Orihime sighed as she tidied up another shelf filled with magazines. She was glad Tatsuki was coming over that day. It had been getting too quiet in the house. No matter how much sound she tried to make with the TV, it always made the place seem emptier.

Her face eased into a bright smile when a knock shattered the silence that had settled over her tiny apartment. She ignored the dull throb in her leg, stuffed the rag in her hand in one of the kitchen cabinets and went to the door. "Tatsuki-chan" Orihime greeted brightly.

"Orihime" Tatsuki handed her a brown bag filled with food, "is your leg feeling any better?"

"Oh yes" she replied absently as she put the food in the kitchen. "You don't have to worry about it."

"Of course I have to worry about it. I'm your friend"

"Oh! That's what Kurosaki-kun and Kuchiki san were saying" Orihime noted as she poured out some tea and took some biscuits to the small round table in front of her TV. Tatsuki was already seated with her back to the TV. "Oh?" she asked questioningly as she took blew over her tea.

"Well not that they were my friends. Kurosaki-kun was worried about my clumsiness and he wanted to know if he should walk me home"

Tatsuki froze, eyes wide with anticipation, "and then?"

Orihime let out a nervous giggle, "Ah! Well, see he took me by surprise, so I told him he didn't have to…"

Tatsuki gaped at the orange haired girl, "are you stupid? How could you waste a chance like that?"

"I'm not…" Orihime protested but she was cut off, "at times like that you just gotta go for it."

Orihime tilted her head in confusion.

But Tatsuki's eyes had taken on a scary glint, "when he says 'should I walk you home?' you say 'sure'. Then you use the pain in your leg as an excuse to lean on him. Then when he's walked you to a place where nobody is around, you pull him into a dark place…" Orihime took a sip of tea. "And then you take him"

Orihime sputtered, tea pilling on the table in front of her. "Tatsuki-chan" she squeaked in embarrassment.

Tatsuki looked at her with a smirk, "don't worry! All you have to do is grab your breast and then he'll be the aggressive one."

Orihime's eyes glazed over as she tried to come to terms with what her best friend was suggesting. She never knew Tatsuki would come up with such things. Tatsuki remained oblivious to those thoughts and muttered, "but for him to be with the new girl already. I never thought he'd be so suave"

Orihime came out of her daze, "but they were just at the park together. Nothing else."

Tatsuki gave her a sly look, "have you been alone with Ichigo at the park?"

A blush lit up on Orihime's cheeks as her mind churned out an image of a grinning Ichigo greeting her in the park. C'mon Inoue, let's race to that see-saw, dream Ichigo said. Within seconds the race was on. Dream Inoue notices an afro-ed man coming in between Ichigo and her and overtaking both of them. With a burst of speed both racers were at level with the afro-ed athlete.

Dream Inoue used the last of her energy to draw ahead of her competitors. Camera flashes blind her as she raises her boxing-glove clad hands to the sky in victory. Sweat trickled down her arms, but she ignored it to pose for the camera. Through the haze of bright flashes Dream Inoue notices a shady character pointing a gun at her.

"No! Run Away! Run Away dream me! Run…" Orihime gestured wildly as though trying to push someone out of the way.

"Oi! What the? What kind of odd reaction is that?" Tatsuki wondered as she tried to calm her friend.

A loud bang accompanied by a tremor cause both girls to freeze in shock. "What was that?" Tatsuki muttered as they both looked around the tiny apartment.

Orihime crawled towards the other side where something had fallen off the shelf. "Oh no! Are you alright Enraku?"

Tatsuki suppressed a twitch at the name and moved to stand behind the other girl who was examining a plushie. "Aww! Why is he ripped so bad?" Orihime whined in distress.

"Maybe the fabric wore out?" Tatsuki supplied hoping to comfort her friend.

Orihime slid her hand up to hold the plushie's head. She frowned as she felt a sticky dampness cover her hand. She pulled her hand away and gasped at the vivid red stain. "What? This looks like blood…"

No sooner had she uttered the words than a claw emerged from the rip in the plushie and pierced through Orihime's chest. Orihime let out a small 'oh' of pained surprise and soon her senses were flooded with confusing amounts of information.

After what felt like ages, Orihime took in a heavy breath of air and leaned back against something solid. She opened her eyes and saw Tatsuki being thrown to the other side of the room with a large bleeding gash on her shoulder.

Orihime's eyes widened as she caught sight of herself lying facedown just a few feet from her. What's going on? Why is my body… she shuddered as she caught sight of a large serpentine monster heading towards Tatsuki. Did I die?

Her chest throbbed painfully. She looked down and grimaced at the sight of a chain sticking out of her chest. She tugged at it harshly when another wave of pain washed over her. It hurts, I want to break it.

Tatsuki's agonized screams cut through Orihime's pain riddled mind. I have to help her. I can't just sit around.

She rammed into the giant arm with her entire body and tripped in her haste to reach a gasping Tatsuki. "Run away" Orihime screamed at her friend, frustrated tears filling her eyes. "Run away, please"

"It's no use" a voice growled from behind her. "She can't hear or see us."

