Disclaimer: not mine

Chapter 16

Harry walked down the hall, acting as if he belonged even though he didn't. He hated Polyjuice but it did have its uses and infiltration was a good one. It felt strange being back in Kumo and there was something in the air that made his skin crawl but that was why he had been sent. They were going off the assumption that his own magic would protect him from whatever was affecting the village's shinobi and that he would be able to trace the source. Well so far he hadn't been affected other than feeling nauseous. He was glad they'd left the village when they had, though had anyone come for Sasuke in the way the kid had overheard them contemplating…he would have given levelling the place a very good try. No one was using his brother to bread more Uchiha's, not even Konoha.

As for tracing the source…he was coming up empty handed. Although he had copied any high level files he came across so that the mission wouldn't be a total bust. He couldn't wait until he could go home and see the kids and Kakashi again, it had been his turn to lead Team 7 on the front lines and Harry had to force himself not to worry about them all the time, being distracted could get him killed or worse.

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Kakashi half carried Sasuke towards the medical tents, Naruto and Sakura following him, their clothes covered in blood, some from their enemies and some from Sasuke. While he was proud of his student for protecting the group of injured Sand-nin he was also mad at him for pushing himself too far again. If it wasn't for the war he had the feeling Harry would ground his little brother for the next decade. The kid really needed to learn his limits and not keep ignoring them or else he was going to die very young. That would probably end the war when Harry went ballistic but was not something Kakashi ever wanted to see. He gently laid Sasuke on an empty cot and then stepped back to let the medics do their work.

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Harry placed the films on the Hokage's desk and then stepped back as Tsunade, Sarutobi, and several high ranked shinobi began going over them.

"Report," she ordered, and he nodded, telling her everything he had found which wasn't a lot.

In the end though it was decided that there was nothing they could do as long as the war went on. Once it was done they could look into the Kumo situation more thoroughly, unless it spread further in the meantime. Once dismissed he went straight home and spent an hour in the shower trying to feel clean. He ate, put the contents of his pack in the wash and then collapsed into bed. He'd take the required four days after a long infiltration mission and then he would ask to be sent to the front with the rest of Team 7.

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Harry jerked awake to the wards tingling and someone pounding on the door. He bolted down the hall and yanked it open, accepting the scroll from the ANBU messenger. He skimmed it and paled before quickly incinerating it, summoning everything he would need and letting magic stuff it into his pack. While that was happening he got dressed quickly and then apparated, using the marker Kakashi now carried. Team 7 didn't even flinch as he appeared in their camp, well what was left of the team. "What happened?"

"We walked into a trap," Kakashi admitted softly, unable to look at his lover. He had failed him so badly. "They were ready and waiting for us. Kisame had some sort of seal, it took Naruto down instantly. Sasuke and Sakura were managing to defend him while I dealt with another but then a member we've never seen showed up, he looked like a plant or something. He knocked Sakura out and went for Sasuke but Itachi stopped him and knocked Sasuke out. They took the boys and were gone. We've been tracking them since. I assume Hokage-sama got my message?"

Harry nodded, Itachi must have done that to protect his brother from the other member. They would assume he wanted to deal with the only other Uchiha himself and that would keep his little brother safe for now. "Wherever they are it must be heavily fortified and remote since I can feel the tracker on Sasuke, but I can't apparate to him. But you were heading in the right direction. How long do you think we have?"

"We don't know how they plan to extract the bijū so there's no way to tell."

"Great. Hopefully they will leave Sasuke alone till after. Get some rest, I'll keep watch," Harry told them, and Sakura happily lay down, pulling a blanket over herself, falling asleep almost instantly, but Kakashi hesitated. "What is it?" Harry asked gently.

"I'm sorry Harry."

"For what?"

"I promised to look after them and I failed."

"Kakashi it's not your fault, you were outnumbered by a superior foe. Itachi will keep Sasuke safe, he won't let anyone hurt his little brother."

"He won't?" Kakashi asked in confusion.

"No," Harry sighed, running a hand through his hair, staring at the ground before looking up at his confused lover. "Sorry, I was ordered not to tell you but Itachi never betrayed the village. I got it out of his head, the clan was planning a coup, so he followed orders. He's been feeding information to the village for months now."

