Authors: furiosity & incapricious
Fandom: Harry Potter & Bleach
Genre: Crossover | Drama
Rating: R [overall] (this part: PG)
Pairing: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy
Disclaimer: JKR and Kubo own. We only play. You do not sue.
Length: 3000 words (this part)
Summary: In which Master Ollivander turns out to have been right, Seireitei fashion is bewildering, a man named Moyashi gets a reprimand, and Harry and Draco are, apparently, students.
Concrit: Always welcome and appreciated.
03 x Shinigami Got Your Tongue
A dozen kids surrounded the fountain now, watching Harry eat as though it were the most fascinating thing in the world. Being the Boy Who Lived had got him used to stares, but at least nobody at Hogwarts used to watch him eat.
"Do the Shinigami eat all the time?" Harry asked as he tore the last bit of chicken off the skewer.
Gorou -- a pudgy, short-haired boy of about twelve and the bearer of Harry's food -- nodded. "Not everyone who gets hungry can become a Shinigami, though," he said, crossing his arms and assuming an expert air. "Hunger means you have spirit power, but that isn't enough; there are tests and--"
A shriek sounded from the direction of the alley to Harry's left; he turned, expecting to see another group of kids -- so far, afterlife society appeared to be a mafia organisation run entirely by children. But the new arrival was no child -- at least not physically speaking; Harry did have his doubts about the mental age -- it was Draco Malfoy, dressed in pink, scowling, and obviously wet. The children around Harry scattered; only Tsuyoshi and Gorou remained.
"Malfoy?" Harry managed, his fingers gripping the skewer as though it were a wand. It was just his luck that in a place where it was supposedly impossible to find anyone he knew, he would run into the last person he wanted to see. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Malfoy sneered. "What am I doing here, Potter? You have the nerve to ask that after dragging me here?"
"I didn't--" Harry began, but then he remembered grabbing something as he had tried to prevent falling through the hole Lucius Malfoy's spell had made. He must have pulled Malfoy with him. "Oh."
"I see you're just as witless as ever," Malfoy spat, crossing his arms. "You brought me here, and you're fucking well going to help me find a way back to our own time, got it?"
Our own time? "What the hell are you talking about?" Harry asked, frowning. "Malfoy, we're, um. We're dead." He felt a twinge of guilt. Certainly, he hadn't known he was falling to his death, and he hadn't meant to drag anyone with him, but... What am I thinking? If anyone should feel guilty, it's Lucius Malfoy.
Malfoy was regarding Harry with the sort of look usually reserved for utter lunatics. "Dead? Don't be absurd. This is obviously medieval Japan."
"Yeah?" Harry asked, leaning back against the fountain's stone basin. "I guess you'd know all about it, seeing as your father sent me here."
Malfoy glared at him. "Bullshit. My father isn't stupid; he wouldn't raise a wand to you in front of all those Aurors."
Harry gave a short laugh. "I saw it happen, so your dad must be pretty dumb."
Malfoy took a step forward, his hand shooting to a non-existent pocket.
"Won't work," Harry called. The anger that had seethed in him since finding out he was dead suddenly reared in a rush of blood to Harry's head. Malfoy was probably in on the whole thing, too; it was just his bad luck he ended up dead along with Harry. "It was supposed to be over," he snarled, surprised to find bitter tears stinging his eyes. "Why couldn't you just accept that your precious Voldemort lost?"
He raised the skewer as Ollivander's words to him echoed in his mind. If you are any wizard at all, you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument.
"Oh, right," Malfoy jeered. "Because hexing me with a bamboo stick is going to work, clearly."
Stupefy, thought Harry, pointing the skewer at Malfoy. At the first instant, nothing happened. Then he saw magic around his hand, a thousand tiny streams of incandescence flowing into the skewer. The emergent spell was not as well-defined or bright as a Stunner, and it didn't shoot out; it floated through the air towards Malfoy, exploding in a ball of pinkish light just shy of his left shoulder.