Orihime looked up to find narrowed eyes staring at her from behind a grotesque mask. "Do you know my name" the snake like creature asked, voice laced with anger.

Orihime gulped, a knot of fear preventing her from making a sound. The anger rose, "you even forgot my voice. How Sad Orihime"

Her eyes closed in fear as a large clawed hand came down upon her. A loud crash of rubble and a rush of wind caused her to look up. A black clad figure with orange hair stood between her and the monster with a sword poised against the giant claws.

Kurosaki-kun?, Orihime gulped as she tried to back away from the monster's ferocious growl only to realize that she was stuck in front of her cupboard.

Her eyes widened as the person in front of her proclaimed that the monster would have to get past him to get to her. That voice was familiar. As her savior's heard whipped back to look at her, Orihime's heart beat picked up. Those concerned hazel eyes, she knew them. I thought so, it is, "Kurosaki-Kun" she said already feeling more protected.

"Why…why can you see me?" he stuttered. What an odd question, why- eh?

"Isn't it obvious", the monster mocked, "That's her soul. Too bad for you she's already dead!" the tail whipped around and hit Kurosaki through the apartment's wall and into the dark night.

Orihime's fear returned with a vengeance as the creature slithered to the whole and attacked Kurosaki-kun with some sort of fireball. She ignored her pain and ran to the hole as she watched Kurosaki fall to the street in a trail of smoke. But clawed hands grabbed her tightly, unwilling to let go.

"No, let me go, Kurosaki-kun, Kurosaki-kun,"

The purple claw tightened its hold around Orihime causing her to gasp for air. "Have you really forgotten about me? It's me Orihime" the claw turned around so that she came face to face with a single purple eye that looked down at her from the broken part of the mask through slick black bangs..

Orihime's eyes widened in recognition, "Ni… Sora Nii-san?"

The claw loosened its hold and the eye softened into one she had remembered from long ago. "is it really you?" she asked, terrified to know the answer.

When the masked head nodded she whispered, "Why? Why did you hurt my friends?"

"Why?" Sora tiled his head back as he glanced at her, "isn't it obvious. They tried to tear us apart."

His eyes gleamed, "after I died, I watched as you prayed for me everyday. It made me happy. I felt everything would be alright through your prayers. But a year later you became friends with her" Orihime's heart clenched in terror at the menacing look he shot at Tatsuki's prone form.

"I watched as the days you prayed for me diminished. And then you entered high school and Kurosaki Ichigo appeared." His voice hissed the name in distaste.

"You finally stopped praying for me. All you'd talk about was him. I'd completely disappeared from your heart."

"No" Orihime protested, "" I just…"

But Sora continued, "I was sad, all alone. So many times I just wanted to kill…" A black clad body stormed in through the hole towards Sora, who whipped his tail in the direction of the threat.

"Kurosaki-kun" Orihime struggled against the suffocating claws. Sora spoke as his tailed pinned down the sword wielding boy, "Let's go Orihime. Let's live together like we used to…"

Orihime had had enough. This couldn't …wasn't her brother. Sora would never… "Why? If you were sad you should have said so. Why hurt my friends…why? My bother wasn't someone who did things like that…"

She flinched as rage washed over the inhuman creature. "I'll kill you. Who do you think turned me into this?" the claws squeezed painfully cutting off her air. "It was you. I'll kill you." The pain increased with each sentence.

Orihime struggled to breathe as a rush of wind caused the claw holding her to shatter into small sharp pieces. Kurosaki-kun had saved her again. He stood in front of her berating the creature. She tried to hear what he was saying but found it hard to concentrate.

She gasped at the renewed pain in her chest near her heart. It was agonizing. The deep feeling of tearing and clawing at her soul left her unable to move. The world blurred in a swirl of colour that made her aching head throb in retaliation. With a deep breath, she felt as though she was about to dive into something. Trusting some higher power, Orihime closed her eyes and gave into unconsciousness.

Emerald green eyes opened at the same time as Orihime's purple orbs saw a crystal blue sky. Orihime sat up with a gasp and patted her chest, searching for the chain she had seen before.

She let out a sigh of relief when she realized that she had nothing odd sticking out of her. She let out a nervous giggle at the thought. Nii-San, Tatsuki-chan, kurosaki-kun. Could it all have been a dream? Was she still in some sort of odd dream?

Her eyes lit up in curiosity as she looked at her surroundings. Soft green grass tickled her fingertips. She was in some sort of huge stadium. The seats were above a wall that seemed to be twice as tall as her apartment building. Rows upon rows of empty seats were well above any seating arrangement she had ever seen.

Orihime glanced around the empty stadium wondering where all the spectators and payers were. At each end of the circular stadium were three polls with circular hoops on top of each pole. She blinked and wondered if this was where giants held bubble blowing competitions.

She was so caught up in the imagery of two giants blowing bubbles that she missed the soft sounds of crunching grass. So it was obvious that Orihime screamed in surprise and a bit of terror when a hand landed on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Giant. I didn't mean to interrupt your match." Orihime said as she turned around on her knees with her head bowed down.

Amused chuckling caught her attention and stopped her from apologizing further. She looked up and was spellbound as she caught sight of emerald green eyes that peered down at her from beneath messy black hair.