"Oh, that's good though. Even other Akatsuki are wary of angering Itachi."

"Yep. No get some sleep." Harry stole a quick kiss and Kakashi lay down to rest.

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Sasuke sat on the bed, head resting on his bent knees. He was scared, he hadn't seen Naruto since waking up, but he knew he was there, he could sense him. He knew Itachi was nearby too which told him where they were. He knew the rest of the team and Harry would be coming for them, so he just had to keep Naruto safe till then.

He shifted until he was sitting with his legs crossed and closed his eyes, beginning to chant softly. He would not let them harm his friend. Akatsuki would learn why you never anger a Potter, by the time the team arrived maybe Akatsuki would actually ask for them to be taken back. All he had to do was decide whether to target them individually or as a group.

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Naruto stared through the bars and fought the urge to grin. He felt so weak, unable to access any chakra at all but that was okay since Sasuke seemed to be handling things just fine on his own. But did that mean the whole team had been captured? He almost felt sorry for the cloaked idiots, they had no clue who they were messing with. It would only get worse for them once Harry-sensei came, then they would really learn not to mess with anyone who could use magic. As long as he got a hit or two at the fish guy, whatever he had done was so unfair.

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Harry paused in his run, head cocked to the side as he seemed to listen to something the others couldn't hear and then he smiled. "Good work little brother," he whispered.

"Harry?" Kakashi-sensei called as he watched him.

"Sasuke's having fun."

Sakura shivered; she didn't want to know what her teammate was doing to their captors. "He's okay?"

Harry nodded as they picked up speed again. Sakura wanted her teammates back and for those who dared to take them to pay. She might not have a demon inside her or magic but that didn't mean she couldn't help stop the Akatsuki.

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Kakashi glanced at his lover as they ran. It was a relief to know at least one of the boys was alright and apparently making life a living hell for his captors. He almost felt sorry for the Akatsuki, but they had brought whatever happened on themselves. He just hoped both boys were unharmed, or he was almost scared of what Harry could do to in retribution. He knew Harry was powerful and he wasn't afraid of him, he was afraid for him if he had to really let loose.

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Itachi watched from the shadows as his comrades appeared to go crazy, well crazier than they already were. He slipped from the room and down the hall, opening a locked door to find his little brother sitting calmly with his legs crossed and eyes closed. Whatever was happening Sasuke was definitely behind it. He sat down on the floor, guarding him while he was apparently unaware of his surroundings.

Sasuke was not what he would have suspected when he found out his baby brother had survived. His abilities were like nothing he'd ever seen before and he knew Sasuke would need that advantage. The man who had raised him puzzled Itachi, he was immensely powerful and yet not like any powerful shinobi he had ever met. For one he wasn't crazy like the majority of powerful and high ranked ninja. No, Harry was very much sane and grounded. He was very grateful to the other man for taking Sasuke in and raising him as his own.

No one currently in the base was a threat to him, but Pain was not there at the moment, he was back in Amegakure dealing with a domestic matter. If he got back before help from Konoha arrived then things could get dicey. He did not doubt he could keep the man occupied for a while, but he was unsure if he could beat him, not with his Six Paths. He could try to get the boys out himself but that was very risky and would blow his cover, he would leave it as a last option.

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Kakashi's pack spread out as they reached the mountains, searching for any entrances. Harry was also searching while Sakura hung back, ready to heal the injured. Her training under Tsunade was going well considering how haphazard it was with the war. If they got some time off soon Tsunade had said she was ready to begin learning her super strength which would be very useful. Not that her skills were lacking, not anymore, but she was starting to lag behind the boys again through no fault of her own. How could a normal person compete with a Jinchūriki or a Sharingan user who had not just chakra but the ability to call on the magic of the world?

Kakashi swerved as he heard Pakkun bark, coming to stand with the pug. He studied the wall of rock and then pulled up his headband to reveal his Sharingan.

Harry appeared a few feet away and then walked closer. "Got it?"

"Looks like it, there are a lot of Seals here."

"How thick is the rock?"

"No way to know." Kakashi lowered his headband. "We need Jiraiya."

