Summary: After everything Suguha figured that she just wasn't meant to find love. Who knew that she would find it in the strangest individual ever to roam the digital lands. Post-war and starts with SAO in Harry's P.O.V.
Disclaimer: Still don't own Harry Potter or Sword Art Online.
Warnings: OOC (as always), language, violence and a possibility of Lemons in future. The timeline will be slightly different as SAO is set in 2022-2024 and Harry Potter finished in 1997. Just work with me on this.
Pairings: Asuna/Kirigaya(Kirito), Harry/Suguha(Leafa)
How it all started
Harry watched impassively as his employer explained his devious plan to all the trapped players. How had it come to this? Ever since the war Harry had sought peace and quiet, pulled into the Muggle technology world to get as far away from the Wizarding World as possible. Being the Master of Death should have prevented him from dying, but it sure as Hell hadn't prevented him from getting his mind locked away in a scientific project. He had agreed with the experiment, clear and healthy of mind, seeing it as a new experience. Something his employer had praised him about.
His body was now lying somewhere in the depths of Kayaba's experimental laboratory, carefully monitored and hooked up to a virtual reality system. It's been years since he had seen the daylight, almost two since he had felt the warmth of the sun on his face. He didn't blame Kayaba for getting him stuck in this virtual world, he had agreed to it after all. Never could he have known the consequences of those actions though.
Harry had watched as the world was build around him. Kayaba had given him free reign to change the landscape to whatever he desired. It was the least the scientist could do for him. His employer had shown remorse after the first year and had promised to see if he could get Harry out of his own system, but whatever Kayaba tried the Hero of the Wizarding World had remained quite stuck in this virtual reality.
When Kayaba came to him, all excited about getting permission to get Beta-testers for his game, Harry had been a little worried and excited at the same time. Something about seeing other people and interacting with them made him hopeful for the future. Kayaba had made him part of the game, giving him access to secret information gamers could ask in exchange for money or items. The importance of the information he would give depended on the amount of money or rarity of the item. The higher the level the player wanted to clear, the rarer the item or higher the amount of money had to be.
Not a lot of players had known about him though. Through the entire testing faze only two-hundred from the thousand players found out about his use. To the others he had just been another player or sometimes even thought of as an NPC.
After months of testing, Kayaba suddenly changed. He kept creating different gaming object which were almost unbeatable unless you had a level higher then 50 and he kept restricting Harry's use. The copy of Hogwarts castle Harry had created in the middle of floor 42's forest had become the ex-Wizard's permanent residence and for a long time the raven head had only been able to move on certain floor's. The weeks between the end of the Beta tests and the launch of the game the green eyed Hero had only been able to move around floor 42.
Kayaba seemed all apologetic when he visited the irritated twenty-two year old the day before the launch. He explained that a few glitches and bugs had infested on of the floors and so couldn't have anyone 'messing around'. Harry had found it suspicious since he had been hired to keep the system running. Even if he could no longer wake up in the real world, he still had authorization to prevent things like that. Hell, it was what he had been hired for.
Now that Kayaba had started to explain his experiment Harry couldn't feel surprised anymore. It was probably because the Wizard was stuck in this virtual world that Kayaba got the idea in the first place. Harry just couldn't understand why the Kayaba he knew would trap a number of innocent people inside his virtual world.
The projection of a cloaked Kayaba in the sky vanished and Harry sighed softly as he looked at the clear panic on people's faces. With the information given, many would contemplate suicide and inexperienced players would get themselves killed trying to level up. He guessed that almost half would be dead in about two or three months. His information database provided him with knowledge on who was a Beta-tester, a seasoned gamer and a novice. Basically who would have the most chance on surviving the game.
