Firstly: this is old chapter two, modified to be in line with the new chapter one. I figured a wee bit of recycling never hurt anyone. if it's too rough, say so and I'll do what i can to clean it up.
Secondly: Looking for a beta. Anyone interested?
Chapter two: Conversations and Deals
It is said that a man's office is a reflection himself. Before the fireball had incinerated everything bu the desk and the chairs, Harry had taken the opportunity to study the room. It was a large one, as befitting the absolute ruler of the village, yet there wasn't the self-indulgent opulence and grandiosity of most rulers. Instead, there was a Spartan simplicity. The walls were covered with rows upon rows of shelves, stacked haphazardly with books and scrolls in absolute chaos. Scattered around the room were a few items of whimsy. Atop the desk was a sprawling mass of paperwork, with a few personnel photos jutting from the sea of paper. It was an image of what a busy, grandfatherly man's office should look like. Not unlike Dumbledore's.
Harry smiled chuckled at the thought. In fact, just like Dumbledore's office, it had been a masterpiece of deception.
It certainly looked like chaos but Harry could see hints of the hidden order. Without knowledge of the system, anyone who broke into this office would have nightmare of a time trying to find any information or even trying to hide their trespass. It's easy to put a scroll back where it belonged, but not so easy to notice that the scroll had a bent corner, or that it was pointing towards the door before.
Harry thought it was rather unfortunate that everything else in the room had been incinerated by that fireball. He had rather liked it.
Harry looked the Hokage sitting across the mahogany desk and reminded himself not the estimate the man. From the vast amount of notes that Harry had recorded from Shin, it was apparent that one did not become the absolute ruler of the most powerful military force on this world by collecting stickers. For all his kindly old man act, the Hokage is the most powerful person in the village and known as the God a Shinobi, for good reason, as evident by the fireball he had tossed, or rather breathed, at Harry.
"I would offer you tea," the somewhat regretful tones of the Hokage broke Harry from his reverie, "but given the state of my office, I don't think that's possible."
"It that it?" Harry asked with a smile. A wave of his wand conjured two small plates of biscuits and two small cups filled with steaming tea. "A slightly singed office no good reason to skimp on good manners."
Harry picked up his cup as the Hokage stared at him in stunned silence. I supposed I would be surprised as well. I wish I could see magic again for the first time. Admittedly, their situations were a little different. Harry's first encounter with magic had been when he was rescued from his barely human relatives by a friendly and jovial Hagrid. The Hokage, on the other hand, was experiencing it from someone who, while not directly responsible still had a hand in, burning down his office.
Not the same thing at all.
"Is that real tea?"
"Hm? Yes and no. same for the biscuits. You can eat them, but don't expect them to provide any nourishment."
Harry watched the old man take tentative sip of the tea. The Hokage's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "this is surprisingly good." He complimented Harry, taking a biscuit from his plate.
"I spent quite some time perfecting them. It does make being away from home for so long a just a little more bearable." Harry replied without any false modesty. With good reason. He had spent literally decades trying to get the taste exatly the way he wanted it, though he was still working on his butterbeer.
"So you're a magician."
Harry sighed. "I had hoped for a more graceful start to this conversation, fireballs aside." He finished his biscuit and put the cup back on the table. "Yes, I am a magician. That being said, I would much rather you use the word mage. Magician makes me feel like a children's entertainer."
"Of course. My apologies." The Hokage replied in sincere, if guarded tones. "As grateful as I am for the refreshments, may I ask what you wanted to see me for?"
"Well, for one, I have a complaint about your village. I don't appreciate being drugged and then sent to an interrogation room. Trespass should only be a slap on the wrist as a punishment. While I understand that as a general you do not have control over all of your soldiers, I would appreciate you reign in their zeal." Harry paused and then chuckled at the expression on the Hokage's face. "No, I jest. The reason that I'm here is that I'm currently investigating the Uchiha clan."
"The notes you had on the clan." The Hokage noted with some relief.
"Yes, the notes." Harry sighed. "While my, uh, informant was thorough, he neglected to mention that Uchiha clan had all died."