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"Maybe," Harry muttered as he scanned the wall with magic. He then grinned and grabbed Kakashi before they both vanished. Pakkun shook his head but gathered the pack and headed back to Sakura to protect the medic while they waited.

The two men instantly moved apart in case of attack, but the corridor was empty. They silently split up and began searching for Naruto and Sasuke. Harry made his way deeper under the mountain while Kakashi moved upwards. Harry smirked when he spotted the man sitting on the floor, huddled in on himself and swiping feebly at something that wasn't there. He stunned him and moved on. Finally he reached a large area with barred sections. "Naruto?" He called and then saw weak movement from one of them. He moved closer and saw the kid sprawled on the stone floor. "Hey, you okay?"

"Yeah. Just can't do anything," he grumbled even as Harry began working on the cell.

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Kakashi was having less luck as he crept through the halls, not that it was really necessary. He'd come across two ninja and neither had even been aware of his presence, making it easy to kill them. He finally came to a corridor with closed doors and began making his way down it, checking each room carefully. The doors were unlocked until the last one. He went to pick it only for the door to fly open and he found himself facing Itachi.

Kakashi and Itachi stared at each other for several seconds before Itachi stepped back and walked away. Kakashi edged into the room to see Sasuke sitting on a comfortable bed with his eyes closed.

"Sasuke, Kakashi is here for you," Itachi called softly, and dark eyes blinked open before the boy looked up at his brother and smiled. Itachi smiled slightly in return and reached out to ruffle his hair. "You have to go."

"Come with us," he pleaded and Itachi knelt to be closer to his brothers' height even as Kakashi went against his instincts and turned his back to give some privacy.

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"I cannot Sasuke. The Hokage needs what information I can send to keep Konoha and Naruto-kun safe." It was obvious Naruto was important to his brother and he would protect him for him as best he could.

"But it's not safe for you," Sasuke argued stubbornly and Itachi reached out to ruffle his hair.

"And the front lines of a war are not safe for you and yet you fight there." Itachi hated the fact his brother was caught in war but there was nothing he could do about it. He blinked and then wrapped his arms around the lanky body that had wrapped around him.

"Be careful," Sasuke whispered before muttering in a strange language and Itachi felt dizzy before collapsing.

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"Sasuke?" Kakashi called in alarm as Itachi collapsed in the teens arms.

"If he's awake then they'll suspect him," Sasuke muttered even as he gently settled his brother on the floor, and Kakashi put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently before guiding him from the room.

"He'll understand when he wakes. Let's find your other brother and Naruto and get out of here." They locked Itachi in to keep him safe and then took off for the lower levels only to find Harry returning to the entrance with Naruto on his back. "Is he okay?"

"Some sort of seal, I didn't think it was smart to mess with it."

"Good idea, let's move out."

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Sakura was relieved when the four appeared and uninjured as well. Once away from the base Harry apparated back to Konoha with Naruto to get the seal removed as soon as possible while the others set out on foot. Harry had barely set Naruto down on the bed before Tsunade and Jiraiya were there looking him over so Harry apparated back to the others.

"Naruto?" Sakura asked in concern.

"He's with the Hokage and Jiraiya," He assured her, and she sighed in relief.

They weren't running full out since it was impossible to cover their tracks at such speed, but they were moving very fast and didn't stop to rest until well into the night. Yes, Harry could apparate them all back to the village or even one of the various outposts, but it wasn't wise to waste so much power unless necessary and if they could get away on foot then all the better.

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Itachi helped dispose of the bodies, hiding his glee at the group taking such a hit and all because of his little brother. He knew why Sasuke had knocked him out and while he had felt rather ill for a few hours there were no lasting effects. And with the group decimated gathering the Jinchūriki was being put on hold. It gave him more time to find a way to stop Pain which was good since he still had no idea how to do that. Though maybe he should find a way to speak with Potter since he had taught Sasuke and his brother had immobilised the entire base.

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"Naruto!" Sakura called happily as she spotted the blonde waiting at the gate for them. He happily returned her greeting even as Harry and Kakashi checked him over.

"Alright?" Sasuke asked and his friend grinned.

