A dangerously skinny boy with messy black hair and bright green eyes dressed in rags woke to the sound of female screeching and banging on the small door next to him. It took him bolting upright in bed and hitting his head on the low ceiling as he instinctively tried to attack to realize he was in a small confined space.
"Ow!" the boy cried, rubbing at his suddenly sore head.
-Baka! pay attention!- a grumbling voice in his mind scolded.
"Baka fox, what the hell is going on?" the boy grumbled, completely unaware of his unusual changes.
-I don't know. All I know is that we finally finished off that moon bitch and then collapsed in exhaustion before waking up here. That and your body has changed, not only are you a shrimp again but you don't even have the same coloring,- the grumbling giant fox in the back of his mind growled in frustration.
"Nani?! That's not possible!" the boy protested fiercely.
"Boy! Get out here and make breakfast!" a loud male voice bellowed, accompanied by more pounding on the small door.
-Better play along for now,- the fox pointed out grudgingly. The boy grimaced but nodded his agreement. Small lungs drew in a deep breath of the chemical and dust tainted air of the small space before he pushed open the door and stepped out of the cupboard under the stairs.
The first thing that happened after stepping out of the cupboard was that a small boulder of flesh slammed him back into the cupboard with a cruel laugh, closing the door and leaving him in darkness.
"Well at least I've already got the baka fox on my side," the boy muttered in a mix of relief and happiness at not being alone that made the Kitsune fox chuckle in the back of his mind.
Already feeling sore he made himself successfully climb out of the cupboard this time only for reflexes he didn't have before to kick in. As a result he wasted no time in making breakfast for the skinny horse faced woman and the two overweight males waiting at the table. He found it most interesting that they eyed him like a highly dangerous captive shinobi having been put to work.
"No food for the day for slacking," the larger overweight male growled, swiping at him but missing with a slight movement on the boy's part.
The green eyed boy kept silent as he secretly observed all around him. Bits and pieces of memory both his and not his surfaced as he looked around while habitually standing in the corner like a servant as the oblivious family gorged themselves.
"Mrs. Figg broke her leg so we have to take the freak with us," the horse faced woman said apologetically.
"At least he was unable to ruin my Dudley's presents since we let him open them last night," the walrus man said consolingly.
-Naruto... these memories...- the fox started hesitantly.
-I know,- the boy said silently. -The kami must have decided to change things a bit. It looks like I am now both Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto and Potter Harry. It will probably take a while to integrate all of the memories and we need to start training immediately. At least Potter Harry has some activities that aren't that far from training. Though I get the feeling we are going to be doing a lot of D-rank missions without pay from the way these three are reacting to me.-
-Agreed. I will start working on repairs to your body and look for any bloodline limits you may have. As usual your chakra pool is immense and my chakra is bleeding into your coils. If we do this right the Kami may be willing to tell us what the fuck is going on,- the fox rumbled before turning away to start repairs on the badly battered body of his host, jailer, and friend.
The rest of the morning past in what he vaguely remembered was a typical fashion. Naruto cleaned up breakfast with several attempted whacks from various Dursleys and was threatened for good behavior as they all got in the car to go to the zoo. It wasn't until they got to the reptile house that things got interesting for the ninja turned wizard.
Naruto was the first to notice that the snakes were talking and not only that he could understand them. It didn't matter to him that he could tell it was another language. The demonic fox sealed in his belly noted the occurrence and immediately went looking for the source hidden inside the body of his friend and partner. Finding the soul fragment in his scar was a shock but still not the weirdest thing either of them had needed to deal with over the years. With a heavy sigh the powerful Kitsune settled down to observe to partially contained soul fragment and see if he could copy the snake speaking ability into a new bloodline for his human container.
A quick mental nudge told Naruto that his surly friend wanted him to see if he could speak as well as understand. Whichever it turned out to be both of them knew the talent would come in handy. They would just have to decide if they were going to try keeping it a secret or not, assuming the Kami would allow them to in the first place.
"~Sorry about the tub of lard. He bothers everyone except his parents,~" Naruto apologized to the snake that Dudley had been bothering.
"~You honor me Speaker,~" the serpent hissed, giving a bobbing bow to the green-eyed youth.
"~Nah, I just found out I could understand you guys and wanted to know if you could understand me too,~" Naruto said with a bright grin as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
Dudley picked that moment to try and knock him to the floor with a body slam. Using the awareness of his surroundings refined by both Naruto and Harry he quick stepped backwards, letting the larger boy over balance and fall to the floor.
"He did something freaky again!" Dudley bawled from his place on the ground.
"How is taking a step backwards freaky?!" Naruto demanded incredulously.
"Boy!" the large man, that Naruto had gathered was his uncle, growled red faced.
"I didn't do anything except move!" Naruto protested. "Its not my fault he didn't stop when he tried to ram me. Most civilians aren't that clumsy, how was I supposed to know?"
"Vernon, the neighbors," his Aunt hissed in warning, glancing fearfully around at the crowded room.
"I will deal with you when we get home," Uncle Vernon fumed staring at him in obvious anger.
-Brat, from these new memories you just earned a beating and lost the pitiful amount of food they give you for more than a week,- the fox groaned. Neither of them were looking forwards to the pain or the time spent healing.
-Maybe I can turn that to my advantage,- Naruto mentally shot back.
"Are you going to hit me again?" Naruto challenged loudly, further drawing the attention of the people around them. Vernon's rough grab and yank on Naruto didn't help matters, getting the other people angry at his rough handling of an apparent child. What followed was protests following arguments with the people around them over his obvious mistreatment until Vernon threw up his hands in disgust.
"We never wanted the good for nothing freak any way. You people want him so badly, take him! We wash our hands of him," Vernon thundered. He turned on his heel and ushered his relieved and laughing family plus Dudley's friend out the door leaving Naruto behind.
Naruto felt something inside him shudder and dissolve away, leaving him confused and wondering if getting kicked out had been such a good idea after all.
"Despicable people, abandoning a child like that!" someone muttered in the angry crowd as Naruto was ushered away by a zoo employee. He was left alone in the children's lost and found area with a few other lost children and the employees that were tasked to watch them.
-Kit, whatever dissolved earlier had you linked somehow to those nasty people. It gave them some sort of protection but the part that would have given you protection as well was deformed. The power that went to protecting them has integrated with the protective seal that you apparently have and repaired the deformed portion. From what I can find and see of the seal you are somewhat important to someone since part of the activation is bloodline based while another part speaks of a life sacrificed. Whatever mess we are in will require us to train quickly,- the fox rumbled worriedly.
-So what rank do you figure this is and where do you place my current level?- Naruto asked curiously.
-From the complexity of the protective seal whatever mission this is is at least A-rank, possibly S-rank and your body is academy level,- the fox answered flatly. -You haven't done anything with chakra so I can't know your skills there yet but you can bet that you aren't much better than an academy student.-
Naruto cursed quietly before responding to his ever present companion. -Alright, training is top priority after staying alive and mostly undetected. I am not putting up with the same hateful crap as last time even if it causes trouble but otherwise we'll see what's happening before making a move. I get the feeling this isn't going to be a walk in the park.-
A mental rumbling laugh of agreement was the only thing to bother him as he took this time to observe, learn, and practice easily hidden training exercises. Hours later when most of the others had successfully been picked up by their parents Naruto was about half way through mastering the most basic chakra control technique. He was delighted that his previous experience was helping him remaster the basics in this new world.
An argument just outside of the room had him putting aside the exercise for later. Wondering what was going on he slipped up to the door and started to shamelessly eavesdrop.
"I don't care who you think you are but until I see some Identification buddy neither of you are going near that poor kid," the voice of a zoo employee Naruto vaguely remembered meeting earlier insisted. There was a sound of cloth and leather moving followed by plastic or something laminated being messed with before the employee gave short gasp. "Why in hell would your office be handling an abandoned kid?"
-That sounds far to much like root in this world for my liking,- the fox growled. Naruto nodded his silent agreement and wondered if he had enough Chakra control to use tree climbing so he could better hide or escape.
