Disclaimer: not mine

Chapter 8

Itachi looked around the glade but he couldn't see Harry anywhere, he only dreamed of the glade if Harry was there so where was he? "Harry?" He started wandering around but froze as he heard something. "Harry?" He called again, and then he heard the sound again…it was a whimper. Following it, he broke into a run as he saw the figure laying on the grass, curled up in a ball. His heart was pounding in fear; please don't let them have done something to Harry because of me, he thought as he ran. He dropped to his knees and reached out to him. The teen screamed and scrabbled away.

"Harry, please. It's me, Itachi." He reached out again and grabbed Harry even as he tried to move away. He held him gently as he fought to get free. "Harry, shhh, it's okay. It's just me, you're safe." He relaxed as Harry began to still in his arms and calm down. He kissed the top of his head softly, just glad to see him again. He had been getting ready to sneak into Konoha if Harry hadn't shown up soon. He just kept talking to him as Harry slowly calmed down.

"I..tachi?" his voice was shaky, limbs trembling, and Itachi held him close, rocking him slowly.

"I'm here," he promised. Harry twisted in his arms and hugged him back. Itachi felt moisture begin to soak into his shirt and realised Harry was crying. "What happened? Harry did they do something to you?" He felt Harry shake his head against his chest and relaxed slightly. "Harry please tell me." He'd only seen this way after he'd been captured and that had him really worried.

"I remember," Harry whispered, barely audible.

Itachi froze and then gently raised Harry's head. He lent down and kissed him gently, trying to give comfort.

"The rat killed Moony, he shoved that stupid silver hand right into his chest. He screamed so loudly," Harry sobbed, and Itachi pulled him into his chest again. He knew how much the werewolf had meant to him. "I killed him, didn't give him the chance to do anything. I used katon on him and he burned. So many people died. I killed…"

Itachi let him take his time. He hated the fact that Harry had been forced to kill like that but there hadn't been any other choice. He had seen the results of war but never fought one himself. He had fought battles though and his clan… shinobi at least were taught methods of dealing with such things, lessons Wizards didn't give.

"Draco…Draco took a killing curse for me from his own father while I was fighting Tom. I killed Lucius and went back to fighting Tom. I…I acted like it didn't matter; like I didn't care that one of my best friends had just died. I had to, couldn't let him use it against me but it hurts so much!"

Itachi could do nothing but hold him, letting him know he was there for him, no matter what. He knew nothing he said could make Harry feel better at the moment, he needed to get it all out.

"I killed him, I fulfilled that stupid prophecy. Cut his legs so he couldn't move and then did the same thing I did to the rat. He burned and all the death eaters died, they just fell down, dead. But the castle had taken too much damage. I managed to reinforce it with my magic, long enough for the others. Severus had to stun Mione to get her to leave; she refused to leave me behind. But I couldn't leave or everyone would have died. When they were out I just let go. There was a piece of the roof falling straight at me, it got hot and it hurt…so much. I should be dead, why aren't I dead?"

"Don't say that Harry. You can't die. I need you. I…I love you," Itachi whispered. It had been so long since he'd said those words to anyone…and he'd never said them enough.

Harry jerked back, staring at Itachi with wide, panicked eyes. "What?"

"I love you Harry. If you had died I don't know what I would do," he admitted.

"You love me?" Harry was calming down, staring at Itachi with the most beautiful look of wonder that the older man had ever seen.

"Yes, I love you." Itachi fell back as Harry threw himself onto him, hugging him tightly.

"Love you too," Harry whispered against his chest, and Itachi smiled at the quiet declaration. "Don't leave me."

Itachi hugged him back just as tightly. "Never by choice," he promised. He couldn't promise Harry he'd never leave him; he was a hunted criminal after all. One day his luck would run out. "Grieve for then Harry, grieve and move on. Don't let them take you from me, from anyone who cares about you. You did what you had to do; the Death Eaters had long made their choice. Don't let guilt destroy you," Itachi whispered as he held the teen close. He smiled softly as he saw Harry had fallen asleep in his arms. "Sleep well love." He moved them slightly, getting comfortable before drifting further into sleep himself.