"What do you think?" Kayaba's voice came from behind him and the green eyed Wizard turned to watch his employer intently watching him. Harry raised a single eyebrow and turned to stare at the distraught prisoners beneath him. He let out a low sound, not really interested in having a conversation with the creator of this virtual prison. "Oh come on Harry," he continued, obviously not sensing the mood or just not giving up. "This could actually cause a break through. If they know how to break out of this virtual world then we might be able to do the same for you."
"Oh, so that is your excuse for locking up how many people inside this virtual reality system?" He continued to stare down, watching as at least two people escaped the madness. One a Beta-tester and the other an experienced gamer.
He could almost feel the scientist pouting behind him. "Don't be like that Harry. You know how much I appreciate you working for me and how sorry I am for locking you into the system."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes we all know how sorry you are. The fact that you locked me on floor 42 for an entire 2 months reminds me how much you want to help me."
"I explained about the…"
"Bugs, yes I know," Harry interrupted. He turned fully, facing his employer with more anger then he had ever felt. Even when he had been receiving Voldemort's anger through the link with the older Wizard he hadn't felt nearly as much anger as he was feeling now. Kayaba visibly flinched at the raven head's anger. "But why did you take these children prisoner? I would have happily been part of your game until you found a way to free me, but in the mean time you came up with this insane idea that I might actually be happy with permanent company. Why, Kayaba-sensei, why was this necessary?"
The young scientist looked sad and slightly lost, staring at his shoes. "Maybe this was a step too far," the man whispered suddenly. "But what is done, is done. I cannot undue it now."
Harry folded his arms across his chest and sighed in annoyance. "Stop looking so pathetic," the twenty-two year old snapped. "Are you Kayaba Akihiko or not? You are my sensei, you taught me everything I know and I worked with you side by side to get this program up and running. I know you Kayaba. You might be a little heartless sometimes but I also know that you would have made a back-up plan should things go wrong. You haven't made the same mistake twice ever since I got locked inside your virtual world. So undo this while you still can. Please."
The silence which had fallen between them was only interrupted by the talking and shouting from below. Kayaba looked up, staring at Harry with a peculiar look in his eyes. One the green eyed Wizard had seen many times before. "I can't undo what I have done, but I can make you a promise." Harry frowned but let the man speak. "As I am now part of the game as well, I will participate. It was what I had planned in the beginning. I am the end boss you see." The slight sadistic glint in the scientists eyes made Harry slightly worried. "I planned to lay low for a while, make a few appearances here and there until I deemed it a good enough time to start a guild. As soon as the players band together to make the first multiplayer party and find the first boss room I will enter the playing field."
Harry nodded. "Very well. What will you have me do?"
"The same as you did before," Kayaba said, clearly happy that Harry was willing to forget for now so they could plan for the future of the game. "You will have information which you can trade with. This time the stakes will be higher of course. We have to keep it interesting. You are allowed to travel between floors but can only give the information once the players reach your floor."
"No," Harry interrupted quickly. "That will take too long. By the time the players reach floor 42 most of my information will be useless. I want to be able to trade my information from all floors."
"We have to keep it interesting," Kayaba said with a shake of the head.
"Interesting! You've created a bloody Death Game. I think the players will be worried about other things then how interesting the game is!"
The scientist held up his hands in a defensive gesture. "Very well, very well. How about settling on floors 5, 14, 28, 33 and 42 then? I'll give you permission to set up a few shops and houses you can use on those floors and a build in alarm system the moment a costumer enters. It will give you other things to do as well if you open up an armoury and something like an item and food store. You will still have your castle on floor 42 so I don't think you will need an extra item shop on that floor."
"Fine," Harry said with a short nod. It wasn't ideal but it would have to do. He could see that he couldn't argue with his boss. "What will you be?"
Kayaba blinked before grinning. "I will be an expert swordsman and Guild Leader of course." Harry rolled his eyes. Of course.
The Cardinal system was annoying Harry to the point of destroying half his property. Of course, being in a gaming system this meant that a lot of screens of immortal objects appeared. Logging into his own system, Harry changed his training field slightly and created a giant creature which reminded him of the Basilisk he slayed in second year. Equipping his sword, the Wizard set about destroying the newly created creature to blow off some steam.