"They only died a week ago. I doubt the news that well known yet."
"Trust me, my informant is well situated to known about these events. In fact," Harry told the Hokage through gritted teeth, "I may have to have a word with him concerning his failure in this matter."
"You still haven't explained what you want with the Uchiha."
"No I haven't have i? Let's just say that I am looking for a man that I believe only the uchihas had knowledge of. That's why I was initially interested in meeting. Unfortunately, it appears that all but two of them have been wiped out. I would like to meet them.
Harry watched the Hokage study him.
"And if I choose to deny your request?"
Harry shrugged. "I'll meet them one way or another. The truth of the matter is, you really can't stop me if I wanted to." Seeing the Hokage's eyes harden, Harry gave the old man a friendly smile. "This is not a threat. No. this is a simple statement of fact. If I want to see the boy, you can't really stop me." His piece said, Harry picked up his tea again. With a tap of his finger on the side of porcelain cup, the tepid waters were heated to steaming once more. Harry took a sip before continuing. "If it makes you feel any better, I guarantee that no harm will come to the boy. I can question him in this room if you want.
"We'll see after I speak to the boy. If all goes well, I'll be gone from here almost immediately. If not, then we need to sit back and examine our options, won't we?"
It was at that moment that there was a knock on the door.
"Don't mind me. I'm sure you must have other important matter to attend to." Harry told the Hokage. "Deal with whatever it is that requires your attention. I won't mind."
The door opened two ninja. One was Ibiki from the interrogation chamber and the other was a white haired man that his shinobi forehead protector thing, I know there's a proper name for that thing, worn diagonally over his face so that it covered on eye.
Both stopped when they saw the scene in the office.
"Ah, hello there. Care for some tea?" Harry asked pleasantly. As the two of the stared in silence, Harry waved his wand again and the empty chair next him proceeded to walked awkwardly to the door, where it melted into a small round table with two cups of tea and a another small plates of biscuits. "I assume you had a message of some sort for the Hokage?"
"I, ah," Harry watched with fascination as the face of the interrogator contorted itself, trying to find some middle ground between shock, rage and fear before finally shutting down into the blank mask that Harry recognised from the interrogation room, "You wanted to see Kakashi, Hokage-sama?"
"Yes, come in. Ibiki, I think you can call off the ANBU for now."
"Please, don't bother on my account. I would suggest you station your ANBU all around this office, both for your peace of mind and the peace of mind of your Hokage," Harry told the scarred interrogator with smile. The man left with a scowl, probably at the fact that Harry had just suggested what he had been thinking, causing Harry's grin to widen.
When the door closed again with a quiet click, Harry turned his attention to the white haired Kakashi, who Harry found had removed the forehead protector that had been covering his eyes. There were something that looked like apostrophes that surrounded the pupil of that eye, Harry saw with fascination. They had an almost hypnotic quality to them that seemed to pull at Harry, drawing him into those deep pools of black.
Harry shook his head and cleared his mind. There would be time o study that eyes later. I mean, what would be the genetic advantage to evolving an eye that looked like that? "Seen everything you want to see?" Harry asked the white air ninja with a smirk. "Should I take my shirt off too?"
"Kakashi? You can speak in front of him." Harry heard the questioning tone sof Hokage behind him and was about to turn when Kakashi spoke again, the confusion evident tin his voice. "He's completely dead, Hokage-sama. There is no chakra in his body. He doesn't have the chakra coils, or nodes or anything."
Oh. "Is that eye a diagnostic tool of some sort? It can actually see chakra?" Harry asked the ninja in curiosity. When the white haired ninja did not reply, Harry sighed in dejection and turned back to the Hokage with a slightly hurt expression on his face. Apparently the old man still didn't believe. "I told you it was magic. I don't use chakra. Let's just say that it's a game for the young and leave it at that, eh?" Harry made a sharp gesture that cut off any further question from either man. "Enough of that. Back to my request. Will you grant it?"
After a moment of heavy silence, the Hokage spoke in a weary voice, "Kakashi, can you bring Sasuke here please. Just go. I'll be fine."
