back upstairs.
"Luna? Why did you want you' glove back tho muchth?"
Sasori tried not to make assumptions. The verbal tic, hidden palms… what if it really was him?
He got his answer just a couple of hours later.
Knock, knock, knock.
Ron looked up from the book he'd been reading. "Come in."
It was a wonder no one had figured out he wasn't a normal kid yet. They may have realized that he wasn't "normal," but they had not figured out that he wasn't normal.
"Your mom said to call you down for lunch." Luna took a small step into the room, eyes on the ground. Those eyes, still a little hazy—really, how did she do that?—slowly wandered up and around the room, finally landing on the small, very small, puppet next to him. It had, though hard to see, a scorpion engraved lightly on the surface.
Luna bit her lip as she looked around the room a little more, growing more and more anxious.
Ron… no, not Ron, Sasori was almost sure now. He closed the book and set it to the side.
"Gaki." No, he couldn't say this in English. It wouldn't work otherwise.
Those pale blue eyes, dreamy to the extreme, flew open and noticeably cleared. "Sasori no Danna?"
"In the flesh, apparently." Japanese, now.
"Danna!" Deidara—obviously—flew across the room and tackled him into a hug. "I'm so sorry about the stuff I said under Edo Tensei, un! It was just that I'd had to deal with Tobi and now we were working for him and he wouldn't shut up while I was alive and he was more annoying to me than I ever was to you, un, and he didn't die in my blast even though I was thinking apologies at him as I died for killing him 'cause he wasn't suicidal like I was, un, and I'm pretty sure that the Edo Tensei thing turned us all into a complete dumba**es 'cause I was doin' stupid stuff and you threatened to kill me even though we were both already dead, un, and I di—"
A hand clamped down on her mouth. "Brat. Stop. Take a few deep breaths. We can discuss this later."
She nodded, eyes still a little teary.
"Come on. You said it was time to eat, didn't you?" He walked off to the door.
"Yeah!" She bounced off after him.
Later that night.
Sasori was the one that woke, not Ron. The same person? Yes. Referring to one as opposed to the other, however, was more of a mode to him than a separate persona entirely. In 'normal mode' Ron was a regular child, if a little too mature and irritable. Sasori was what came when the boy was in 'shinobi mode' and any time he was woken in the middle of the night, it was the shinobi that came to the front, not the young boy.
It's a good thing that the girl that woke him was a former shinobi as well, in that case. In the house that he now lived, Sasori was careful about attacking anyone. Of course, this didn't mean that he would take kindly to a being awoken by a diminutive pyromaniac. He still had his instincts.
"Danna!" Deidara cried out. "It's just me, un!"
"Shut up!" Sasori hissed, putting a hand on her mouth. He'd pushed her down to the floor when she first shook him awake, and wrenched one arm behind her back. "There are people in the house. We can't have them hearing you squealing your pathetic little head off!"
She nodded mutely. He took his hand off her mouth, and let her go. Sasori quickly regretted this as she tackled him into another hug, and this time she didn't let go. Her arms were wrapped around his waist, squeezing tight as she buried her crying face into his torso. Sasori was a little unsure of how to react. After all, he was sitting on the floor with a sobbing three-year-old in his lap.
"Brat. Brat. That's, that's enough." He halfheartedly tried to push her off, but didn't exactly make much headway. She still wouldn't let go, and he didn't really mind as much as he pretended.
"Hug me back first, un." Her voice was a little muffled because her face was still buried in his chest, but it was clear enough for him to understand.
Sasori sighed, and after a few seconds of deliberation, lightly put his arms around her.
"Tighter. Make it a real hug, Danna. I want a real hug."
He acquiesced; no matter how awkward it made him feel, he would do it, if it would just get her off of him.
Deidara finally moved back after she felt the arms around her tighten lightly for little more than a second. She wiped her eyes and moved to sit down next to Sasori, a little too close for comfort, in his opinion.
"I missed you, un." Deidara was looking down at her hands again, wringing them again, shy again.
"I could tell." He smirked a little. "You kept me waiting a long time. I'm not very patient."
"You're being a bit of an a***hole, Danna, yeah."
"Try to stick to Japanese, while we're not by other people."