A month had passed and according to the Monument of Life more than a thousand players had already died. The first group had yet find the boss room. Even the Beta tester had yet to pass onto the next level of Aincrad. It meant that Harry had been alone, left to his own devices for an entire month. He was seriously considering forcing the system to get him to the first floor. It may leave him locked out for a few months though, leaving him unable to assist anyone for a long while. He didn't really like the idea of that.
It was just so damn lonely here and ever since he was little he hated being unable to help. Whether it was seeing Dudley hurt others or watching his best friends sacrifice their lives for him. No, watching others get killed was a lot worse than being lonely.
The Creature exploded into a million tiny shards, floating around for a little while longer before disappearing completely. It had taken Harry all but half an hour to kill the Creature, but his tea was still warm. Just the way he liked it. "Merlin I hate this place," Harry muttered, placing the cup back on the table with just a little bit more force then necessary. "I know I shouldn't probably talk to myself but who am I supposed to talk to if those idiots can't find their way through the system. Maybe I should have created a sign or make a self updating map which alerts when secret passages are nearby."
With a thoughtful expression Harry leaned against his table, staring out over the clearing and towards the rising sun. Would that be possible? It sure as hell wouldn't be impossible. Each player who had reached a certain level would be able to unlock the skill. All Harry would be doing was give them the ability sooner. It couldn't be classified as cheating, not necessarily anyway and it would make his solitude a little more bearable knowing he would have been able to help those poor players now.
But how to go about it? He would need to create a small wormhole for him to rush through. It would give him but a few minutes before Cardinal would throw him back out of the system and to his own floor. Those few minutes could be all he could need. He had all the information right here. First to create the access code to the new map, linking it to an object so a player who finds it would be able to share it with others. Making it so the primary player wouldn't loose the extra skill, Harry placed the data on a scroll attached to a dagger. That way he could throw it and leave anonymously.
The object appeared in front of him, spinning slowly on the dagger's tip and the scroll hanging from the golden handle. It's blade was engraved with familiar markings and the crest of Gryffindor decorated the handle. This one wasn't special, only to be used for throwing, but the rest of Harry's sword collection was reinforced with spells and enchantments. Each blade was unique, crafted to remind Harry of the world he left behind. Much like his homes, his weapons represented unique stages in his life and however much he had tried to run from it, being a Wizard was in his blood.
"And so in being a Gryffindor," Harry stated, his green eyes sparkling with life as he pressed the last few buttons on his control panel. "System code; Honour. Destination; First floor, Town of Tolbana." And with that Harry disappeared only to reappear in the Town of Beginning. Checking his bearings he quickly moved towards the meeting stadium. He wouldn't be able to interact with the people around him, but if he could get his dagger to the right sort of people…
Harry jumped up on one of the pillars surrounding the stadium and froze. Who would have thought that most of the people would be gathered here? Checking his system, he noticed two Beta players in the stadium. One was standing on the platform, speaking to the crowd in front of him while the other was sitting on one of the back rows. Shock ran through his system when Harry recognised the child, or at least the child's data. Kirito, one of the testers who had first found out about him and came highest of all the Beta testers.
"Good, so at least capable player survived," Harry mumbled and summoned the item. His timer was telling him that he had only a few seconds left. Gripping the dagger's blade between his thumb and primary finger, he took aim and let it fly. It imbedded itself in the flooring in front of the Beta player which was standing on the podium. Just as his system flashed the error, Kirito looked up and at him.
"Good luck," Harry called, gaining everyone else's attention as well. "I'll be waiting." And the system pushed him back towards his floor, freezing him into place. At least he was projected onto his favourite chair, a cup of steaming hot tea and a plate with biscuits placed on the side table. Even if it was warm outside, the fire was roaring, it's comfortable warmth washing over the Wizard.