When the white haired ninja had left, Harry found himself studying the Hokage sitting desk his desk in his office. The animal in his natural environment, as it were. Above everything else, the Hokage looked, tired. It wasn't readily apparent, but Harry could see it in the slump of the shoulders, the well concealed bags under the eyes and more than all else, Harry could see the dimming light of the man's life every time the mage closed his eyes. He knew the story of the current Hokage's return to power after the death of the last, but seeing it here there was only one question on Harry's mind.
"Why what?" the Hokage asked.
"Why this." Harry made a sweeping gesture that encompassed the room. "Why come back? You were retired. Why come back when you obviously don't want to?"
The Hokage gave Harry a startled look before breaking out into a choked laugh, entirely devoid of humour. It was a laugh that Harry had heard before, from kings and general, popes and mages. It the surprised, gratified laugh of a man who had been asked a question that he had always wanted to be asked, long after he had though anyone ever would. It was a few moment before the Hokage regained control and looked at Harry once more, a crooked smile playing upon his lips.
"Did you know that you're the first person to ask me that?" The old man laughed again, that same humourless laugh ringing around the room. "My friends, students and advisors all assumed that I wanted to resume the role. Even my children though it would be good idea, for someone of my experience to become the Hokage again."
The Hokage looked Harry in the eye. "Do you know what I see when I look at you?"
"No." Harry was somewhat thrown by the sudden change in the direction of the conversation.
"I see a man around the same age as my son Asuma. You don't look like you're any older than your late twenties. Yet when I look in your eyes, I see a man as old as me. A man who has spent a lifetime walking through one battlefield after another. So tell me, oh ancient youth, if you were me, why would you retake the position of Hokage?"
It didn't take Harry long to come up with the answer. It was the same reason he became an auror after he killed Voldemort. He didn't have to join the auror corp – the potter and black inheritances made him rich enough to never have to work again. Harry could have spent the next thirty years drowning himself in luxury without making much of a dent in his fortune. He didn't. He chose to undertake the gruelling training to become an auror, spending the next ten years hunting down dangerous criminal and eventually getting himself killed in the line of duty. He certainly didn't have to spend the next two and a half centuries hunting down immortals. Hermione once called it his saving people thing, but she was wrong. It was something similar, yet a world apart.
The Hokage gave him the first genuine smile since they had met. "Yes. Duty. For men like us, Duty is the only thing that remains. My duty, first and foremost is to the village and the children that would be our future. The position of Hokage is a heavy once. I would spend the next twenty years as Hokage if it mean I could spare them that."
Harry looked at the Hokage with newfound respect. In many ways, the Hokage was similar to Dumbledore. The old headmaster would speak of love with a twinkle in his eye, and solemnly declare that redemption should be available to all. Harry used to believe him until. Ten years seeing the worst that the wizarding world had certainly disabused him of that notion. Over two centuries wading through warzone after battlefield, seeing the atrocities that the rest of humanity could and would perform in the name of power and immortality had stripped Harry of whatever remnants of that particular sentiment.
The Hokage did not speak of love. He spoke of duty, of serving those that you cherish and had a duty to protect. It sounded so similar to Dumbledore's concept of love but ultimately differed in a very fundamental way. Harry agreed wholeheartedly.
"Hokage-sama, I've got Sasuke Uchiha here."
Harry saw the door open and the white haired ninja enter the office, leading the small black haired boy in and closing the door behind them, but not before Harry caught sight of the throng of Ninjas just outside the door. Ibiki certainly moves fast.
"You can ask your questions," the Hokage told Harry.
"Of course, but I won't ask them directly. I 'll just sift through his memories for what I need."
"You'll do what?" The Hokage demanded in both alarm and outrage.
"Please," Harry told the two ninjas in exasperation. "I've done this thousands of times. It's not going to harm him, and it will certainly be a lot quicker than directly asking him."
Without another glance at the two, Harry knelt on one knee and looked at the black haired boy in the eye with a smile. "Now, what's your name?"
"Now sasuke, I've going to take a look at your memories. I just need to look for a bit of information. I have the Hokages permission and I promise it won't hurt. Is that ok?"