"It's… comforting." He admitted. "It's been a long time since I've actually talked to someone like this, even if it's just you."
Deidara pouted. "Mean, Danna, un."
He ignored her. "So you snuck out. Did you at least leave behind a clone of some sort?"
Deidara looked away. "Yes…"
Sasori grabbed her chin and turned her to look at him, eyes narrowed in a manner far different from his usual half lidded glare. "You did leave a clone, right?"
"Yes, un…" She pouted. "It's just…"
"What?" He asked.
"I figured that it needed to be able to react if my parents looked in, so I used a Shadow Clone, un." Deidara pouted.
Sasori stared in mild consternation. "What's wrong with Shadow Clones?"
"I learned them from Uchiha, un." She ground out.
Sasori looked at her for a few seconds, and then smacked the back of her head.
"Itai!" She cried out, grabbing it. "What was that for?"
"That was years ago. It hasn't even happened in this life. Let it go." He told her. "And be quieter."
She huffed and crossed her arms. "Fine, un."
There was a couple seconds of silence.
"Danna?" Deidara sat next to him on the floor by his bed, and she had shifted closer. Sasori blamed it on the instincts of the childish body; as a three-year-old, Deidara would naturally gravitate towards people and try to, for lack of a better word, snuggle.
"How are we gonna practice, un? Like, taijutsu partners and stuff, un." She clarified at his nonplussed look. "I know we can both practice our ninjutsu and genjutsu on our own, but we can't really practice taijutsu right without a partner, right, un?"
He thought for a few moments. "It would be… problematic for us to try meeting at night like this. You could continue coming here under the guise of visiting Ginny, but then we would have to do something with her as well."
"Why not?" Deidara moved away again and looked at him with her head tilted.
"What?" Sasori looked at her out of the corner of his eye.
She leaned forward, turning her head to get a fuller look at his face. "Why not train her? I haven't known her long and even I can tell that she adores you, so if you tell her not to talk about it to anyone, un, she probably won't. We can train as a group and maybe even teach her a little Japanese, un…"
Sasori looked at her for a few seconds, and then leaned his head back and crossed his arms, closing his eyes in thought.
"That… might work. But Ginny's only three years old, she might slip."
"So? We're both good enough at genjutsu to hide a civilian's memories, and they'll probably just think it's a game, like when little girls pretend to marry their stuffed animals to each other, un."
There was silence for a few seconds.
"Shut up, yeah. I have this second cousin, a couple years older than me, and she made me play the flower girl for whatever reason, un."
Sasori shrugged his shoulder, moving to the side a little to avoid Deidara as she let herself fall back against the bed again. They were still sitting on the floor.
"I suppose we could."
"Besides, I'll be getting a nice friend out of the deal, un. Ginny's pretty cool for a three year old, and really nice, considering she has six older brothers, un."
"I'm flattered that you think of me that way." Sasori snarked, rolling his eyes.
"I didn't mean you. What about Fred and George?" She asked, tilting her head as she asked the question in English.
"Acknowledged." Sasori said, nodding a little.
There was silence again for a few seconds, and Deidara sighed.
"I should probably go back now, un." She got up, heading towards the window.
She looked back, dithering. "Erm, Danna? Can I… can I have another hug?"
Her eyes were wide and hopeful, though that dazed look was coming back into her eyes. It was rather creepy, to be honest.
He sighed and got up, giving her the hug she'd asked for. His hug was light and short, though Deidara's was surprisingly strong, considering her current age.
"Ja ne, Danna."
"Japanethe?" Ginny asked. "Ithn't Japan weally faw away?"
"Yes, but we'll teach you anyway." Ron said—more Sasori than Ron right now, but still Ron to Ginny.
"And we'll teach you how to muggle duel, too, yeah!" Deidara grinned at her. Oh, this was going to be fun.
"Why?" Ginny asked.
"Learning is fun and it'll help you in life." Sasori deadpanned.
Ginny blinked at Deidara as the blonde smacked her forehead.
Deidara smiled and hugged her—Sasori twitched, as Deidara had really been going overboard on hugging him recently, so any hug was a little irritating—and then pulled back and pointed at Ginny's nose.
"But you can't tell your mom, yeah. You gotta tell her that we're just playing, yeah?"