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Harry staggered from his bed, grimacing at the stiffness of his muscles. He'd been bedbound and unconscious in the hospital wing enough to recognise the symptoms. Everything felt…foggy. Vague memories of Kakashi…Iruka-sensei….even the Team being around were there, but nothing concrete. He grimaced at his reaction to the memories, it made him feel weak and he didn't like that.

He forced himself to move, running through some basic stretches to get everything moving. He grabbed clean clothes and slipped to the bathroom, it was rather early and he didn't want to disturb his landlord, but desperately wanting a good wash.

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Kakashi stood in the doorway to the kitchen in shock, surely he was seeing things?

"Morning, eggs good?"

"Harry?" Kakashi asked to make sure he wasn't seeing things. The teen had been pretty much catatonic and now he was cooking breakfast? Sure, he'd finally fallen asleep, but he hadn't expected a complete reversal of things. It looked like he'd been up for a bit, had showered, dressed…like a normal day.

"I'm okay Kakashi. Not better but I'll get there," Harry gave him a small but genuine smile.

"Good dreams?" He asked, hoping Itachi had been able to give him help. And that just felt wrong to think.

Harry's smile widened. "Yeah. So, eggs?"

"Sounds good." Kakashi sat down and they ate breakfast together in silence, but it was comfortable. The next time he saw Itachi he would have to thank him, before killing or capturing him. "Feel up to joining us this morning?" He asked as he cleaned the dishes.

"Sure. Let me grab my things and I'll be ready."

"No rush, we have plenty of time." Kakashi pulled his book out only to be left blinking in shock as it disappeared. He looked up to see Harry holding it as if it were poisonous. How?

"You get this back if we are on time to meet them. Otherwise this will remain safely hidden," Harry stated, and disappeared into his room. Kakashi smiled behind his mask; yep Harry was on the mend.

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"HARRY!" Two shouts were heard and then the poor teen was on the ground, a hyperactive blond on top of him.

"Naruto please get up, I can't breathe," Harry wheezed out.

The blond pulled back sheepishly. "You're okay now?"

Harry smiled at Naruto. "I'm okay." He ruffled the blond hair as he got up. He wasn't incredibly tall for his age but he was still considerably taller than the younger teen. "Kakashi said you guys came to see me, thanks."

"Well, now that Harry's fine let's get back to training. Sasuke, you and Sakura please. Harry, why don't we have a spar? See what you know."

The four stared at Kakashi in shock.

"How about no, I'm not suicidal."

"Kakashi-sensei you can't be serious! You could kill or hurt him! Not to mention he's been stuck in bed for several days," Sakura stood up for the young wizard.

"I wouldn't go all out. He does have some training."

"Yeah but…Fine. But I end up in hospital again and you're cooking your own meals, permanently," Harry threatened. He slipped out of the jacket he'd been wearing to free up his movements. It may be summer but the mornings were still a little chilly sometimes.

"Naruto give him your weapons," Kakashi ordered, and Naruto glared at him, glancing at Harry in concern.

When Harry nodded, Naruto removed his kunai and shuriken holsters and tossed them to him. Harry put them on, showing he had training in that at least.

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"We'll stick to taijutsu since you don't know many jutsu's. Just do your best," Kakashi told him.

Harry nodded and slid into a defensive stance. They stared at each other, neither moving and Kakashi was impressed, most beginners would have rushed to attack by now. Then again an Uchiha had trained him and Harry didn't seem as rash as many others his age, he had survived a war already after all. Deciding to really get the fight started he attacked. To his surprise Harry dodged easily, the teen was certainly fast. Then again he would probably have to be to survive Itachi's training. Knowing the missing-nin part of that training had probably included dodging attacks from various thrown weapons.