The boy turned to look at his Hokage and Harry did the same, giving the old man a warning look. After a tense few seconds, the Hokage gave a terse nod and sasuke turned back to Harry.
Harry spared the two ninjas in the room a look of warning. "If you care for the child at all, do not interrupt me. A mistake here could cost both our minds."
That was true. This wasn't the original legilimens spell that Snape had brutalised his mind with. This was something far more complex, but a great deal more effective. Harry looked the boy in the eye and whispered: "Legilimens."
The boys mind was a chaotic mess. That was the problem with the minds of children. Their sense of selves and identities weren't quite fixed yet and their memories weren't quite as compartmentalised as that of adults. Instead, it was a chaotic slurry of sights and sounds that flowed in strange currents obeying even stranger rules, with Harry standing in the midst of it all. Yet at the same time, he could feel the cold harness of the stone floor of the Hokage's office beneath his right knee. Harry concentrated for a few moments and imposed his will temporarily upon the madness. Shapes began to form and eventually it resolved into rows upon roles of grey metal filing cabinets set upon a black tiled floor. Above them a white nothing that stretched as far as Harry could see.
Harry frowned. This won't do. Not if he was searching for specific information that may or may not be there. Again Harry reached out to reshape the mindscape but the minute he did so, the cabinets began to shudder as if in an earthquake.
Hm. I may have been a little heavy handed there.
Once again, Harry reached out, this time a little more delicately. The floor began to ripple and a computer complete with scanner rose up from the ground.
A little better. Let's seen if we can make this a bit more high tech.
For the third time, Harry tried to shape the mindscape, and like the first, the ground rumbled.
I see. So that's the limit eh? Harry looked at the antiquated electronic equipment in scepticism. I guess I can work with this. Harry snapped his fingers and the picture of Madara Uchinha that his dictation pen had copied from Shin fluttered down to him from the blank void above him. He scanned the picture into the computer, typed in the name Uchiha Madara and used the search function. As the computer began to search, Harry looked at it in amusement. I can actually hear it whirring.
After what felt like eternity to Harry, who had been tapping his finger impatiently on the table, the screen displayed the location of a number of files, most of which were audio, but with the complimenting video attached if he wished to see. Harry stared at the screed for a few minutes looking for a function to bring the files up before sighing in defeat. If this was an adult mind, the necessary conveniences could be easily created, but a child's mind was a great deal less stable. I guess I have to go get the files myself.
He spent some time tracking down every single one and brought them all back to the computer desk before sitting down to examine all of them.
The first files was a mistake. It was someone who had a passing resemblance of the man Harry was looking for.
The second was a conversation about the founding of the village. As were the third, fourth and fifth.
The sixth up to the hundred and eighty fifth were all lessons of some kind, either on Konoha or of the clan itself.
It was on the hundred and eighty sixth file that Harry stuck gold.
It was the night that Itachi murdered his entire family. So that's what happened to the Uchihas. However, Itachi did something to his younger brother that night. There were two sets of memories – what Sasuke remembered, and what Sasuke's eyes and ears actually saw and heard.
The first set were, to put it bluntly, excruciating. Harry had winced on seeing them. There would be scarring from that, no matter what happens.
The second was what was interesting.
Itachi looked down at his younger brother in sadness. There was the sound of the door opening and itachi turned his head towards someone that could not be seen.
"I thought I told you to wait outside Madara," Itachi had growled.
"I guess you couldn't kill your younger brother after all." The other man replied with mild satisfaction, as if confirming a theory.
"Enough," Itachi had growled, anger visible on his face, "I have done what needed to be done. Let us depart."
The other man must have signalled his agreement in some way because Itachi quickly left Sasuke's line of sight. There was the soft sound of footsteps and the door closing.
Unfortunately that was the only file of any relevance out of the literally hundreds suggested. Still, it was enough to establish a connection between the murderous scion of the Uchiha clan and Harry's target. With a nod of satisfaction, Harry withdrew from the boys mind. He blinked quickly, ignoring the uncomfortable sensation of the dry rawness of his eyes.