"We've been looking for him since he was kidnapped when his parents were murdered," a new voice answered.
-Definitely don't like the sound of that,- Naruto agreed with a mental grimace.
"Do you want the security footage?" the zoo employee offered helpfully.
"Someone else is pulling that. I have to get the boy somewhere safe before any of his enemies find out where he is," the new voice demurred firmly.
-Should we run?- Naruto asked his belly buddy in concern.
-We might not get away and finding what we need could be a problem. Let them think you are a simple civilian child. After you've remastered tree walking it will be child's play to escape. Besides, as far as we know they don't have sealing or know properly of chakra in this world,- the fox rumbled thoughtfully.
Before Naruto could shoot back a retort the door opened, revealing the zoo employee and the man they had heard talking. The new man was so utterly forgettable with what they now knew about this world that it set off alarm bells in both of them.
"Hey kid, someone's been looking for you," the zoo employee said. They didn't try to enter the room even as Naruto didn't bother backing away from the door or trying to hide his obvious eavesdropping.
"I don't know him," Naruto pointed out cautiously. He had unconsciously slipped into a mix between Harry's running stance and a Taijutsu stance he had known in his life as a ninja, a shinobi.
"Mr. Potter you were kidnapped after a failed assassination attempt that took the lives of both of your parents. Whatever was keeping you hidden from everyone, whether they meant you good or ill, broke today. Why? I don't know. What I do know is that finding you triggered a number of safety and security protocols. We need to get you out of here quickly, especially if the predicted memories have already been returned to you. Something I greatly suspect with your stance and generally mature, not to mention competent, reaction," the bland man explained after a careful study of his body.
"Oh? And whose memories do you think I have?" Naruto asked warily, not bothering to deny the second set of memories that had already started blending with his shinobi ones.
"I only know that you were a... Hokage," the man admitted, stumbling over the unfamiliar title.
The word prompted the captive Kitsune into sharing his brat's consciousness and bodily control. The process was so practiced and well known by the duo at this point that the transformation took but a moment. Naruto's left eye turned red with a slit pupil, his nails hardened and extended into short claws, even as his whisker marks reappeared on his cheeks as furrows in his flesh. This event badly startled both men but the proof of their courage was that neither ran.
"In whatever this world is I was born Potter Harry. The other set of memories and the skills I gained tell me that I am Namikaze-Uzumaki Naruto, Jailer and Jinchuriki of the Kyubi, Nanadaime Hokage," Naruto informed them flatly. In this merged form he could feel not only how crap his control was but the sharing of body, mind, spirit, and chakra control with Kurama, the Kyubi, was very helpful.
"Kyubi... that translates to Nine-tails? And Nanadaime is Seventh? I have no idea what Jinchuriki translates to..." the bland man double checked. "I recognized the reversal of family and personal names as common for Asian names versus our western form of introduction."
"Human Sacrifice," Naruto translated softly, pulling back the minimal force of Chakra they were emitting as much as possible. "Jinchuriki means Human Sacrifice."
"Well, that wasn't an expected memory set," the bland man admitted, while the hapless zoo keeper swore softly. "Or at least it isn't one of the few that were on the list I was given. You still need to come with me."
"Why? I get that there might be people after me but why do I need to go with you?" Naruto demanded suspiciously. He wasn't sure what technique had been used to make him admit who he was but damn did it make his skin itch. He suspected that had one of his more normal shinobi comrades been faced with whatever it was they would be sporting something like acid burns rather then a cross between a sunburn and an allergy rash. This was not turning out well.
"Eh? Ah, I see. I didn't realize that you would have a poor reaction. The potion mist was only supposed to help you stay calm, not compromise you or harm you in any way. My apologies," the bland man admitted sheepishly. "We had no idea what sort of temperament or condition you might be in. Once we leave the first stop is a medical check then off to a safe place so that everything that we know about the situation can be explained."
"And after?" Naruto asked sourly.
"I suppose you live your life," the bland man shrugged. "We aren't exactly equipped to hold you if you don't want to help shinobi-san, or at least not that I know of."
"Fair enough but no more trying to dose me with anything," Naruto insisted. -Kami, I must be insane to try taking on whatever this mess is with an academy level body and chakra control.-
The Kyubi retreated from sharing his body, laughing all the way as the physical changes reverted. Neither mentioned or made any move to separate more than the barest amount necessary in case they had to merge fast or were otherwise double crossed. If they absolutely had to they could kill the man and bolt. As double edged as this opportunity was it was at least something and would buy them time to learn.
The way he was practically rushed out of the zoo said a lot about not only what they had been told but the potential threat level. Once they were in the car and moving the bland man relaxed somewhat, making Naruto realize exactly how bad his eyesight actually was.
-I am fixing it but your body is so ripped up it may be a while before I get to everything,- the Kitsune rumbled, completely disgruntled.
"So who are you?" Naruto asked casually, mentally thanking the fox and trusting him to prioritize what got fixed first matched with a warning. -Leave most of it for now. If we really aare getting a medical check there is no reason to give away our healing factor until we have to.-
The fox agreed immediately and stopped healing anything obvious focusing on things that tended to heal quickly on anyone. Just because he couldn't fix the other damage until after the exam didn't mean he couldn't fix anything to give his human a better chance.
"Ah, my apologies. I was more concerned with getting you out of there without having to find out your skills first hand that I forgot. My name is Brian and I'm with a special branch of the Britsh Army, Intelligence Division. As I said before we've been looking for you for a long time. Contrary to what you may have been told your parents were not only important for saving you and their status in the other community but your father also held a more normal title. As a result your kidnapping placed a strain on the relations between the other community and the higher levels of more normal society," the bland man explained.
"Wait, so you are telling me that my parents were not drunks? Lovely, one more lie to chalk up to my so called relatives," Naruto said sourly, making his audience pause as he re-evaluated Naruto's information level.
"While neither of them were the best of people they were not drunks to my knowledge... perhaps I should be asking what you've been told rather then presuming you know something," the man suggested carefully.
"I was told that they were worthless, jobless, drunks that got another family killed when they killed themselves and gave me the scar on my forehead, leaving me with my relatives who didn't want me. What you are telling me is making me wonder if I am actually related to those... people," Naruto said warily, his eyes narrowed in thought. The knowledge of his parents in this world made him glad for the parents he had in the Hidden Leaf Village, even if both left him orphaned at an early age.
"So presume that you know nothing true about anything," the bland man concluded with a sigh. "In summary you should have been placed in crown protective custody to be raised by another family when your parents were murdered. Instead you were kidnapped soon after your parents died and you somehow managed to defend yourself. Whoever you were before you are now legally Hadrian Orion Potter but most people aware of your existence believe you to be Harry James Potter. In an act of desperation those in charge of finding you did something I am not cleared to know about. It was done to give you extra skills or the like so that you would either have a better chance of being found or at least surviving long enough to have children that could be found. I do know that it was considered to be irreversible. How much do you know about the community your parents were a part of?"
"Nothing, I wasn't aware they were part of another community," Naruto said flatly. He was putting his near constant practice of assimilating the memories of his shadow clones to good use during this little talk complete with flood of information. He was also wondering if he should risk escaping the car while it was still moving but discarded that quickly.
"You are what is called a wizard. You inherited a special potential to use an equally special energy from your parents called magic. What the energy actually may be is still unknown so the traditional term is still used. For obvious and less than obvious reasons the community of magic users is still hidden from the general public, separate with its own laws, government, and police force. Due to the events surrounding the death of your parents this community practically worships you as their savior. The so called magical government or Ministry of Magic is technically still subordinate to the crown but generally acts as though it answers to no one or, rarely, public opinion. Be expected to be used in political one-up-man-ship until you've learned to navigate their politics, which is something I can't brief you on unfortunately," the bland man explained apologetically.
"That's alright. I'll need to do my own checking later any way," Naruto assured him. The Kitsune hummed thoughtfully in the back of his mind as they pulled up to a nondescript building and were ushered inside to a mini hospital. The medical exam had everyone but Naruto furious as they documented the shear damage that had been done to him.