Ginny nodded quickly, and looked to her brother, who nodded as well, albeit far more slowly. Ginny grinned.
"First thing's first," Sasori said, and really, he'd been wanting to have someone call him this for a while.
"When it's just the three of us, call me Nii-san."
Ginny tilted her head to the side, opened her mouth, and then closed it again as Deidara whispered something into her ear with a little mischievous grin. Sasori grew suspicious.
He felt his heart thump in his chest.
D*** it, Deidara.
For the first time in a while, Sasori didn't smirk.
He just smiled at his little sister and pulled her into a hug.
In the background, Deidara smiled too, with fondness, though there was a touch of amusement too. Ginny's confused expression was just too cute.
Ron knew his family, and knew them well. It didn't have much to do with the spying seals in each room, or the defensive seals, or… alright, a large part of the reason he knew his family so well was because of his paranoia and all the observance seals he'd put up everywhere to make sure nothing happened. Of course, this also meant that he frequently saw his family members when they thought they were alone and let their public masks fall off. And with Fred and George's frequent pranks, the paranoia was almost justified… as was checking his food for poison and less-than-desirable, less-than-edible substances.
That, however, is beside the point. The point is that, out of all his family members, he knew Ginny the best. And she was closer to knowing the true him than anyone else.
Every few nights, Ron would tell her a story. Some nights, he told her about the Juubi, the Rikudo Sennin, and the bijuu that resulted from that. Others, he told her stories of the famous Kage from all the villages, even the Sandaime Kazekage (that b******). Occasionally, he told her stories about the wars, and eventually even told her a little about Akatsuki.
She lapped it all up.
It wasn't surprising. Shinobi history was like a complicated children's book, or an elaborate painting. It was filled with political intrigue, with betrayal, with grief, yes, but it also had things that almost all little kids wanted to hear about. There were forbidden romances. There were amazing fights and even better deaths. There were feats beyond imagination and powerful forces of both good and evil. There were groups that straddled the line, like Nagato's vision of Akatsuki, which strove to keep the peace through grand-scale violence. Ginny loved it. There were all the girly aspects that she liked, and all the boyish things that she loved, having grown up with six brothers and Luna Lovegood.
It was his way of desensitizing her to the idea of shinobi. If he didn't…
He was five. In fact, he'd only turned five a few days earlier, and was still riding the birthday high, his real age notwithstanding.
Sasori blinked up at the redheaded girl with the ridiculously popping bubblegum. She was short, shorter than he had been in his first life. The blue-haired man next to her was quite a bit taller, but he seemed content to just lean against the wall behind her and smirk at the scene in amusement.
Unfortunately, Sasori recognized him. Beside him, Deidara did too. Ginny… did not. They still hadn't explained things to her completely—they would wait a few more years for that—but that may have been a good thing in this case.
"Yo." Jashin nodded at them.
"Hello, my little toys!" Diamond giggled and clapped her hands together.
Sasori frowned, noting the fact that Deidara had stepped protectively in front Ginny with him. Good.
"Why are you here?"
"Eh, eh, eh! Respect is mandatory!" Diamond asserted.
"Since when?" Jashin muttered, ignoring the pouty glare that she shot him.
"Fine, then. Oh, mighty Agent Diamond and Jashin-sama, why have you come down to earth to bestow thy wonderful visages upon us pathetic mortals?" Sasori deadpanned.
Diamond began to giggle, while Jashin snorted and Deidara muffled her small laughs. Ginny had begun to ignore them all, having sat down to draw in the ground with a blunt wooden kunai that Sasori had made to help her learn to aim. After Jashin's hair stopped catching her attention, she lost interest completely.
"Okay… I would have just settled for you saying hi before questioning us, but that works too. Anyway…" Diamond grinned widely and pulled a scroll from her belt. She tossed it to Sasori. "Catch."
He caught it easily. "What is it?"
His eyes widened and he looked down at the scroll.
"With a little Easter Egg hidden inside." She winked. "Good luck with it. Most of your old puppet-making tools are in there too. Oh, and Dei-chan, here's some clay until you find a place to get some more. It's the really good kind that we know you love to use."
She tossed Deidara a different scroll, and spun on her heel, walking off.