"I don't know if I should be disappointed or impressed," Kayaba said the moment he walked into the room. The Scientist seated himself across from the Wizard, staring at Harry with impassive steely eyes. "You do realise that your action caused you to be locked inside of this house for the week and this floor for the following month. No more creating monsters, no more mock battles. The only way you get to do is run for your life when you meet one of the creatures in this forest. And no, I do not know what will happen when you die in this game. It is high likely you will die in the real world, just like the other players, but you could also be reborn here or your mind will be transferred back into your body. And before you are going to try anything, your body is being kept in a comatose state and the only one who knows were you are is me."
Harry raised a single eyebrow. At least he had been unfrozen again. "Oh and who's looking after your body? Don't tell me you're logging out every night?"
For a moment Harry feared that the man would remain silent, staring into the graphic flames in the fireplace. "Koujiro-san," the Scientist muttered. With that single word Harry recognised the man he had accepted as his sensei, the man who had taught him everything about the gaming system they had worked on. Everything to test human emotions in the most extreme forms. That woman, Koujiro Rinko, had been the drive behind the man sitting in front of Harry.
"So it's Rinko-san who is looking after me," Harry said with a reminiscing smile. Rinko had been a source of inspiration and fun. The mischievous spirit inside that brilliant mind had caused for a lot of mayhem on the work floor. She was a breath of fresh air and a sister to Harry in all but blood. "I'm glad to be in such capable hands. I guess we wouldn't have trusted anyone else to look after our bodies."
Kayaba nodded thoughtfully and a comfortable silence fell between the two men. Both were staring into the flames, before Harry suddenly sighed deeply and looked up at the Scientist. "So, what happens now sensei?" the Wizard asked. "Apart from me being locked on this floor."
"Not much," Kayaba said with a smile, still staring into the flames. "I will wait till they've defeated the first boss. It shouldn't take them more then a few days now that they have all the necessary information. The first Guilds will start soon and with my new Avatar I will surely rise up to be the Leader of the Guild. One of the few who will lead the gamers through Aincrad."
"Hmm," Harry hummed thoughtfully. The wolf in sheep's clothing. Those gamer wouldn't know what hit them once they reached the 100th floor. "What will you call it, the Guild?" He already knew what name the Scientist had chosen.
Kayaba turned to him with a toothy grin, his eyes shining almost with madness. "Knights of Blood."
"Ah Argo-kun, what can I do for you today?" Harry asked, placing his weapon back into his storage and turning to the gamer who was standing in his shop. It took a month for the first group of players to reach the fifth floor and a week later Argo had found him. Out of all the players, she was the most experienced in finding information. It's why they called her 'the rat', though not in a dirty rodent kind of way. The fact that she got most of her information from him remained their secret.
She nodded in greeting. "It's good to see you are doing well. I hope you don't mind that I send along a few people to get their equipment from here?"
The Wizard grinned. "I don't mind the company," he admitted, placing an item he had kept on the side for her on the counter. "Though I was surprised that Kirito-kun had to come to you before finding me. I wonder why that was."
Argo inspected the item for a moment before raising an eyebrow at him. "It's expensive," she muttered, but excepted it nonetheless. "I know someone who will like this." Harry accepted it with a nod. She always did. "The system is weird around your house, it is probably why the other players couldn't find you at first. I remembered your data information from the tests that is why I was able to find you so quickly. Now the gamers will have to speak to me before being able to find you, same goes for your shop."
Harry nodded at the explanation and sighed. Just another obstacle Kayaba had created. "Do you have any information on level seven?" Argo asked. She knew that some things were beyond his control, Harry had tried a few times to give them information without asking for a price. Looking for loopholes in the loopholes. Unfortunately the system was well protected.
"There is one thing," Harry checked the information he had on the seventh floor. "You'll like this. Forest infestation, a lot of high level monsters and restricted information. The information you are about to give is restricted. Please input access code."