"Are you done getting your records? 'cuz the Kyubi has been fussing about wanting to fix it all. He keeps growling about not having a weak host," Naruto asked innocently.
"So there was a merging of body and not just mind?" the bland man asked with obvious interest as he took notes while the doctors ignored them in favor of arguing about what needed to be healed first.
-And spirit, you are both and nothing will separate us from Harry as we have become one... or at least the two of you brats have. I will have to eat the dark stain that lingers in the scar on your forehead later when we are safe,- Kurama rumbled thoughtfully.
"Kyubi says that we merged completely, even in spirit and that he has to eat the nasty thing hiding in my scar later," Naruto informed the man in a deceptively matter of fact tone.
"What do you need to do this healing?" the bland man asked, pen poised to write out the list.
"Raman, loads of food, a safe place to rest, and another one to practice. Oh and I'll need gear, Kunai, Shuriken, ninja wire, sealing scrolls, Fuinjutsu materials..." Naruto started listing off only to trail to a stop at the man's head shaking in dismay.
"I can get you throwing weapons but you won't be able to take them with you to the magical boarding school you have to attend in a little over a month and a half. I can get you books and maybe supplies to make your own scrolls and Fuinjutsu things but most of that gear simply isn't available or doesn't exist," the bland man apologized. "The best I can do otherwise is make sure you get all the books and raw materials I can lay my hands on."
"So I have to make or find my own stuff huh? Let me tell you you aren't making any of this easy and aside from the skill/power boost I still have no idea why I'm even here," Naruto huffed.
-Kit, this may be for the best. We don't know what is available or what our opponents will use. We can learn about it at this school while acting the clueless civilian... properly this time,- Kurama chuckled evilly.
"Why do I have to attend this school?" Naruto asked in a softly dangerous tone, mentally warning the fox not to comment yet only to earn a chuckle in return.
"Because of the magic you inherited from your parents. Without at least basic training it will flare up erratically and put you as well as those around you in danger," the bland man explained simply. "You've likely already shown signs of having a powerful version of it considering that it is at least partly the reason you survived when the assassin tried to kill you after killing your parents. More than that I do not know but it greatly puzzles everyone who knows of that night. The same night in which you became famous for surviving while effectively ending the civil war at the time through the unknown removal of the leader of the rebels who had, incidentally, been going insane. Also, a word of warning, the school master at Hogwarts has been using your authority within the wizarding community. He is also greatly suspected by all who are not blinded by his fame and apparent benevolence to be the one who arranged you kidnapping and previous placement. We don't have the evidence to destroy his reputation enough so that we may remove him from control of the children or out of his multiple political positions. Its another reason we don't think we can give you certain information because he would know and likely act to control you. It doesn't help that he technically your guardian at the moment and we may not be able to get that changed."
"Anything else?" Naruto asked warily.
"The wizards have several spells they use to eliminate evidence of their presence and modify memories. To counter this we have been filming all of this and any medical records will be stored all over the world in both digital and hard copy form. This protocol has been in place for years and the locations are checked and reviewed regularly in various forms by designated memory holders. Expect to have to face such spells in light of your fame," the bland man informed him sympathetically. "The school master has also lead everyone to believe that not only are you treated like a prince complete with extra training but that you have been properly taught the customs of the wizarding community."
"Okay, I can work with all of that but it means lots of reading and research," Naruto muttered with a scowl. He had never been taught how to properly read in his life as a shinobi but his memories as Harry had him being punished for doing better than his so-called cousin in school. Needless to say this drastically reduced his ability to enjoy books and research. Being near constantly thrown out of the library for his Jinchuriki status had not helped in Konoha either though his brieef time as Hokage had actually helped with all the paperwork. He knew how to read and write properly he just hadn't really been given the chance to practice in this new body.
-Just be glad they were required to teach you properly this time as any other student instead of trying to constantly sabotage you under orders from the damn civilian council,- Kurama pointed out. He had followed his host's line of thought and memory without any problem.
Naruto silently conceded the point and remembered fondly his love of reading before his shinobi memories had surfaced and integrated with his Harry ones. May be he wouldn't mind the research and reading as much this time? He would have to wait and see. At least he had enough life experience to know that not all answers are contained in written records.
Neither Naruto nor Kurama had missed the warning about people trying to use them. They had no plans to allow such handling for all they understood why Jiji-Sarutobi had needed to establish his loyalty to Konoha. Despite his continual mistreatment by most citizens he had still loved people there and the village had truly been his home.
"So what do you know about my parents? Discounting the obvious lie by the Dursleys, I know nothing about them and I haven't had a chance to go looking through my merged memories yet," Naruto asked a little to casually.
"The file we have on them is something I don't have full access to but from what I know your father was a bit of a bully and liked borderline cruel pranks. Your mother had some redeeming qualities but she was still convinced to throw away a years long friendship on the grounds that said friend was going evil and on the convincing word of the school master. She was otherwise a popular and pretty girl just as your father was popular, handsome, and rich. Both had matured somewhat after graduating school but not as much as they could have buffered by your father's wealth. Any faults were dismissed by most of the wizarding community when they died protecting you," the bland man summarized.
There was a commotion near the door before the room was inundated with red lights. Naruto saw the bland man drawing a gun even as they both went down blinding him in the blackness of unconsciousness. It was an unpleasant shock to wake back in the familiar cupboard under the stairs.
-Whoever it was tried to change your memories, which I protected. Whatever Jutsu they tried to use to identify you gave them an odd mix of your legal name here and the one you held in Kohona. From their actions they had no real idea who you are in either fashion and were working from obvious protocol. They already had the address of this wretched place so there had to be someone pulling their strings,- Kurama rumbled in obvious disgust.
-Then let the games begin,- Naruto thought back sardonically.
Kurama rumbled a laugh and started repairing the most dangerous damage done to his host's body, leaving the nasty thing in the scar for later as it was mostly contained. Both silently agreed that once they got to this school of magic they would be in a better position to figure out what the hell was going on and why they were so important to the major players. They would look underneath the underneath as they learned of this strange new world.
Over the next few days his treatment by the Dursleys was worse than usual and they caught the three grumbling about being forced to keep him. Neither of the bound duo was pleased at this but found they couldn't blame their nominal relatives for their grumpiness. Though they didn't appreciate the rougher treatment and lack of food in the least.
Kurama had gotten annoyed at his host's resistance to healing and lack of familiar features. As a result he made a few cosmetic changes while he worked on the various injuries that the Dursleys incurred, both new and old. By the time the week before July 31st arrived Naruto had his whisker marks back along with strawberry blond hair that bordered on actual pink. The Kitsune figured it was a decent balance between the hair colors of his brat's first parents to honor them. The thinly placed red highlights represented Lily while the untameability was an acknowledgement of James. Both of them had agreed that no matter who his parents had been as people in either world they needed to be acknowledged for their sacrifice for both sets had acted with honor in his protection.
Then the letter came.
At first neither Naruto nor Kurama could believe what they were seeing om the page for all that they had been briefed by the bland man. It wasn't just the blatant words of magic training that had them incredulous but also the fact that it was done so openly and in a way that anyone could read it. It really made them wonder at the sanity of these wizards for not even taking basic precautions or sending an actual person to explain the situation. In fact it bothered them so much that the Dursleys had time to notice he had gotten the letter and take it from him.
"You won't be going," Vernon told him flatly. "But you may have Dudley's second bedroom for your birthday. You'll move your things right away."
Which just set Dudley off and for the first time that any of them could remember his parents did not let him have his way. Naruto decided to take Dudley aside later and explain a few things about life, including why he got to keep the other boy's second bedroom.
"Dudley, do you want to know why I get the bedroom?" Naruto asked with an infuriating smirk. Vernon and Petunia were in the living room watching a sappy romance or reading.
"Why?" Dudley asked suspiciously.