"Hello Princess. I never thought I'd be seeing you so soon."

Orihime looked around in confusion, and then pointed to herself questioningly. The way he said princess, made her think of Tatsuki-chan on the rare occasions she called her that. Why was this man being so friendly to her?

The green eyed man nodded with a smile and held out a black gloved hand. She stared at it for a while but took it nonetheless. It was warm.

"Do you know where you are princess?" he asked gently as she got to her feet. He was taller than her by a head or so, his raven hair flowing in the breeze.

She shook her head in silence still observing her companion. He was paler than her but looked healthy and strong. His face was angular but his smile made him as friendly looking and as warm as Tatsuki-chan. Orihime noticed a thin faded scar on his forehead that looked like a lighting bolt, but her attention kept going back to his eyes. They were honest. And they looked at her with concern.

He wore a silk black shirt with silver buttons and long black pants that tucked into shiny black leather boots. A few silver chains hung from his belt and jingled as he moved. Around his shoulder was a black cloak with silver trim that glimmered and moved like water in the slight breeze.

It was fascinating.

He was fascinating.

And he was talking to her like he had known her for ages.

"We are in your soul, princess!"

She stuttered in confusion, "Wha…"

"We're in your soul" he explained patiently "your soul was experiencing too much pain and that caused you to be pulled here for protection".

When Orihime remained silent for a long time mulling over his previous statement, he said, "Your friend, Kurosaki, is a shinigami." He paused as Orihime looked up at him in question. "A Shinigami is a sort of warrior. Their job is to protect human souls and help them cross over."

Orihime nodded in understanding. That made sense. And to think Kurosaki was such a protector. A hero even. "Part of the job entails fighting and purifying souls that have become hollows" She didn't like the sound of that.

"Princess," he paused cautiously, "your brother's soul has become a hollow."

Orihime let out a distressed gasp. She didn't want to know that her brother had really become that monster out there.

"But there is a way to save him." Orihime looked up at him with teary eyes. "That's what shinigamis do when they purify them. They give those souls another chance."

"So Kurosaki…" Orihime started.

"Yes" the man nodded. "And so can you…"

"Me?" Orihime squeaked in surprise.

He squeezed her hand gently, "the shock from the events in the past few minutes caused me to awaken."

Orihime bit her lip in confusion, "So you're a shinigami?"

He gave her a smile, "Close. I'm your zanpakutou." Seeing her confusion, he elaborated, "Every shinigami has a zanpakutou. It's their soul's manifestation of their partner and weapon."

Orihime's eyes widened at the implication. "Yes, Princess, since I have awakened you can now access your own shinigami powers."

She protested vehemently at the idea, "I'm too weak. I can't… by myself…"

She stopped when the man cupped her cheek and said soothingly in a firm tone, "you are not weak. And you won't be alone. I'll always be by your side Princess."

Orihime's heart clenched painfully at the thought of never having to be alone again, at having someone who would talk to her and fill in the void when her apartment grew too quiet.

The man spoke out confidently, "let's go save your brother" That decided it for her. This time she would help her. He wouldn't have to be in pain anymore.

She nodded resolutely and tightened her hold on the man's hand. He gave her a reassuring smile.

The last thing she saw before she closed her eyes was the bright glow of the man's bright green eyes.

The battle in the tiny apartment paused abruptly as a green glow surrounded Orihime's soul. Ichigo and Rukia moved to help their friend and classmate. But they were unable to get close to the body due to the pulsating glow.

Ichigo was about to scream in frustration when he caught sight of the soul.

"Inoue?" he gaped in confusion as she saw the girl glad in shinigami garb. A thick silver chain encircled her waist where two dagger like weapons hung on either side.

Purple eyes opened and stared at him with a smile before turning to the motionless hollow on the other side.

"Nii-san" she whispered in a voice laced with pain. "I'm sorry" for making you feel lonely. I never intended for that to happen. I just wanted to show you that I could take care of my self. I didn't want you to worry. She pulled out both weapons from their sheaths and held them out with a practiced ease.

Her head bowed down as she whispered gently "and thank you" for everything. I'll never forget.

A green glow pulsed around her weapons. Don't be afraid, Princess, I'm here. Call out my name. As the hollow let out a menacing roar and cursed her, Orihime whispered, "Reject fate, Shini"

A/N: *shrugs* I really don't know how this happened. One minute I was trying to challenge myself with a Bleach story, next minute I'm trying to come up with a name for Harry's Zanpakutou form (obviously my naming skills leave much to be desired).

This is a one-shot. So the part where you're wondering why Orihime has already learnt the name of her sword has a bit to do with that and a bit to do with her character itself. She might be a ditz, but she's very open and mature in some ways. So I think she'd definitely learn the name of her zanpakutou pretty early.

For those who caught it, the first part of the story is from the manga. The conversation and the odd daydream Orihime had were directly from the manga, just a bit edited. Both made me go wth?

Harry Potter a zanpakutou? Hey like I said, I totally had no idea where it came from. But now that it's out there, I feel like making some stories about weird crossover zanpakutous. Think of the possibilities. Anybody up for a challenge?