Malfoy leaped backwards and lost his footing, landing on his arse in the road dust, his face contorted with rage and embarrassment. "You--" he gasped, scuttling backwards. "How the fuck did you--"
"Any wizard worth anything could do it!" Harry shot back, thinking fast. How could he make the skewer work more like a wand and less like a harmless party favour? Maybe it was like Apparition, the three Ds -- destination, determination...
Malfoy snatched up a thin, dried-out reed from the ground and pointed it at Harry. "Think I'm worthless, do you? STUPEFY!"
The Stunner crackled straight towards Harry, who dodged in time for it to hit the stone fish behind him. A sprinkling of dust fell into the water, but otherwise the spell had had no effect. Clearly a reed was no better than a skewer. Malfoy's lips moved, and this time Harry crouched and ran behind the fountain. Tsuyoshi huddled there, knees drawn up, dark eyes huge and fearful.
"Are you all right?" Harry whispered.
The boy nodded timidly. "How do you know the Demon Arts?"
Demon Arts? "I, uh, long story. Listen, it's not safe here. I want you to go and find the others while I distract him."
"Is he a bad man?" Tsuyoshi asked. "Why didn't he become a Hollow?"
Having no clue what a Hollow was supposed to be, Harry didn't know how to answer that question. "Go on," he urged, peering around the fountain. Malfoy had disappeared from the alley entrance. A green bolt of light whizzed past his ear.
"Fuck!" he yelled, ducking again. "I told you, Malfoy, we're dead already -- you can't kill me a second time. Your dad's already finished the job, didn't he?"
"It's not my fault you can't tell a Slug-Vomiting Charm from a Killing Curse!" Malfoy shouted back.
Slug-Vomiting? Harry's stomach was still growling, and Malfoy wanted him to vomit? Fucking bastard. It was stupid to hide behind the fountain; Harry couldn't see anything here. He'd given Malfoy the advantage. Next to Harry, Tsuyoshi was on his feet already, gazing longingly at the building opposite.
"Go, now," Harry muttered, getting to his feet. Malfoy had circled halfway round the square; he was almost level with where Harry and Tsuyoshi had been sitting moments earlier. Stupefy.
The Stunner was better-defined this time, but instead of stopping short, it flew wide, shattering a paper decoration hanging from a house roof.
"Pathetic," called Malfoy, raising his reed again.
A gash of dark blue meandered towards Harry, who sidestepped with no difficulty. This was ridiculous. They were never going to hit each other with spells this sluggish; they were just going to damage their surroundings and scare the hell out of the poor villagers. Confundo. The idea of a very bewildered Malfoy wandering Rukongai for the rest of his days appealed to Harry on more levels than he could count.
But the Confundus Charm emerged as slowly as the rest of Harry's spells; Malfoy's answering Stunner sailed through, scattering it easily.
"Way of Binding, number nine: strike," said a voice behind Harry. The world turned red, and his entire body froze. The skewer fell out of his numb fingers, landing in the dust with a soft plop. Malfoy, too, appeared rooted to the spot. The local wizards had arrived, clearly.
A tall, spiky-haired man strode between them, dressed in long black sleeveless robes that swept through the dust. A jewel-studded choker encircled his neck, and a matching armband decorated his right arm. On his left arm, he sported an armband with the number nine and a stylised picture of a flower Harry didn't recognise. A long, curved sword hung from the white belt cinching his robes. What was that sword even for? Maybe spirits could die again, somehow. Or maybe the afterlife wizards used swords instead of wands.
Three scars ran down from the man's right eye to his cheek; Harry was reminded of Bill Weasley. The stranger looked about the same age as Bill, too. A faded tattooed stripe stretched across the bridge of his nose and his left cheek; beneath it was the number 69. The local wizards' fashion was apparently quite odd.
Harry became aware of movement; people emerged into the square from the alleys. Not just children, either; several dozen men and women, all dressed in patterned robes cut like Harry's, though he couldn't see what the colours were from the haze of red all around him.
"That's Hisagi Shuuhei, lieutenant of the Ninth Division," said a man outside of Harry's field of vision. "The ryoka are in for it now."