"Its because they know what they are doing to me and teaching you is wrong. The way the letter was addressed spooked them and made them think we are being watched. Granted, we might be but I'm not sure that its a bad thing or a good thing either way. You see even when you don't tell on me I am getting all of your punishments. As much as you think they care about you they hate me and magic so much that they would rather turn you into as close to a human monster as possible than let you be nice to me or listen to me. How is that love? How is that anything but breaking a toy? I promise you that if you ever had magic they would treat you like they do me, I would be surprised if they didn't. You know what else? Your mum and mine were sisters and I got magic from both my parents, that means that even if you never have magic your kids might. What will they do then? What will you do then?" Naruto asked softly hoping he got his phrasing right to get through to his spoiled cousin.
Dudley gave him a suddenly pale look and bolted out the back door. He didn't come back until supper time and only a slight nod to his cousin matched with a lack of insults and swings told Naruto that he had gotten through. The newly strawberry blond boy, not pink, breathed a sigh of relief.
The continuing flood of letters from the school though irked everyone in the house. Vernon finally got so fed up with the stupid letters that he dragged them into the car in an attempt to escape the insane pieces of parchment a week after they started arriving.
"Can't you use your... you know, to make them stop?" Dudley asked in a falsely snide tone and pleading eyes. His words almost caused his father to drive off the edge of the road in an apoptotic fit.
"Sorry, Dudley but I don't know how to use it. If I had been allowed to practice with it I might have been able to keep it in check and not needed training. I think the letters are insisting I get training so I don't hurt someone as I get older or get stronger. I think that's why they won't leave us alone unless I'm famous or important to them for some reason," Naruto said casually. His words jabbed at the two in the front seat subtly, knowing that his cousin was completely unaware of his status beyond unwanted Freak and cousin.
The original plan, as overheard by both boys, had been to stop for at least one night at a hotel before getting to whatever remote place that Vernon had picked as a bolt hole. That changed with Dudley's question and Naruto's answer so they got to the rock with the hut just before the storm hit rather than part way through the early deluge. Once the snack bits had been handed out for the various meals, with Naruto's being the smallest as usual, they settled down into their designated areas in the ramshackle building.
"Here, you need to have enough energy to keep your thing in control," Dudley said, shoving a third of his food into Naruto's hands and shocking him in the process.
"Thanks Dudley," Naruto whispered in complete sincerity. He had been punished a lot lately with a lack of food and was really feeling it despite what the fox and experience had done to lessen the immediate painful impact. The additional food, if rationed correctly to avoid getting sick, would keep him from collapsing to soon during this mad dash and whatever came after it.
Right at midnight as he was keeping the tradition he had started when he was only Harry of watching the clock there was a booming knock on the battered door of the hut. What followed was meeting Hagrid, Dudley giving into his sweet tooth only to get a pig's tail, and a name being put to the unknown face of the school master who was looking to be another Danzo.
Hagrid's actions and explanations had both Naruto and Kurama thinking plant before downgrading it to clueless plant after he blew up over the supposed insult to Dumbledore.
"I'm not going with you. You aren't even a teacher so why shouldn't I think you were trying to kidnap me?" Naruto said belligerently, his eyes flat in calculation. The idea was to force someone with more information/authority to come and talk to him but sending the giant man away was a serious risk. "Besides if you're willing to give my cousin a tail what's to stop you from doing something to me?"
Hagrid was clearly stumped. Naruto completely ignored the looks of shock mixed with dismay, horror, and a vague satisfaction from the adult Dursleys. Dudley was too focused on having a new tail to think of anything else.
"But I wouldn' do th'at!" Hagrid protested.
"You don't have any ID, you could be lying, you did something weird to my cousin, and I'm going to be punished for you even being here. Its obvious that you aren't qualified to teach anything, especially since you already admitted that you weren't supposed to do magic. Which means that I would get in even more trouble for helping you than what I will just for you being here and not normal. Nothing you say is adding up and you're obviously dangerous. Aside from what you did to Dudley I have no proof you are who you say you are," Naruto said flatly.
"Boy?" Vernon asked in confusion as Dudley hid behind his parents.
"You're always going on about me being a burden but you keep me sort of protected any way. If I go with him without any proof or ID then someone may come and get Dudley too," Naruto pointed out reasonably. That hardened the resolve of his Aunt and Uncle. What followed was an epic scolding and shouting match that eventually drove the large man away, back out into the storm.
"Can you fix it?" Dudley asked in panic, gesturing at his tail.
"No, but I bet whoever comes to get me next can," Naruto said cheerfully. "This way I get someone competent and you guys get someone to talk to seriously about all of this."
"You didn't go on purpose so that they have to come and fix it?" Dudley said in awe before his parents could finish spluttering in indignation at being used.
"Partly," Naruto agreed but didn't bother to elaborate. Eventually, they all went back to whatever passed for their bed in the ramshackle hut. He still officially lost his food privileges for the next three days and a silent agreement formed with a single glance between the boys so that Naruto wouldn't actually be without food during that time.
The next morning, at an actually decent hour, someone knocked politely on the door. This caused it to fall once more to the floor, nearly squashing Naruto, because of the way Hagrid had broken it the night before. On the other side of the door they found a regal old woman in a full length tartan dress who introduced herself as Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall.
"I do apologize for Hagrid's visit. For some strange reason the Headmaster insisted on him coming to pick up Mr. Potter rather than following protocol as a muggle raised potential student. Normally, anyone raised in the muggle world is spoken to by the Headmaster, Deputy Headmaster, or one of the four Heads of House who are rather like dorm mothers. I will never understand that man. He's strange even for one of our more eccentric members of our community," McGonagall complained.
"Do you have ID and can you fix Dudley? The other guy gave him a tail," Naruto said promptly, dismaying everyone else in the room and amusing the Kitsune stuck inside his belly greatly.
"Let me see," McGonagall instructed wearily. Dudley, now trusting Naruto somewhat, showed her the pig's tail. A silent swish of her wand and he was back to normal, much to the relief of the Dursleys. "I will have to do something about that when I get back. Hagrid was expelled and while he has enough training to keep from hurting someone he isn't actually allowed to practice magic because he never got his certification. I wonder where he hid whatever he used as a wand?"
"It was a pink umbrella," Naruto offered with a wrinkled nose of distaste.
"Thank you young man. I apologize for the actions of our grounds keeper... er, is this your normal residence?" McGonagall asked in concern.
"Nope, the flood of letters just spooked Uncle Vernon and they don't want me going to magic school. He's already sworn that they won't pay for it," Naruto informed her, cheerfully tossing his Uncle under the bus so to speak.
"At least you got a bedroom out of the first letter. I bet that your cupboard was getting a bit small," Dudley pointed out, forgetting for a moment that he wasn't supposed to mention Naruto's mistreatment in front of anyone outside the family.
"Cupboard?" McGonagall asked in a stunned voice.
"Its nothing, the boy just likes hiding in there. He has a proper bedroom," Vernon said. The now went unspoken. Naruto knew better than to contradict the large man, he was already on too short rations already and couldn't risk being hurt on top of it.
"Well Mr. Potter, your Uncle doesn't have to pay since your parents pre-paid for your seven years at Hogwarts and your trust fund should easily cover any supplies and books. I bet your Aunt and Uncle get a stipend from your parent's estate to help take care of you. That said you will have to give up those clothes, no matter how much you may like them, and wear a uniform and properly mended casual clothes on weekends. Is there anything you would like to ask? Or has Petunia already covered your questions about Hogwarts since I distinctly remember her sister frequently writing home when she attended as one of the students?" McGonagall asked politely. She knew how rough teenagers could be on their favorite clothes. While she hadn't ever seen a set that had gotten as bad as what Harry was wearing, all stretched, stained, and torn but lovingly repaired, she knew it was possible. She also didn't want to yet face the fact that her original instincts on that night had been right and that Harry had not been well treated for the last ten years.
"I want none of this nonsense in my home! Boy, if you go to that school you are never again welcome in our home!" Vernon declared stubbornly. "We've never seen even one penny for taking care of that abomination and we wouldn't take it to keep him even if we had!"