That happened a lot and Harry figured that the higher the players got, the more it would happen. Argo hummed thoughtfully. "That is one interesting place to be," she said with a playful smile. "Why Harry-kun, I believe I have some information to sell. It was a pleasure doing business with you."
Harry nodded. The girl sure was smart. "When you see our Black Swordsman tell him his sword is ready. I think he will like the modifications I placed on it." She left with a nod and a wave, disappearing into the night.
The next morning Kirito came knocking at first light. Harry grumbled at the early hour the boy had decided to show up, still munching on a piece of toast as he let the dark clothed kid in. "Morning Harry-san," he said with a serious look in his eyes. "Argo told me you finished my sword… should I come back later?"
Realising he must look a little dishevelled, Harry simply waved the boy in. "I got it right here. Have you eaten yet? I'm quite sure you only eat those dreadful buns with cream you win from quests or berries you find in the forest."
"I also get food at the Inns and restaurants," Kirito protested, clearly offended. The kid had grown on him. He was smart, frighteningly so at times, but had no social skills to speak off. It was why Kirito was always on his own. The kid thrived in his loneliness, but had the drive to work for the people looking for ways to clear floors faster then anyone. Being a solo player was hard when you wanted to clear the dungeon, but also had its advantages. No need to share last hit bonuses or items won in quests. It was also why Harry invited Kirito to eat with him whenever the kid came to him.
"Yes and how much do you pay for those?" Harry asked, rolling his eyes while he made his way to the back, gesturing for Kirito to follow him. "I hope you'll like what I did with the sword anyway. The items you gave me are all incorporated into it, making it a little heavier then the original you had. It should also match your outfit perfectly."
Harry moved to his storage space where he kept the weapons he worked on and logged in. Scrolling through the weapons list, he selected Kirito's weapon before throwing it to the kid. Kirito expertly caught it, his eyes widening in surprise when he noticed how heavy it was and how the blade had changed. "Keep updating it and you'll be barely able to lift it," Harry muttered, moving to sit at the table and continue his breakfast. "Then again when you get used to handling a heavy blade it will make you a fearful opponent."
"I do not fight against fellow players," Kirito stated in a cold voice. It was clearly a sensitive subject for him and Harry sighed before biting into his beacon and eggs. They both remained silent throughout the meal which Kirito joined after a few hesitant minutes. Sipping from his tea and feeling quite content, Harry stared pensively at the weapon he had created for his friend.
"How long until the next boss battle?" the Wizard asked casually. He browsed through his item list to see if he had anything worth selling to his favourite Black Swordsman.
Kirito was leaning with his elbows on his knees looking quite pensive as he sipped from his tea. "Not long now," he mumbled. "Do you think badly of me that I leave them to fend for themselves? Should I join a party to share my experience?"
"Is that your conscience talking?" Harry asked thoughtfully, filling his cup with some more tea. He gestured for Kirito, but the dark haired gamer shook his head. "If you want to join a Guild then join one, if you don't then don't. At least promise me something though, always be truthful. If not to others then at least be to yourself. You may hide your skill level from others or even the amount of items you possess, but at least be truthful to yourself about your abilities. You don't have to be part of a Guild to destroy monsters." The Wizard looked at Kirito for a while before smiling. "To be honest I don't think you would be suited for being in a Guild. Just imagine, you would have to talk with people and share your ideas."
The Black Swordsman looked up and stared at the grinning Wizard for a while before sighing. "You really are troublesome sometimes, I really don't know why I bother coming to you for anything." Kirito stood and stretched, picking up the weapon Harry had updated for him. Testing the feel for the weapon the kid really did look like an experienced fighter.
"Would you like to test it?" Harry asked, a mischievous glint alight in his emerald green eyes.
Kirito looked him in the eye and sighed once more. "I'm going to regret this aren't I?"
A/N: Well, that's it for the first chapter. Let me know what you think.