"Ryoka?" said the man called Hisagi. "Ridiculous. No mere wandering spirit can use the Ways of Destruction. Truant Academy brats disturbing the peace; that's all they are." He turned to Malfoy. "You will regret your injudiciousness. Bring them, Moyashi." In a blur, he vanished.
"Wait, what?" Harry shouted, trying to move, but to no avail. There was another blur in front of him, and suddenly Harry was flying a hundred times faster than on any broomstick. He couldn't feel the wind or anything, but he saw Malfoy hanging on the other side of whomever was carrying them. The village was a streak of pale colour, now, and before Harry could process what was happening -- this man was flying unassisted! -- they landed in front of a white building larger than ten Hogwarts castles put together. A glowing white wall surrounded it; lieutenant Hisagi stood in stark contrast to it, arms crossed. As his associate deposited Harry and Malfoy before him, Hisagi raised his right hand, palm out. The red haze vanished, and Harry's muscles were his own again.
"Way of Binding, number one: restrain," Hisagi said, and Harry's arms jerked behind his back as a cold chill twisted across his spine. "Start walking."
The unfortunately named Moyashi was a giant of a man; he had no tattoos, wore no jewellery, and his robes had sleeves. Maybe all the accessories signified this Hisagi person's rank. Or maybe he was just a fashion victim.
"Where are you taking us?" Harry demanded. "We're not from any Academy. We're from Hogwarts."
Hisagi ignored him, and Moyashi whapped him across the back of his neck. Seething, Harry walked along. He had preferred the other form of restraint better; at least his arms hadn't felt like they were about to pop out of their sockets.
"This is all your fault," Malfoy grumbled as Moyashi ushered them along a wide dirt path towards an enormous gate carved into the shining wall.
"Right," Harry snapped, "You keep telling yourself that."
The path led through a courtyard, where hedges shaped like fantastic creatures flanked it on either side. People lounged on the lawns beyond the hedges, all dressed in uniforms like Moyashi's, but white, with blue stripes for men and red for women. These all bore circular emblems Harry couldn't quite make out.
They had reached another, smaller gate in the meantime, and Hisagi turned around. "I'll take them from here--"
Moyashi bowed and began to back away.
Hisagi frowned. "Did I say you could go?"
"No, sir," Moyashi said, stopping.
"If you love the girl so much, put in for a transfer like a normal person. Sneaking off to the Sixth Division's training exercises is unacceptable. Captain Kuchiki may not pay attention to the faces of his subordinates, but I do. If you're missing at morning roll call again, I will notice, and there will be consequences. Don't think your assistance with these two idiots has in any way made up for your appalling behaviour."
"Yes, sir, lieutenant, sir," Moyashi rattled off. He raised his eyes to meet Hisagi's. "Will you tell the captain...?"
"Captain Tousen is too busy to deal with the likes of you," Hisagi replied. "Now go back to the barracks; you're on house arrest until the end of the week."
Moyashi turned tail and walked off; Hisagi pushed the gate open.
Harry, who had listened to the conversation with growing trepidation, spoke up. "Excuse me, but I think there's been a mistake."
"Be quiet and come along," Hisagi said, and his tone brooked no argument. He waited for Harry and Malfoy to pass through the gate, then followed in their wake. "Just follow the path, though I'm sure you two know the way to the Headmaster's office."
Harry glanced helplessly at Malfoy, who was studying Hisagi's sword with a calculating expression on his face.
"Don't tell me you're going to try and steal it," Harry groaned.
"With what, my teeth?" Malfoy bit back, rolling his eyes. "You really are an idiot. He's a samurai; my head would be off in about point three seconds."
"So why are you looking at it?"
"Maybe I like looking at swords."
"You're really fucking weird. We're about to get killed--"
"Really? I thought we were already dead," Malfoy said, smirking. "Relax, Potter. They're taking us to the Sun-River Conclave representative for questioning, because they saw us do magic."
"What? How do you know?"
"Unlike you, I received an education in wizarding history that far exceeds the plebeian standards at Hogwarts."