"Very well. This isn't the first time for such a thing to happen. I am afraid that every young witch or wizard must have some training or they become a danger to one and all as their magic attempts to help or protect them. As such you will need to sign these papers so that I have the authority as his temporary guardian to find him a home and get him medical care," Minerva told them. Her righteous anger simmered deep in her gut, already on the edge of outright fury but for being ruthlessly strangled. She promptly produced the appropriate Ministry and muggle paperwork, feeling heartsick but glad that they hadn't tried to kill him before she even got to meet him.
"We'll never see the little monster again?" Petunia asked suspiciously. She had some vague notion left over from the previous memory modification that they had tried getting rid of him before and it hadn't worked.
"Certainly, not if I can help it!" McGonagall huffed indignantly. She made a mental note to go over the basics of the Wizarding World, Harry's role in it, and the basics of Hogwarts.
The papers were signed with obvious glee as Naruto watched on impassively, unnerving the witch greatly.
"Mr. Potter is there anything you would like to retrieve and if so where is it so that we may fetch it?" McGonagall asked politely.
"I snuck my toys and drawing pad into Dudley's bag," Naruto said happily. He quickly retrieved the broken toy soldier, half mangled drawing pad with pencil stubs, battered spinning top, and bits of string with beads to show her. When his memories had merged they were still precious to him as parts of his second childhood and solace in the dark of his cupboard.
"Any clothes?" McGonagall asked uncertainly. Naruto shook his head meekly, much to Kurama's amusement. Her lips thinned until they were nearly gone as her temper finally showed its head. The vicious glare she sent at Petunia and Vernon could have stripped paint but Dudley's fetching of his favorite jacket and shoving it into Naruto's arms earned him a smile from both magic users.
"Thanks Dudley!" Naruto thanked him with a wide happy grin. He knew that the jacket would be able to last him well into adulthood with its nice leather and large size. It even had an embroidered dark orange flame logo on the back that he planned to supplement with the Uzumaki Clan spiral once he got some leather working tools.
"You made sure that guy didn't try to hurt me and taught me how to not get caught by his trap," Dudley ad-libbed, much to his parent's shock. "I owe you at least a good jacket that will keep you from getting caught on fences when rescuing people."
"You said you didn't want them to know," Naruto pointed out, eyeing the elder Dursleys warily as if the fictional incident had actually happened.
"Yeah well, like you said they would have freaked about how you helped when the guy had about knocked you silly," Dudley informed/reminded him. He was referencing one of the many times Harry had a concussion that went untreated as part of their story. Naruto nodded and the two magic users left the hut.
"Now Mr. Potter you will have to hold tightly to me, apparation isn't exactly pleasant so don't be concerned if you get sick when we land. It just takes a bit of practice and feels infinitely better when you are the one in control of the trip," McGonagall warned as she took a firm hold of him in preparation for the trip. Naruto nodded silently and took hold of her waist with a death grip, hoping it wasn't as bad as some of the transport Jutsu's he had to deal with before.
A single step, a sucking of their bodies through a straw and they landed in the apparation zone in the back courtyard of the Leaky Cauldron. Naruto fought to keep what little food he had in his stomach in place. He knew it had been really bad when his tenant went and fixed his nausea in a minor surge of chakra.
The two stayed put until both were silently sure that the other wasn't going to be sick before calmly stepping apart.
"As I said it takes some getting used too. Most magical means of transport do," McGonagall conceded. It took her but a moment to draw her wand and tap the sequence to enter Diagon Alley. It took several seconds afterwards for Naruto to comprehend what he was seeing and give her a face splitting grin of delight, acting like a proper eleven year old for once. "First stop the bank. Now, when we enter you need to be very respectful and understand that the goblins that run the bank are a warrior race. They do not hold wizards and witches in very high esteem for various reasons. Think of them like oh, honorable knights but much more fierce and blood thirsty. You greet them by offering a hopeful blessing of gold and/or bloodshed. The wording will need to come from you so that they know your greeting is honest."
"Thanks! I don't feel like being stabbed today," Naruto said in grateful appreciation.
McGonagall's amused smile told him that she hadn't taken his words seriously but as more of a joke. Since he'd meant it both ways it didn't bother him. He did make a mental note to be more careful about using shinobi humor around witches and wizards though.
Naruto noted the warning rhyme with great approval and respectfully bowed to the goblin guards as they passed, much to McGonagall's confusion and the goblin's delight. The entrance was in easy view of most tellers and every goblin that could took careful note of his respectful actions. They were subsequently given a slightly higher priority and collected by one of the tellers directly.
"I am Griphook, please come with me," Griphook, a gnarled goblin with the short stature and rough features of his kind, requested. McGonagall gave the goblin a look that said volumes about knowing something was unusual but silently followed with Naruto trailing behind her. They were led to a private conference room and all took a seat around a table.
"I am here as Hogwarts' Deputy Headmistress escorting an incoming student," McGonagall said, gesturing for Naruto to introduce himself.
Naruto stood and bowed as one warrior to another, never loosing eye contact with the short warrior before speaking, "Hello. I can't introduce myself since my name is in a bit of confusion but I've been told I am called Harry Potter by many. May your gold ever grow, and the blood of your enemies forever stain your blade or turn to become true allies."
The other two were shocked for different reasons as Naruto retook his seat calmly.
"Well, we needed an inheritance test any way," McGonagall said faintly.
"As this will double as confirmation of Identity the price is cut in half, 25 Galleons," Griphook informed her politely.
"This situation is a special case, take it from my vault. Also, you might want to audit the Potter accounts as I discovered this morning that his caretakers have received nothing for his care. I doubt he or his former guardians ever held his key and if they did they never used the money on him," McGonagall said firmly, regaining her equilibrium.
"Thank you for the warning," Griphook grunted. A quick call and they had a silver bowl, silver knife, and specially treated parchment for the inheritance test. "Three drops of blood on the parchment for Identity then 5 drops into the bowl before slowly pouring it over the same place that the three drops landed. The blood will become ink and list out your family tree."
"Er, that might go just a bit strange. Odd things happen around me," Naruto warned with a nervous laugh. Griphook nodded his acknowledgement of the warning and indicated for him to proceed.
Naruto did the first part without hesitation and his three drops of blood formed his new name as well as his titles.
Full Legal Name: Naruto Hadrian Orion Uzumaki-Namikaze-Potter
Short Form: Naruto Hadrian Orion Uzumaki
Nom de gur: Harry James Potter
Savior of the Wizarding World
Lord Peverell(Heir Battle - Unclaimed)
Lord Gaunt(Heir Battle - Unclaimed)
Lord Slytherin(Heir Battle - Unclaimed)
Titles of the Elemental Nations:
Head of Uzumaki Clan
Konoha's Orange Hokage
Son of the Yellow Flash
Hero of the Hidden Leaf
Boy of Miracles
Number One Unpredictable Ninja
Child of Prophecy
Son of the Sage of Six Path's - Asura: Reincarnated
Friend of the Tailed Beasts
"Ah, so the merge even shows up on magic tests," Naruto said with a knowing grin and a nod of satisfaction. The other two just stared at him in shock. Kyubi chuckled darkly and sent out a small pulse of chakra to supercharge the small amount of blood, making a list of abilities appear.
Parseltongue (Horcrux contribution)
Partial Metamorphmagi (Hair Length/Color)
Enhanced Healing - Active
Kyubi Jinchuriki Attribute: Advanced Healing - Partially Inactive, may depend on mood of Kyubi
Toad Sage Mode - Locked, needs remastery with Toad Sage and Toad Summoning Contract
Sage of Six Paths Mode - Locked, needs remastery
Nine-Tails Chakra Mode - Partially Locked, version 1 & 2 released
Kurama Mode - Locked, needs active cooperation and permission of Kyubi
Tailed Beast Mode - Locked, needs near death experience
Toad Summoning Contract - Broken, no longer attainable
"Well fuck, I really am back at academy level. Ah man, I'm going to have to retrain in everything. Not that I wouldn't have had to any way with this new body but still..." Naruto said, trailing off into stumped yet thoughtful silence, shocking the other two back into motion.