Kakashi kept on the offensive and Harry continued to dodge. Seeing that, he upped his speed. Harry shot him an annoyed look as a few of his hits began landing, Kakashi just grinned behind his mask. He was surprised to see that so far Harry was at genin level, not quite up to some of the current ones level, but still good. Itachi had obviously focused on this part of his training almost to the exclusion of all others. Kakashi suddenly found himself on the ground and quickly got to his feet. His thoughts had obviously wandered a little too much and Harry had managed to land a blow.

The teen sent him a look. "I know I'm not that good but you could do me the curtesy of paying attention to what we're doing."

"Actually you are good considering how much formal training you have. Your taijutsu is at genin level."

Harry looked surprised at that and Kakashi took the opportunity to attack. Harry snapped out of his daze instantly and dodged the kick but he got hit by Kakashi's fist, falling backwards. He twisted mid fall and managed to turn it into a roll. Kakashi fell back as he saw Harry wince and his hand go towards his ribs. Kakashi wasn't aiming to hurt him, he knew Harry's threat was serious plus the teen had been out of it for a few days. To his surprise Harry straightened and smiled at him, motioning for him to continue.

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Harry smiled at the look of surprise. That hit had hurt, but all he'd done was force some magic into his ribs and now they were healed. It was an interesting ability he had discovered as a child and had hidden from everyone except Severus, Hermione, Draco, and Itachi. It was what had enabled him to survive his years at the Dursley's and the various fights with Tom and his followers.

He watched as Kakashi pulled a kunai and did the same, once again waiting for the other man to come to him. He knew he was going to lose, there was no way he was a match for a jōnin, especially one with Kakashi's reputation, but he was determined to do his best and to learn while doing it. That was the problem with having access to only one trainer. Harry and Itachi had learnt how to read each other's moves while now Harry had no idea what his opponent would do next. Add to that the fact that he was beginning to tire and he knew the match wouldn't last much longer.

"You okay Harry?" Naruto called.

A hand was raised and waved in his general direction in answer. Harry had been right, the match had only lasted another five minutes and now the young wizard was lying in the grass, five feet from where he'd been only a few seconds before. He tried to sit up and winced, once again pushing magic into his injuries and healing them nearly instantly. He rolled to his feet and walked back to the group, limping slightly at first but it was gone by the time he got there. He could feel Kakashi's surprise, the man obviously knew how hard he'd hit Harry and couldn't figure out how he was moving without pain.

"I'm fine Naruto. Just a bit tired. That was fun Kakashi, not as suicidal as I thought it would be," Harry grinned at the confused man and gave him a look that said he'd tell him later.

Kakashi nodded. "Sakura, aren't you and Sasuke meant to be sparring?" Kakashi asked the teen, and she blushed.

"I think we distracted them," Harry commented as he went to where he usually sat to watch or read.

Naruto joined him and they watched the other two genin fight. "You did great Harry," Naruto grinned at him, and Harry grinned back.

"Thanks." He leant back against the tree, he was honestly tired.

"Maybe you could ask to finish your training? I bet you'd make a great ninja."

Harry looked at Naruto. "Thanks but…there's some stuff you don't know Naruto. Reasons why that wouldn't work." Harry smiled at the younger teen and then closed his eyes, working through his occlumency exercises to try and sort his thoughts and emotions out.

Having a fun spar now and then was one thing; training to fight again was another. If it came down to it Harry knew he could kill again to defend an innocent or someone he cared about but he couldn't do it just because he was ordered too. He could feel Kakashi watching him but ignored him, falling into a light meditative trance. it was the first time he'd gone so far since arriving in Itachi's world and what he found made him gasp and break his trance.

"Harry? What is it? Are you hurt?"

Harry opened his eyes to see Naruto staring at him in concern and that Kakashi had moved closer. "It's nothing Naruto, I'm fine." He gave the other teen an honest smile and he nodded, turning back to watching his teammates.