"Come on, Shin-chan. We've got four buffalo and a field of alfalfa to relocate!" Diamond punched a fist into the air in excitement, and disappeared in a tornado of blood.
Jashin looked at the spot where she'd been for a few seconds and then shrugged. "Whatever. Bye."
A familiar circle and triangle glowed beneath Jashin, and he sank into the portal that appeared beneath him.
Sasori looked down at his scroll. "What did she mean by Easter Egg?"
Sasori snuck into his father's shed. It had taken him half a year, but Sasori and Deidara had managed to use repeated earth jutsu to create a small workshop beneath the shed. Seals at the entrance prevented anyone but them and Ginny from finding their way in, genjutsu and general trickery hiding the entrance from view. It had been completed several months prior to the giving of the scrolls.
He stood there now with the scroll in his hand, and Deidara behind him. It was nighttime, so Ginny was in bed, but the two Akatsuki members were now ready to see what the "Easter Egg" was.
Sasori slowly unfurled the scroll, and slowly leaked some chakra into the sign that said Hiruko.
She came out in a puff of smoke, same as always. She was… perfect. All the damage that had been done to her was fixed, and he smiled as he ran his hands over the wood.
His own body was next. It was a little creepy to be looking at it like that, creepier than during the Edo Tensei, especially since Deidara grinned and gave the body a hug while smiling directly at the Sasori that was alive.
He rolled his eyes and moved on to the Sandaime Kazekage.
At this point, the circumstances got a little problematic. You see, this puppet had had its soul returned.
"Hello, Akasuna-san." The Kazekage spoke, and the two got a feeling that he would be smirking, or maybe grinning maliciously if he had been capable of doing so.
"…" Sasori stared, his mind blank. Deidara blinked for a few seconds, and then began to laugh and laugh and laugh.
"Relax, I'm not allowed to do anything; no revenge for me. The only reason they even gave me for this was that the tiny redhead wanted entertainment, and I apparently fit the bill." He leaned back against the table. "Is there any way you could modify my head so I could actually make expressions?"
Sasori nodded dumbly, his mind running on autopilot. Deidara continued to snicker.
"Great. Also, I don't know the local language, but they apparently included some language books in there, so…"
Deidara had at this point realized that Sasori was in a bit of a shock, and took the scroll out of his twitching hands. She unsealed the part that was marked with the kanji for 'books' and handed them over.
Deidara looked around for a few seconds and then shrugged. "I guess you can just act as the guard dog for the work shop for now, un. You probably aren't going to need to any sleep more than Danna did when he was a puppet, and he only needed a few hours a week. I'll take Sasori no Danna back up to his room while he wakes back up, un. Bye!"
She left, more or less skipping while she carried Sasori over her head. The Sandaime Kazekage decided to crack open one of his new books.
Ron was six, and the girls were five, when Ginny first saw what she wanted.
It was a bit complicated, you see. Had Sasori and Deidara not been reborn, and Ron and Luna simply been Ron and Luna, Ginny would have given up on it after a few months. The Weasleys were quite poor, so they wouldn't have been able to spare all the money. After a year or so, she would have forgotten about it entirely.
However, Ron was Sasori, so things happened quite a bit differently.
You see, on Ginny's fifth birthday, she, Ron, and Luna were taken to a cheap concert—and as cheap as it was, it still wasn't cheap enough for all the Weasleys to go at once—that was taking place in a nearby village. On the stage had been a woman playing the violin, dancing and even singing once in a while. She'd played several different genres of music, and even a song or two that they vaguely recognized from the radios playing in muggle shops that they sometimes visited.
Ginny loved it. She begged her parents for a violin for months, but unfortunately, even if they'd bought the violin, lessons would have pushed the budget a little too much.
Sasori thought otherwise.
You may have noticed by now, but Sasori was very fond and extremely protective of Ginny. Understand, dear readers, that he'd wanted a little sibling in his first life before his parents died, and then gave up on it once he had learnt of their demise. Wanting a little sibling is something most kids do, and shinobi children often wanted little siblings to have someone younger than them to protect in addition to the regular reasons. Ergo, Ginny herself was a form of wish fulfillment for him.
He would protect her from anything, and even though he wouldn't quite get her anything, he would definitely try for something this important to her. He had until December, Christmas, to get her a violin.