"History," Harry said, nodding. "Right. You still think we've gone back in time. You're an idiot, Malfoy. Didn't you hear? He's taking us to some military academy's headmaster, not to some River Sun Thingy--"
"Maybe it's a language thing," Malfoy retorted. "But are you blind? They're samurai, Japanese warriors--"
"They're Soul Reapers," Harry interrupted, but the next thing he was about to say fled from him as he realised he was speaking English again. "Malfoy?"
"Mal...foy," Harry said, tasting the name's pronunciation. "Harry," he threw in for good measure.
Malfoy was gaping at him. "Are you insane?"
"That was English," Harry said, looking at him. "We're speaking English."
"No, it wasn't, we're--" Malfoy blinked. "You're right. What the--"
"I have grown weary of your meaningless chatter," Hisagi said over his shoulder. "Way of Binding, number nineteen: still air."
But Malfoy's words were cut off. His mouth still moved, but no sound came out. Harry tried to say something, too, but was unsuccessful. He couldn't feel anything -- not even an air gag -- but nonetheless, he was unable to speak. Great. Well, at least I won't have to listen to Malfoy's annoying voice anymore.
As they followed Hisagi through several smaller courtyards, Harry mused that it was impossible to believe he was dead. He could feel pain, talk, and eat. He remembered his entire life, all his friends, all his enemies. How could he be dead when everything said he was alive? And wasn't the afterlife supposed to be a place of peace and harmony? So why was there a military? Maybe Malfoy was right about time travel. Maybe those kids had just played a cruel joke on Harry.
They had reached a large black door, and Hisagi turned to face them again. "I don't know what you were thinking, scaring all those poor souls. Being students of the Academy is a great honour that should not be spat upon in this fashion. Consider the Ninth Division closed to you both. We don't need your kind in our ranks."
Malfoy mouthed something; from the look on his face, Harry suspected it was not altogether complimentary. Hisagi, however, didn't seem interested in what Malfoy had to say. He turned to the door -- which had no handle, Harry noticed.
"Gotei Thirteen, Ninth Division lieutenant Hisagi Shuuhei, here with two Shinigami Academy truants, requesting an audience with Lord Takabe."
The door swung open, and Harry was pushed into a small white room, devoid of decoration. A woman dressed in red and white appeared seemingly out of nowhere. She bowed and opened a set of double doors, revealing a large, dark-panelled office. Inside, a harried-looking old man in glasses sat behind an enormous desk covered in tall stacks of paper. Even taller stacks littered the floor all around the desk. The man was writing something with a featherless quill -- no, a brush. He didn't look up as they entered.
Wouldn't the afterlife have filing cabinets? thought Harry, looking around at the mess. He was also intensely curious about the man's glasses.
"Good day, Lord Takabe," said Hisagi, bowing deeply.
"Ah, Hisagi-kun," the old man said, breaking into a wide smile as he looked up. "It's good to see your face again. I hear you're Tousen Kaname's lieutenant now, is that true?"
"Yes, sir," Hisagi replied, bowing again. "I am honoured that you remember."
"What brings you here today?"
"I found these two truants in the second district, fighting with Demon Arts and scaring the citizens."
Takabe peered at Harry and Malfoy. "These aren't truants."
Hisagi took a tiny step back, looking shocked. "They had permission to be in Rukongai, my lord?"
"I do not know that," Takabe replied. "But I also do not know who they are."
"But they couldn't be ryoka," Hisagi said. "They were using Demon Arts; I saw them."
Takabe took off his glasses and sighed. "Hisagi-kun, I don't just remember you because I examined you three times before allowing you admission to the Academy." Hisagi looked somewhat abashed, but Takabe only smiled and continued. "I remember the face of every student to walk into this room in my three hundred and sixteen years as Headmaster. I have never seen these two before."
"Blondie-kun over there produced a Shot of Red Fire without an incantation, sir," Hisagi insisted.
Harry tried to snigger, but no sound came out. Blondie-kun. He glanced at Malfoy, who was scowling.
"Did it without an incantation, did he? Interesting, very interesting," Takabe said, putting his glasses back on. "Perhaps we had best listen to their story, hadn't we?"
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