"Harry?" Kakashi asked softly.

"It's nothing, just got a surprise that's all." From Kakashi's look he knew the older man didn't fully believe him, and he sighed. "Later, please?"

Kakashi looked at for a few seconds before nodding. Harry once again let his thoughts drift, no wonder he liked this world so much. Without witches and wizards to pull on it the magic here was wild, untamed, and infinitely more vast and powerful than back home. He was going to have to be very careful trying any spells that pulled magic from the environment until he got used to it or else they could backfire rather painfully or end up doing what he wanted, just to a far greater degree.

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Harry put the plates on the table and took his usual seat. There was pressure to the silence tonight and he knew Kakashi wanted answers.

"I have a rather unique ability, at least that was what I was told. I doubt I'd still be alive if it weren't for said ability. I can channel raw magic to my wounds and use it to heal them. I did it instinctively as a child and it wasn't until I was fifteen that I finally worked out why I healed so quickly. After that I trained myself to do it at a conscious level so that wounds would heal almost instantaneously. Really comes in handy when you have my luck for trouble. As for the other thing, that was the first time I've gone so far in my occlumency exercises since arriving, I wasn't expecting what I found. Itachi thought your world had no magic, boy was he ever wrong. Without people like me it's wild and so much more powerful than what it was back home. If I tried a spell that uses magic from the environment I don't want to think about what it might do. I could do a lot of damage without meaning too."

"What exactly are people like you? You've never said and I couldn't exactly ask Itachi."

"I'm a Wizard, a half-blood if you want to get technical. There are two separate societies back home, the magical and the muggle. A Wizard or Witch is someone with an innate ability to do magic, both of my parents could but my mother's family couldn't. It's not the same as chakra, Itachi and I tested that theory, and he doesn't have a magical bone in his body. You can do so many things with magic, some good, some bad. It's funny, I was portrayed as the symbol of the light and yet technically I'd be classed as a Dark Wizard these days. A lot of my people confused Dark with evil and that caused a lot of problems." Harry got a distant look and Kakashi decided to bring him back.

"Can you show me something?"

Harry nodded and picked up the chopsticks he'd been using. He focused his magic and then handed the small rabbit over.

Kakashi studied it closely. He obviously hadn't felt any chakra being used which meant it wasn't an illusion or anything.

"That is a real rabbit, surprised that worked that well. Transfiguration isn't my best subject area," Harry shrugged.

"What is your best?" He handed the rabbit back, and Harry reversed the spell.

"Defence Against the Dark Arts and surprisingly the Dark Arts themselves, though I avoid using them as much as possible. Dark Magic is addictive if you're not careful. My whole life I was being trained for war, even if I didn't realise it at first. The light wanted me as their weapon and I went along with it to a certain extent."

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"Against another Wizard, what would you rank? Use our ranking system." He could see Harry thinking about it.

"Got anything above kage?"

Kakashi's jaw dropped, making him very thankful for his mask. The kid was as powerful as Tsunade or Orochimaru, maybe even more so?

"They say I'm the most powerful Wizard since Merlin himself, maybe even more powerful. There are those who'd kill to have my power and I'd give it up in a second to have one minute with my family. I can't use it all yet, not even half of it. I'll have to wait till…Bloody hell," Harry paled.

"What?"

"My majority, it's when the rest of my magic will be, released…for lack of a better word."

"And that's a problem why?" He asked in concern.

"Because it has to be done in a heavily warded room or the results to my surroundings could be catastrophic. We had a room ready at Severus' family home but that isn't exactly an option anymore. Add to that the more wild magic here and we have a major problem."

"When is your majority?"

Harry turned to look at the calendar. "A week."

"We need to see the Hokage," Kakashi stated and Harry nodded.

TBC…

So part of me wanted to remove this last bit since it feels a bit cliched these days, wasn't as much back when I wrote the original. But with everything tied into it, I couldn't come up with some other event. So I left it in.