"You okay Sasuke?" Harry asked the youngest and Uchiha and the boy nodded. Harry ruffled the boy's hair affectionately. "You did great."
"They're awake!" the voice was loud and shrill, forcing Harry to wince.
When he looked up to see who had that excruciating voice, Harry found the room had been filled with ninjas of every sort. Not the animal masked ninjas from before, but a wide assortment in a variety of clothing, both male and female and every single one of them was looking at him. Some had their weapons out, other were examining medical equipment with wires that had been attached to both Harry and Sasuke. Harry looked around and found the Hokage still behind his desk, looking at boy with worry. "I guess I was away there for some time huh?" he asked the Hokage.
"Not long. Just a few hours," the man replied dryly. "Is he ok?"
"He's fine," Harry reassured the old man. "He's going to have a fair bit of psychological scarring from what his brother did to him, but they'll be gone in a few years if you treat them correctly."
The room froze. "How do you know that? That's an S class secret." Someone in the room demanded.
"Are you kidding me?" Harry asked incredulously. "I was just sifting through the boys memories. You think something as traumatic as that wouldn't come up?" He snorted. "Morons."
The entire room bristled at the insult, except the Hokage, who looked at Harry with serious eyes and said, "I assume we need to talk?"
"That we do," Harry replied. "That we do"
Immediately, the Hokage told Kakashi to take Sasuke to the hospital for a full check-up, kicked everybody else our and closed the door behind them.
"I have a problem," Harry told the Hokage when the man had resumed his down. The Hokage stiffened. Harry ignored him and continued. "I'm looking for a man who should be dead. His name is Madara, ring any bells?"
The Hokage gasped. "Uchiha Madara? But he's dead!"
"Obviously not, or I wouldn't be looking for him," Harry replied in irritation, "and before you ask, I have impeccable sources. My problem is twofold. The first is that I can't find Madara. Fortunately, it appears that your Itachi is heavily acquainted with him. Which brings me to my second problem. I don't know where your Itachi is either. However, I think that is a problem that you can help me with."
The Hokage closed his eyes as if in pain. "We don't know here itachi is either."
"You must be kidding me! He wipes out one of your four noble clans and you don't know where he is? At least tell me that you're looking for him."
"We do. We have agents in all of the elemental countries looking for Itachi."
"Excellent." Harry rubbed his hands together. "Then you'll inform me when you find him." He stood up to leave. "I'll be around."
"Wait." Harry turned to the angry face of the Hokage. "What makes you think that you'll be staying in Konoha? Or that I'll tell you anything? Especially after what you did?"
Harry looked at the old man with one raised eyebrow, "did we cover the part where you can't stop me?"
"You were brought down last time. I hardly think this time we'll let you live." The Hokage growled.
"That was luck," Harry dismissed the Hokage's threats with a casual wave of his hand. "It won't happen again."
"Not if we send all the Shinobi in the village against you."
"What will that get you apart from a lot of dead ninjas?" Harry replied mildly.
"Then who will give you the information you want?" The Hokage countered.
Harry looked at the old man with appraising eyes. He hated to admit it, but the old bastard had him by the short hairs. If he wanted that information, they Harry was going to have to play ball. Harry wasn't sure if he should be angry or impressed. Maybe both. He walked back to his chair and slumped into it. "Fine. You have a point. What do you want in return?"
"I would you like to lend your skills to the village."
Harry stared incredulously at the Hokage before bursting out into laughter. "You impress me, you really do," Harry said, pretending wipe tears away from his eyes. "Not many people have ever asked me that." The smile dropped from his face and for a single moment, Harry was deadly serious. "I owe my loyalty to none but one, is that understood?"
The Hokage glared back and two of them stared at each other in a contest of wills. The Hokage was the first to break away.
Harry sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I understand the situation that we're in. It's a simple one. Can we not make it more complicated than it seems? I want something that you have, and you want something in exchange. Just tell me what it is."
"I would you like to lend your skills to the village." The Hokage repeated. When Harry glared at him, he quickly amended it with, "just help the village."
"What are your terms?"
"I want you to swear an oath to the village."