"Nanadaime, you have been missing for enough time that you were believed dead yet the Kyubi did not reappear as it would had you died and the seal broke. According to our records it has been 25 years since you were last seen. Iruka Umino accepted the Hokage position in honor of you once Sasuke Uchiha broke the illusion attached to the moon and disappeared. Apparently, the consensus was that there was need of a teacher to act as leader to help avoid renewing the conflict as you were not there to fulfill your duties. You were declared dead and given honors. The peace you forged through the survivors still holds today," Griphook explained very carefully. This warrior turned boy was greatly respected by his people and there would be shock waves at his discovery much less of his merging with the Potter Heir.
"I'm glad they lived past what happened to me," Naruto grinned happily, only to receive a mental whack from his Kitsune tenant.
"The goblin nation requests permission to send news of your survival to the Kages of the Elemental Nations," Griphook said formally.
"Eh, do you have to?" Naruto asked, doing his best to give the goblin puppy dog eyes.
"To not do so could cause war," Griphook said firmly, brooking no argument.
"Fine, but make sure its as secure as you can make it. Tell them it is a gift of a SSS-rank secret in congratulations or something. If they've moved on without me then that's a good thing since messing with time traveling to the past is generally a bad idea. Also... I'm basically untrained again," Naruto's last words were sheepish but he knew that the warrior across from him understood. He was incredibly vulnerable and if his enemies heard about it there was no telling if he would survive to the end of the week.
"We understand your concern and promise the utmost confidentiality," Griphook promised sincerely.
"What on earth are you talking about?!" McGonagall asked in complete bewilderment.
"Someone merged Konoha's Orange Hokage with young Mr. Potter. They are now one and the same person," Griphook explained, gesturing at Naruto who waved Hello sheepishly. "His friends and allies have been looking for him since he disappeared nearly 25 years ago. He was a trained and well respected warrior not only among his own people but also gained respect among the goblins. He disappeared before we could find a way to contact him and offer our aid in the conflict he was fighting. The merging of the two has combined their memories..."
"And bodies (sort of), and minds, and spirits," Naruto put in sheepishly. "I've still got Kyubi."
-Brat, repeat after me so that the goblin can understand. I, Kurama Kitsune, Nine-Tailed Beast and son of the Sage of Six Paths do recognize this kit as my child and heir,- Kurama ordered. He took the extra step of assuming temporary control of Naruto's vocal cords and mouth to make sure everything was said consequentially deepening Naruto's voice into a growling thunder temporarily.
"I, Kurama Kitsune, Nine-Tailed Beast and son of the Sage of Six Paths do recognize this kit as my child and heir," Naruto rumbled in the voice of Kyubi, his eyes wide in shock. The moment he regained control of his own mouth and tongue he started cursing in Japanese before finally switching back to English with a final "Stupid fucking fox!"
Evil laughter echoed through his mind and he knew that whatever had just happened was something that would forever change his life, sending a shiver of ice down his spine. Stupid Fox.
They all watched as the title: Child and Heir of the Kyubi no Kitsune added itself to the list. While Kitsune became his last name moving the other last names back into individual names as alternate middle or last names for use in his short form. Consequentially, his full name became: Naruto Hadrian Orion Uzumaki Namikaze Potter Kitsune while his short name became: Naruto Hadrian Orion Kitsune.
"Well, that changes a few things," Griphook said shakily. "I will personally see to the audit of your accounts Kitsune-sama. Is there anything I can aid in obtaining for you or any service you might inquire about?"
"I could do with some proper Shinobi gear," Naruto muttered sulkily, still put out while the fox continued to laugh madly in the back of his mind.
"I will add the request to the announcement of your return and ask our smiths if they would be willing to forge you weapons. You say that your skills have vanished in the merger?" Griphook asked carefully, making a note of the request.
"Yeah, my body reverted to academy level so I only retained the mental disciplines and knowledge, well except for Kyubi coming along for the ride. Though I haven't checked the seal yet. I should probably do that. Of course since we're friends now and he has apparently adopted me he wont try anything possession wise unless someone else is trying to screw with us," Naruto said thoughtfully. "Since I was basically sabotaged the last time around on the orders of the stupid council I had to work out a lot of things myself. Now that I know what works and what doesn't I'll have a better idea of how to train to a proper level. There is also this magic that I'm supposed to go to school for and I don't know what I need in regards to that or how it will interact with chakra manipulation. Will I have to pick one or the other? Or can I train both of them?"
"Who is your current guardian?" Griphook asked seriously.
"I am," McGonagall admitted, bewildered. She had no clue what was going on or what was being discussed. It made her a bit nervous, especially since she technically had guardianship of this young man who both was and was not the child of her favorite students Lily and James.
"May I see the paperwork? I presume you haven't filed it yet," Griphook asked politely. McGonagall handed it over and upon seeing which set of guardianship transfer papers she had used broke into a wide toothy grin. A quick word in gobbledygook into a communication ring had someone dashing in a new set of paperwork as well refreshments. "Professor McGonagall, due to the unique situation Mr. Kitsune nee Potter will need extra training which is mostly unavailable in the British Wizarding World. He can self train using his previous memories but that does not give him the normal student-teacher safety net. That said he has responsibilities in Asia which will need to be met at some point, including the revitalization of his Clan. Clan's are their equivalent of a wizarding Lordship."
"I understand so far," McGonagall said suspiciously. Griphook nodded and continued, both clients watching him warily.
"As it is clear due to his fame status and other factors that powerful figures in both Asia and the Wizarding World would seek to control him I am invoking a goblin covenant with you. On the publicly accessible official papers you will remain his guardian but on the real ones the goblin nation and the Gringotts Clan in particular will take on his guardianship. This will prevent a potential war and allow for him to receive the correct training that his unique abilities require to be safe on all fronts. His Kitsune training will likely evolve in the form of varying levels of pranks which will be employed nearly everywhere he goes. His shinobi training is somewhat covered by his memories of previous training. Though Gringotts will be supplying him with necessary gear and guidance we can not be seen to be in control of him with his status as Harry James Potter. Doing so would likely cause another war between our peoples yet allowing the wizards to keep control of him in any fashion would likely result in a different war with the people of the Elemental Nations. You will be handsomely compensated for entering this joint guardianship with the goblin nation and listed as friend of the goblin race. Upon arrival the likely representative to be sent to confirm his presence will receive mentor or secondary guardian status thus giving him a guardian in each concerned community," Griphook explained patiently.
"I hate politics," Naruto muttered in resignation. Kurama hummed thoughtfully in the back of his mind but didn't say anything.
"Even if I agree how would we explain why I have guardianship?" McGonagall asked warily.
"You accidentally provided the wrong guardianship papers when accepting him from his unwanting relatives, instead providing adoption papers. As you already have had children and raised them there is no threat to the succession or survival of your family. We would provide the official adoption paperwork and file them. It would be up to the two of you if you wish to blood adopt him as well," Griphook summarized.
"Blood adopt?" Naruto asked curiously.
"A potion, medicine, that allows you to take on the bloodline of the adopting parent so that you are not only their child legally but in fact as your blood would show them as your parent," Griphook clarified. "It does not replace the original parentage unless you use the specific formula that does so thus granting a third parent, just as your merge gave you four parents. In this case you would have five parents should she accept. This will give you an extra layer of protection and a family to call on should the need arise, Lord Hokage."
Naruto pondered this and reluctantly nodded. He could see the practical points in that and wistfully hoped that if she adopted him he would actually be part of the family and accepted by the rest of the McGonagall Clan. Being an orphan twice over wasn't fun.
"If I blood adopt him than I would in truth be his mother and would insist on fulfilling those duties," McGonagall pointed out stoutly. If she was going to do this she would to it the right way and wholeheartedly.
"Indeed and that would be taken into account should you choose that route. We are willing to take the blame of suggesting it should someone object. Perhaps we would use the odd movements on his accounts as justification knowing that you are an honorable woman? Even if there is no strange movement in his accounts we can manufacture it at need," Griphook suggested slyly. Oh how the wizarding world would be in for a shock and those high in wizarding power would weep and curse for the loss of control over this young warrior!