Well, he was known for his puppets and his intellect for a reason, after all. He was good with woodworking, so making a violin wouldn't be too much of a stretch for him. He could get the wood from a nearby forest if necessary, though the strings would be problematic. The rest could be made from scratch, but he would definitely need to buy strings at some point, which meant he needed to earn some money.
Shadow clones. Henge. Small, carved figurines. A small tourist shop he'd located in Ottery St. Catchpole.
Soon, he was sending a clone, under a henge to look as he had in his former life, to the village every week with a number of small wooden statuettes to sell off. It wasn't a much, not compared to the amount that he had earned in his first life, but little would be able to compare to the 'salary' of an S-rank nukenin.
It was enough, though. A book from the small library in the village explained the process used to hand-make a violin, and he'd be able to speed it up with certain seals. Most seals halted time completely for whatever was put in to preserve freshness in the cases where it was necessary; fresh food was hard to come by in the field unless you had some in a scroll. But just as time could be frozen—not that it would do any good for something to be eternal in such a manner if it couldn't do anything and time was frozen for it as well, especially since the paper of the scroll wasn't going to last forever and would eventually disintegrate anyway—time could be sped up with the help of seals. Anything for the violin that required letting it sit and 'mature' in its own way could be sped up with the help of seals if necessary.
If Sasori—Ron was just a child, he couldn't make a violin from scratch—wanted to do this correctly, he'd need practice. Christmas was, of course, in December, so he had about four months to try and make it. He'd probably need at least several practice creations to get them up to his standards. It had taken him several years to learn how to make puppets of the highest caliber. He had more experience now, so it would likely only take him a few tries to make the violin as he should.
He was right, of course. His first two tries had been mediocre at best, though he suspected that for a child's hands and body, being self-taught via book, and the very small time-frame that he had been given, they were exceptional.
His third try was finished by early November, and taken to a local music store by his henged-clone self for perusal and appraisal. It was good, but not quite the highest possible caliber. Sasori had asked what would make it better, and taken such thoughts into account. His fourth try was taken to a different music store, a second-hand one, and deemed good enough quality to sell, which he did, along with the first three, though for much lower prices than the fourth. The fifth, he had given to Ginny for Christmas.
She adored it.
It had taken his parents a lot of convincing, but they eventually accepted the fact that he somehow had made the violin himself. They decided that his accidental magic must have somehow interfered to help him. He didn't feel like correcting them.
Luna, though, Deidara… the girl had ruthlessly teased him about the effort it had taken him to learn to make the instrument. He had eventually asked her if she was only bugging him about it because she wanted something herself, which lead to a comic pout-fest, etcetera, etcetera.
Really, Deidara just enjoyed p***ing him off.
Ginny learned to play, self-taught though she was. She wasn't a prodigy, no, but she learned.
A/N: This is not the end of Deidara and Sasori's introduction. There's another two chapters coming up, but I wanted to include two things first:
The violin is actually in preparation for a different plot twist, one that I've been planning for a while. It may annoy some of you, but I'm confident that you'll be satisfied with the end result if you just wait long enough. People have told me that it's a good plan, and I'd like to think that they're not just sugarcoating.
Okay, now the Sandaime.
How many of you expected him to be the surprise addition I alluded to last chapter? I'm fairly certain the answer is less than five, all of whom knew beforehand. If there's anyone that managed to guess, then I applaud you, because this was a planned yet preposterous plot point. I hope you enjoyed it, so far as that goes.
Remember two things, people, please:
One, I plan everything. You will frequently get an answer of "Just trust me, I know what I'm doing," if you ask questions about the future or make requests for characters. I have been planning this story since long before posting the first chapter, and I have almost every year planned out. Don't request for certain characters to be added in certain positions, particularly those listed last chapter. I'm not going to listen, because those decisions were made long before you even started reading (they've been finalized since at least August 2012, I think).
Two, I update on a schedule. Without a schedule, I will get lazy and stop writing as frequently. It's why I don't update a new chapter as soon as I've written it here. Don't ask for more frequent updates, because I have a system, and it's worked so far for me. The system is the schedules and cycles list on my profile.
(The Megamind, Vocaloid, and UTAU references/plots are showing up next chapter. They're part of the same plan as the violin is.)