"No." Harry's reply was short, sharp and simple, delivered with the force of his objection to the idea.
"We must have a way to ensure your loyalty to the village."
"Did you not hear what I said earlier old man?" Harry snarled back. "I have one Loyalty, and I will not under any circumstances compromise that." Harry paused for a second. "What do you want me to do for you village anyway?"
The Hokage sighed. "Would you object to being sent on missions? They would give you an opportunity to see more of the elemental countries and possibly even find Madara or Itachi on your own. It would also make you a fair bit of money."
"Sure." Harry replied after considering what the Hokage said after for a few moments. His points have merit. "Put me down as an independent contractor. I'll take jobs on case by case basis."
"You wouldn't mind if we have you spar with one of our Jounins would you? Just to have an idea of what you can do."
"You've seen what I can do. I could probably destroy any of your ninja."
"Not what I meant. Just a physical spar. To have a general idea of you capabilities."
"Sure." Harry assented with a shrug. He needed to loosen up a bit, seat a little and purge whatever was left of that poison from his body. "It's not something I use regularly so I'm probably a little rusty."
"That won't be a problem. I'm sure we can find someone down at the training grounds." The Hokage rose from his seat and opened the door to his office before turning back to Harry. "If you will come with me Hari-san."
Harry rose to follow him.
Ignoring the dozens of animal masked Ninjas, the two of them walked through empty coriddors and past rooms that seemed to be filled with either weapons or scrolls. Always, they were discretely followed by the animal masked ANBU. It wasn't long before the Hokage led Harry to what he assumed were the training rounds. Actually, it looked like an arena of some sort, with a walk surrounding the sandy ground and raised seats all around. In fact, there were a few men and women, Ninjas all of them, sitting in those seats talking animatedly. Harry scowled. Training ground my backside. I think this is an exhibition match. Harry smiled. It was not an altogether pleasant expression. The old man probably think I'm only good for magic. Heh. Someone's going to be in for a surprise.
"Gai!" Harry saw the Hokage call to the stands and a man summersault from the seats onto the sand of the arena. He was wearing –
Harry stared. He wasn't what his reaction should be. There was ridiculous, and then there was just plain absurd. Who in their right minds would wear bright green leotard? A woman wouldn't wear that. Let alone a man. And that haircut. Those eyebrows. Ugh. I couldn't look that ridiculous if I tried.
"Is he completely, you know, there?" Harry asked the Hokage out of the corner of his mouth.
"Gai does have a, ah, unique view of fashion," the Hokage admitted, "but he is also one of our elite shinobi. They call him the green beast of Konohah. For obvious reasons."
Harry wasn't quite sure how to reply to that, so he said nothing. Instead, he studied the man as he approached. Idiotic fashion choices aside, Harry could see what the Hokage meant when he said elite. The man didn't walk towards them so much as he flowed, each move with a graceful efficiency that took year, if not decades of training to obtain.
"Gai," the Hokage told man in green, "I want to you spar with Hari-san here. He's just joined Konoha and I would like to see where he's at. The reason I called you is that like you, he can only use taijutsu."
"Yosh! He is most youthful. I will do my best against him."
Harry looked at Gai with one raised eyebrow in amusement. Harry was over three centuries old. The only people in the house that were older than him were Ducos, Rosella and Kjietl. Harry hadn't been called youthful for at least two centuries.
"It will be pleasure to spar against you Hari-san!" Gai told Harry enthusiastically.
"Likewise," Harry replied as he rolled his shoulder and stretched a little to loosen the tightness in his muscles. Whatever that poison was, it did him no favours.
"Let's go." Before Harry even finished, Gai was already charging towards him. In less than the blink of an eye, Harry found Gai in front of him and was forced to dive to the left to avoid a vicious kick to the stomach.
He's fast. Harry realised, as he twisted to avoid another attack. Strong too. Harry realised as he jabbed Gai's right arm just in the right arm to divert an incoming backhander, throwing the Ninja off balance. It had been like punching a steel bar. Ok. He's stronger than you, so you're not going to be able to do much damage, but you're faster. So play this out and tire him out.