"I agree with your proposal and request the use of a blood adoption potion," McGonagall said formally.
"It will be done. By the end of today your account status and personal status with Gringotts will be corrected. You may now request special services and extra training as a member of the goblin people since you are choosing to adopt one of ours honorably to keep thieves and traitors from his back as he grows. Due to your age, Professor McGonagall, you will not be required to fulfill any of the combat training that any member of the goblin nation must under go. I welcome you brother and sister to the Gringotts Clan," Griphook said formally, his face split by a toothy grin.
Naruto and McGonagall nodded solemnly in response before breaking into their own smiles. The blood adoption proceeded without issue and the Inheritance test was performed a second time, creating an official yet crazy family tree for Naruto as it listed his Shinobi heritage with his Wizarding heritage. There were no further changes in his title but McGonagall was added to the list of last names next to Potter making his full legal name: Naruto Hadrian Orion Uzumaki Namikaze Potter McGonagall Kitsune.
"We need to take you to St. Mungeos for a check up and get your things for school as well as your uniforms," McGonagall call me Minerva said thoughtfully.
"Ah someone already checked me over and Kyubi was interested. So when they found problems he kinda got upset and started healing me. I think he's still fixing bits and pieces," Naruto said sheepishly. A sharp pain in his eyes had him saying "OW!" as he ripped the hideous glasses free and rubbed furiously at his green eyes. When he blinked them and looked back at the other two he cried jubilantly. "Yes! No more four-eyes! No more stupid glasses that don't even work right!"
They found his sudden victory dance highly amusing and his sudden healing a sharp reminder of Kurama's presence.
-Kit, tell them that I don't want any magic intruding while I fix the things those Dursleys broke and mangled,- Kurama ordered absently as he finally had the chance to go to town on the various internal injuries Naruto's body had received over the years, helped along by the blood adoption potion as a catalyst.
"He said he doesn't want any extra magic messing with what he's healing. I think he's using the blood adoption to fix a bunch of things fast that would usually take him a lot more time to mess with," Naruto obediently conveyed.
"Understood," Griphook agreed in complete understanding. Minerva reluctantly nodded her own agreement.
"Then I suppose we should leave your clothes for last or another day so that if your body changes to greatly we won't have to buy you two separate wardrobes," Minerva said with a pained chuckle. She had a good idea now that his previous guardians should be brought up on charges for hurting him but wasn't sure she could successfully get it done. A quiet word to Griphook while Naruto continued celebrating had Killing Intent filling the room which was quickly hidden and brought the strawberry blond sharply back to reality.
"No need to worry young warrior. I was merely informed of something that needs looking into," Griphook said, waving away the shinobi's sudden concern.
"Alright," Naruto reluctantly agreed. A quick collection of funds and they left the bank for their shopping.
Griphook wasted no time in sending off the message to the Kages and ordering that the security records be used to make a self adjusting wardrobe for Naruto. The complete wardrobe would include a full Hogwarts uniform set and with discrete armoring and weapons locations. This young warrior would not be lost to them due to the foolishness of wizards!
In Diagon Alley Minerva found that healing changes or not she could not abide seeing her new son in rags any longer. As a result she marched him straight into Madam Malkins and made him pick out new clothing to wear immediately as well as a back up set followed by going to the boot maker down the way. Thus she was exposed to his puzzling need to have orange in his wardrobe, fearing that her son had the fashion sense of Albus she asked why. This exposed her to the tale of how in his shinobi life the Anbu had gifted him an entire wardrobe of Orange jumpsuits. This of course was thought to be because at the time the shopkeepers wouldn't sell him clothing or would mark it so high for him as to be out of range of his meager allowance. He, of course, later discovered that he had gotten too good at evading his protective detail and this was their attempt to not only clothe him properly but to keep better track of him. No one had anticipated that it would only force him to advance his stealth and pranking skills to epic levels or make it his favorite color. Which led to his explaining about the Elemental Nations and the system of Hidden Villages as well as what exactly a Hokage was. Thus dressed far more appropriately they braved the other shops for his school supplies.
In one store Minerva caught him selecting a bottle of fire-whiskey and snatched it out of his hand, scolding him. It was at that point that Naruto regretfully explained to his new mother the harsh reality of shinobi life, finally realizing that she was a civilian. Her stern demeanor had fooled him and he needed her to understand exactly why he may have to do some things that would horrify her and give them both nightmares.
"Shinobi almost never live to see old age. When we receive our forehead protectors we are declared adults in every sense of the word. Old enough to kill, is old enough to drink and to fuck. There is a certain physical age and a certain rank barrier that prevents exploitation. You must be 16 or be in a previously established relationship such as an arranged marriage to have a relationship with someone more than a few years older than you. Or for a relationship between a lesser ranked shinobi and a higher ranked one the lower ranked shinobi must be at least Chunnin or in a previously established relationship. Breaking these silent rules have serious consequences because it can lead to harm for not only the rest of the shinobi forces but the village as a whole. For civilians they must be of roughly equal age until reaching the legal adult age or in an established relationship. Which is not so different for shinobi only relationships. The real problems come from trying to have a relationship between nations or Hidden Villages without sanction from your superiors or it being a political ploy," Naruto explained softly. He had pulled her to a quiet corner of the store and done his best to assure their privacy.
At her shocked stare he gave a sad smile and contained his explanation. "As Hokage I am... was the leader of my village and general to her shinobi forces. I have fought, I have killed, and I have utterly destroyed other shinobi. The packet the goblins gave me was a summary of your war and my own importance to that war. If I am attacked or forced to fight I will use all of my skills and while I will try to spare life when possible I recognize that it will truly be war and I will once more be forced to kill. As my Okaa-san, mother, you will be a target as will the rest of the Clan. I will teach those I can the way of the shinobi so that more of them may survive or at least use their lives to guard the rest. There is no such thing as a bloodless war nor a short victorious one. My nindo, way of the ninja, is to always keep my word and to keep those closest to me as safe and happy as possible. Do not worry, I will bring honor to our clan."
A gentle kiss on her cheek, quickly stolen with a light jump, had her blushing and pulling him into her side for a fierce hug. No more was said about it as they finished their shopping.
"As we agreed Mr. Kitsune you will select two wands, one for each of your unique personalities. I am to know what wands you obtain and if you need to replace them for any reason. I am also requiring you as my ward to keep them on you in holsters at all times. To that end I will buy you dragon leather holsters charmed so that they will not come off except for the one who placed them. They will each have self cleaning charms, impervious charms, and indestructible charms to prevent them from being ruined by the adventures that every young boy gets up to. Indeed they will stand up to the beating that an Auror or Unspeakable might put them through and I have known them to survive multiple wars to be passed down through at least three generations of family, provided the charms are renewed at the appropriate times. I will however allow you to select them and a back up for each," Minerva instructed as if they were continuing a conversation started outside the shop.
Olivander popped out of his usual hiding place in clear curiosity to observe the pair of new customers, noting the word ward and the lack of parents with the Professor. He didn't bother with the spooky mystical impression act as he would with others since he didn't want to be on the wrong end of the woman's wand.
"Hello!" the small strawberry blond boy with red highlights greeted cheerfully.
The youth acted as if he'd known where the older man was the entire time. A few bangs moved, revealing a jagged lightning scar that made Olivander wonder if this was Harry Potter under another name. He also wondered if he could get out of giving the young man the brother wand of the Dark Lord before remembering that he had to at least try or the consequences would be dire for him. Though the obvious lack of resemblance to his parents amused the wandmaker greatly as it would throw old Albus into a tizzy and ruin the image he had been building around the boy for years.
"There is a specific wand the Headmaster wants you to try Mr. Potter. From what little I have observed since you entered the shop I don't think it will fit you and the wand truly chooses the wizard. I would ask you to try the selected wand first and if it fits you I will allow you to take it with you free of charge along with whichever wand is chosen as your second. I will also not report your second wand to anyone, Ministry, Death Eater, or Hogwarts Staff included. I will leave that up to your discretion, as it should always be. Do you accept my terms?" Olivander offered genially.