"Thanks to you. Remind me to never piss you off. Ero-Sennin got the seal off easy and I've been working on my chakra control since it messed it up a bit. It took you ages to get back!"

"Unlike you we had to run the whole way," Sakura answered.

"Alright you three, off with you, we need to speak to the Hokage, and you need to clean up and rest before we get new orders."

"Yes sensei." The three teens left for Naruto's apartment without even needing to talk about it, while Kakashi and Harry headed for the Hokage's office to report what had happened.

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Sasuke lay sprawled on Naruto's too small bed, Naruto's head pillowed on his stomach, Sakura half sprawled over both of them. Naruto really needed a better place and he had the funds for it, but the blond was right when he'd asked why he should move when he was so rarely home. When the war was done though, he was dragging him apartment shopping if he had to.

They never went to Sakura's, not with what her parents thought of the Shinobi life and especially Naruto. They did spend some time at his place but Sasuke preferred to give Harry and Kakashi-sensei their time alone so more often then, not they ended up at Naruto's and it showed, that was his jacket thrown over a chair, Sakura's medical text on the table.

He lifted a hand to run through blond spikes, assuring himself that Naruto was there and safe. He could have lost his best friend if Itachi wasn't there…if he hadn't been taken as well… war was hell, he knew that even before, Harry hadn't been able to keep it from him fully, even before his capture when he'd been living on the other side of the world. He'd been the best prepared for it out of the three of them, but he still hated it. The sooner it was over, and they were safe the better, well as safe as Shinobi ever got.

He met soft green eyes and Sakura smiled gently at him, reaching up to take his hand. She'd grown up a lot since their first meeting and he liked the new Sakura a lot better.

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Naruto stared in confusion before laughing. "Thanks Haku!" He called even as a heavy mist descended on their enemies proving the teen still travelled with the demon of the Mist.

Shimmering mirrors of ice were forming around the battlefield even as Zabuza's voice was heard, throwing off many of the enemy. Haku appeared before Naruto who grinned at him and Haku smiled at him in return even as he hurled a fistful of senbon into a man's' throat.

"How have you been?"

"Working to overthrow the Mizukage still. You?" the older boy asked as if they weren't in the middle of battle.

"Well there was the chūnin exams, training, getting kidnapped, just the normal." Their causal chatting threw their attackers off balance a little which was the whole point.

"Less chatting more killing boys." Zabuza appeared by them briefly and the two teens grinned but nodded and went back to work.

Seeing how Naruto and then Kakashi reacted to the newcomers the other Konoha-nin accepted their presence.

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Harry smirked as he cornered the man trying to slip away from the battle. "Going somewhere?"

Orochimaru turned to face him and snarled. "You."

"Me. Not the luckiest of men are you?"

"I will kill you this time boy."

"You'll try," Harry snarled and then the fight was on.

Orochimaru was determined to kill him once and for all, his plans had been ruined by this one man but no more. Harry meantime was determined to end the threat to his family. The fight was not as one sided as the sannin had expected thanks to the fact he couldn't use his summons, they refused to fight the man before him but would not explain why. They were closely matched and soon most of the fighting around them died down to watch the two battle.

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Kakashi watched, heart in his throat, as his lover fought the treacherous sannin. There was nothing he could do, trying to help would only distract the wizard and he did not want to be run through again. It had taken a lot for Harry to save him the first time and there was no way he'd be given the space and time on a battle field.

He could stop a certain glasses wearing sidekick from interfering though. He darted in and began fighting Kabuto. Orochimaru cut off cry as Harry's sword severed his head gave Kakashi the needed distraction to shove a Chidori through the younger man's chest as well. He swore when the body simply dissolved and then heard Harry swear. He turned to see him hacking away at some sort of white snake thing. But it finally died, and Harry sheathed his blade. "Harry?"

"I'm fine, that was…. disturbing."

"Definitely, Kabuto got away though."

"Saw that. You hurt?" Harry asked in concern, eyes wandering over his body and Kakashi fought the urge to blush.

"No." He moved to his lovers' side even as they watched the enemy, what was left of it, flee. They may have literally cut the head off the snake but that didn't mean the war was over.

TBC…