Gai was impressed. Over the years, he had fought many types of shinobi. Not counting his mission encounters, he had sparred against his eternal rival Kakashi, the other jounin and on one occasion the Hokage himself. Never had ever fought someone like this Hari.
He was fast, but not just fast. Against any other opponent, there would be blocks and counter strikes. Fighting Hari was fighting water. He simply wasn't there. Gai spun on one leg and delivered a swift kick towards his opponent, who simply flowed out of the way. He feinted with his left and threw sharp jab. Hari simply tapped his arm and the jab changed direction. Not a great deal, but enough to miss the target, forcing Gai to change his stance to maintain his balance. Gain grinned in a combination of exhilaration and frustration. He wanted to keep fighting, to keep testing himself against this new technique. Yet his body was betraying him. He could feel himself tiring, his chakra tiring until he simply couldn't fight anymore.
Finally, Gai simply stopped. "Enough." As he bent over with his hands on his knees, panting for air as sweat dripped from his brow, Gai couldn't keep the grin off his face.
Like the rest of the shinobi sitting on the stands, Hiruzen watched the spar with amazement. When Hari said he knew unarmed combat, Hiruzen wasn't sure what he was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. He watched in amazement as the magician, mage, Hiruzen corrected himself, managed to dodge, avoid and misdirect every single strike that Gai sent. Hiruzen watched as Hari flowed around Gai and marvelled at the skill. Every single strike was placed with surgical precision to redirect a blow with the minimal energy, every dodge a demonstration of efficiency.
It was nowhere near as graceful or impressive as some schools and methods. Instead, there was a brutal utilitarianism with hints of grace in the half performed manoeuvres aborted halfway and truncated moves, as if someone had taken a school of Taijutsu and stripped it of anything but the necessities.
Finally, Gai, even with his prodigious chakra reserves, couldn't keep fighting any longer and gave up.
Hiruzen walked over to Hari and saw that the young mage was only breathing hard.
"That was impressive." Hiruzen complimented the young man. "Where did you learn that?"
"Picked it up from my homeland," Hari replied. "It was originally called tai chi, but I've had to make some adjustments to it over the years."
"Why didn't you fight back?" Hiruzen looked at Gai, who had finally caught his breath and was standing there with a somewhat manic grin on his face.
"I'm not strong enough," Hari shrugged. "I'm a mage. Normally I jus detroy whoever comes up against me with magic. I don't need to be strong. I only learnt this to defend myself and buy time if an enemy came close enough. That's why I learnt Tai chi. it was originally designed to be used against stronger foes. I've made some adaptations over the years, but the same basic principles is still there."
This would be tremendously useful for our special and support nins. Hiruzen realised with a flash of insight. They could simply focus on protecting themselves and saving their Chakra.
Hiruzen glanced at Hari again. "I would like you to demonstrate this method to some of our junior and support nins."
"We'll talk about it tomorrow," Hari growled. "I'm going to get something to eat, and something to drink. Then, because our deal has been concluded, we're going to talk about how you screwed me and I'm going to tell you I screwed you. Is that acceptable?"
Hiruzen could feel the beginning of a grin creeping over his face, one he wiped away when Hari gave him a sour look. Still, inside, he was laughing. Convincing Harry village may be the best decision I've ever made. From what he tells me he can do and from what I've just seen, Hari will be an invaluable resource if we can make use of him.
As Harry walked away from the so called training ground, he couldn't help but feel that despite him having all the cards, he had just been suckered.
I'll burn those bridge when I get to them. Right now, I just want some food, a hot shower and somewhere to sleep off the headache.
Endnote: I'm thinking of getting harry to teach magic to the few who can to try and set this up as a recruitment world for his house. He's going to be waltzing through any missions anyway, and harry was always good with the DA. plus, it would give him an opportunity to establish some more relationship with the naruto characters.
and please remember that teaching does not mean the students immediately learn everything. it takes years to gain any basic competency. what i'm suggesting is that harry lays down some basic groundwork. besides, harry is one of the few most powerful individual in this world.
good idea? bad idea? suggestions?