"Why?" Naruto asked with borderline playful suspicion.
"I can tell that you will not suffer to be controlled or suffer fools to even try. You are clearly honorable yet I sense an air of mischief about you that matches with what Professor McGonagall called you... Kitsune. You are, from what I can see, very like those fabled magical creatures and I have no wish to be on the wrong end of your pranks," Olivander admitted with obvious amusement. "Though I would dearly like to see what you plan to pull on the old meddler. Alas, I am not a student or teacher at Hogwarts to enjoy the show you are certain to put on."
"Alright," Naruto agreed cheerfully. Kurama started laughing madly in the back of his head, making the boy wince briefly at the force of his friend's amusement.
"Kurama stop giving Naruto a headache, you'll get your turn to try for a wand once Naruto has his," Minerva scolded, earning a surprised look from Olivander.
"I've got two people in one body?" Naruto asked sheepishly.
Olivander laughed and congratulated them on the clever ploy to get a back up wand, obviously not believing them but willing to officially play along, before turning and fetching the brother wand to Voldemort. The moment that Naruto touched it Kurama noticed the increased activity in the nasty thing hiding in his brat's scar. A moment later he cut the connection to the nerves in the hand holding the wand, forcing his brat to drop it just as it sparked gold and silver.
-I'm gonna have to eat the stupid thing sooner than I thought,- Kurama grumbled in clear irritation as he eyed the blob of strangeness warily.
"Apparently, the wand is willing but you are not. How very odd. Well, as promised you may select two. I will start pulling the wands for you to test," Olivander said giving both Naruto and the wand odd looks before carefully retrieving the fallen wand and returning it to its box and shelf.
-This is going to take forever,- Kurama grumbled.
-Got a better way?- Naruto shot back sarcastically.
-Yes, actually,- Kurama said smugly before starting to gather his chakra.
-Stupid fox what are you...- Naruto started to complain only to be cut off by a deafening mental roar that he felt to his very bones as chakra flowed from him like water.
The young shinobi could very clearly feel that it was a mix of his and the fox's chakra forming in a pattern that mimicked powerful nature chakra and completely neutral to boot. The chakra was so thick in the air that it formed a bluish colored mist that had tentacles which plucked boxes from all over the store, laying them in two separate piles as the three humans watched in shock and awe. A total of seven wands were selected, a group of four and a group of three, held aloft by the flowing chakra. In the group of three there was one made of Acacia wood, one of Beech wood, and Minerva's own Fir wand which had slipped from her sleeve to join the others in flight. In the second group there was one of Ash, one of Hornbeam, one of Cherry, and one of Cedar.
For a moment of perfect stillness that caught everyone's breath nothing happened then they slid into two flower shapes, wand tips nearly touching in the center to flow outwards as petals. Then they began to spin in a whirlpool like fashion, faster and faster and faster until they were a blur. When they started to slow down, giving more solid form to the blur they found two wands floating calmly in mid air.
The one that had once been three wands was three distinct colors twisted into a smooth spiral shape all up and down its length. The handle though was carved in the shape of a sleeping lioness wrapped around a Phoenix feather. It measured out at 10" exactly.
The one which had been four separate wands on the other hand had a twisting intertwining pattern in the four colors of wood blending so as to seem like only one piece of wood was used in its creation. The handle mirrored that of a familiar Kunai that Naruto had once grown up using. A Kitsune was carved, tails streaming in mid run along its length past the handle all the way so that the lupine nose touched the tip and the tips of the tails stopped just short of the top of the handle. This one measured out at a touch beyond 11". Both new wands were works of art.
"I don't think you need two wands," Olivander choked out. The sight of the wand merging and the wands being offered to them separately was something he would never forget. It was also a very clear warning not to mess with the happy youth for he held immense power to terrify even the strongest of wizards. The old wandmaker had no idea he was facing the Jinchuriki of the Kyubi no Kitsune and an Uzumaki to boot, not that anyone telling him that would have made it any clearer to him.
"We are most certainly getting you a trunk with an extra room so that you can meditate in peace. I have no doubt that you will need it regularly and the castle can not be relied upon to have a quiet place for you to retreat to. A few extra galleons will save us the trouble in that regard," Minerva declared archly as she graciously accepted her newly crafted wand.
"Um... oops?" Naruto said sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment as he mentally cursed the laughing fox sharing his skull. He snatched his new wand out of the air, testing the balance as if it were an actual kunai before wandering over to the holsters along the wall and selecting one. A glance at his new mother and he selected a second one, taking them both over to be enchanted and pay for everything.
They quickly left and got the final thing Naruto needed, his trunk. He took to trying to convincing to get her to buy one with three storage compartments and several rooms once he understood her explanation about wizard space. Her amused exasperation reminded him that while he might want it he didn't need it, not yet at least.
"Naruto I am the one paying for every thing. Once we find out what is going on with your accounts and have that sorted out you can use your own money to buy things. I still have to pay for an entirely new wardrobe for my new son," Minerva scolded in fond exasperation making him droop in sheepish disappointment. Naruto gazed down at the floor, memories of the first time he met his birth mother before opening his mouth to explain.
"Please understand... I have never known the love a parent before," Naruto said sighing softly, while running his fingers thru his hair. "I have had to take care of myself, have only depended on myself for so very long. I was hated in the orphanage. As soon as I was old enough at the age of 6, I was place in an apartment by myself and give a monthly allowance by the 3rd Hokage. I have had to feed and clothe myself to the best of my ability. I was alone for a very long time before things changed," He paused long enough to take a deep breath trying to hold back his emotions. "Having Harry's memories are even worse in a way, being beaten, starved, being told that I am a freak, worthless. That I will never be loved. I have heard those same words from the villagers growing up."
Naruto gasped suddenly, his eyes shooting up to meet his mother's compassionate gaze as he felt strong warm arms wrapped tightly around him, pulling him in close and holding him securely. Minerva's voice was raspy, as she held back her nearly overwhelming emotions, reaching his ear, "Never again will you be alone. Oh little leinibh, you have me now, and you are not worthless, or a freak, and I promise you, I already love you with all my heart my son."
"Okaa-san," Naruto whispered as he clung to her, his grip fierce enough to bruise them both, something they both ignored as they took comfort from one another.
They left the shop with a plain, serviceable trunk that had three compartments: clothes, books/parchment/inks/quills, potion things/ingredients, and a meditation room. It was reasoned that anything else could be stored in Minerva's quarters or arranged for later. Strangely when Naruto tried to only get one with a single compartment and a meditation room, bowing to his mother's wish not to overspend on extras she had stopped him.
"No Naruto, put that one back. You need three compartments with the meditation room. One for your clothes, one for your schoolwork, books, ink, and quills, and one for your potion things. This will reduce the risk of contamination and keep things from reacting badly with one another. You will also be getting a feather light charm on it, and a shrinking rune that will work like a switch when you tap it with your wand. I would normally prefer that the lock not be magically assigned to only you in case the staff needs to get inside for some reason. However, with your... fans, you need the extra security so we will both be keyed to it. The blood lock will make it slightly sentient so do not abuse the privilege," Minerva informed her surprised son. "Due to your memory situation I will likely treat you as older than your body is and punish you appropriately for your mental age when you get into trouble."
"Yatta! You are awesome Okaa-san! Hey, can we pull a prank on the school? Make them think we don't know each other? Oh! Or I could answer to Kitsune at the sorting and then when you call out Potter I could stand up and confuse everyone as I get sorted again! Maybe use fuzzy but as the second me for the sorting... if that will even work," Naruto said excitedly. Minerva's laughter was like clear bells as it rang out around the shop and brought her son back down to earth sheepishly.
"I will punish you if the pranking is undeserved or harms anyone but I don't see why we can't use the two you just suggested. It might keep the meddlesome old coot from bothering us too much," Minerva suggested in open amusement.
"Thanks Okaa-san!" Naruto said gleefully.