KEY:

* (astrick/star) – the word(s) the brackets go to.

[[word]] – author's notes in bold script and brackets. Since I typed this all at once, I did this to allow explanations.

"`~,*,~`"

Bardock sat at the table, his gaze just skimming the never changing crowd. If Saiyans had a hell, this was it. Being stuck with the most annoying people possible and then being unable to kill the little bastards when their amusement factor wore off. King Vegeta agreed whole-heartedly, the man sitting and stroking his goatee and mustache as he idly thought on something.

The sudden commotion had both looking up to see an orb . . . like a looking glass of sorts, if you thought about it. Bardock remembered some of the theories that other races had about things like this and his skin chilled. His King looked at him from the corner of his blacker-than-black eye, his attention focused more on Bardock than the orb. If there was one thing the King had figured out in this Kami-forsaken afterlife it was that when Bardock was wary, all should be so. When the Third-Class Saiyan was speaking, listen closely. And when he made something, it damn well worked like a Kami-given gift with little to no flaws.

"Speak, Bardock," King Vegeta ordered calmly.

"My lord . . . there were beings that had theories about things of this nature. A Looking Glass, if you will, that does many things, some wondrous, other devastating. This orb concerns me greatly if it has one-tenth of that potential." Bardock stood, looming over his King as he reached out to touch the orb, the surface rippling to show a mirror image of him, a young man that looked almost identical, and a small child that was damn near a carbon copy of Kakkarot* when the babe had been sent to Earth for its destruction. [[I'm not sure this is right because I found several different spellings.]]

"Hey, Goku! What's up?"

A short man came into the orb, the picture of what Bardock had come to know as a monk standing and rubbing his tattooed dots thoughtfully under the thick thatch of black hair. It was so unruly one would think he was a Saiyan too but for his stature.

"It seems that something is not right, Krillin. Something very bad. We're waiting for Vegeta to come."

"Aw, do we have to? He's such a pain in my ass with his Holier-Than-Thou attitude."

"Goku" laughed deeply, the teenager by his side shaking his head as the smallest of the three giggled. The small man – Krillin* – sulked pitifully. Moments later, another joined the image, an older Prince Vegeta, his scowl firmly in place. [[Also written often as Krirrin.]]

"What is it, Kakkarot?"

What they, Bardock mostly, now knew was that this man was Bardock's whelp grown in full. They also found it amusing that Prince Vegeta paid any attention to an obviously Third-Class soldier.

"Something or someone is tearing the world apart. Piccolo said that whatever it is was trying to tear a rift in the fabric of the worlds. It almost succeeded. If it does rip the world apart, you'll think all of our adversaries as well as Cell and Buu were kiddy rides compared to this."

Vegeta was staring at Kakkarot, something like terror in his eyes. What had their Prince seen to put such a look on his stately face?

"You cannot be serious. The Genyu, Frieza, the Androids, Cell, and Buu were not some child's toy, Kakkarot. If this thing is worse than them, what the fuck do we do about it?"

That was kind of what they were thinking. This Goku, Bardock's whelp Kakkarot, calling Genyu* and Frieza* easy? They had defeated them all? How was that possible? Bardock, though, remembered many half formed realities that his youngest brat would have to go through from his time in the pod. And who were the Androids? Cell? Buu? They had to have been stronger than Frieza to cause their Prince to worry. [[Both have at the least three different spellings each. These are the ones I'm going with unless corrected.]]

"Piccolo is talking to Shin. It seems Fate and Chance owe Shin more than what their fighting is worth. If he can, he will bring in someone who not only will help us, but will be in need of help himself."

Vegeta sighed and rubbed his brow with a strongly tanned hand.

"Damn it, Kakkarot, that is not reassuring. What would our help need help with if he is the supposed hero of this badly written script?"

Good question. Kakkarot rubbed the small child's head as he looked up into the nothingness of their orb.

"He is a prophecy child. Even we were the result of prophetic intervention which is why Fate and Chance owe Shin so badly. Obaa-baa even let me know a few of her true prophecies. We've completed only half of them, if that tells you anything. But anyway, it seems that this boy was left to his own devices and not given anything other than a pitiful hope of survival with Love as his weapon."

Vegeta and all of the Saiyans in the afterlife snorted. Goku laughed at his Prince.

"Hm. I know emotion is good and all, but they really haven't done anything for him other than let someone who makes Saiyans look saintly break his mind open. The boy and I, we have been sharing dreams and truthfully, what you did to worlds pales compared to what this sick fucker did and does to not only his own followers but those around him. He had been human at one point but lost his body. Now he is a dark creature, a humonculus* with the features of a snake and the power to probably blow up the world if he wasn't so damned insane." [[Again, different spellings. This is the one that I picked after much debate.]]

Giving a mad man power was a bad thing. Just look at Frieza! At least this one didn't have the common sense to use all that power . . . yet. And someone so sick within their mind to make them – Saiyans of all sentient beings – seem saintly and kind? How old was this boy? Twenty? Thirty? Surely not younger.

"You are telling me that Saiyans are saints compared to this snake-faced dick?"

Goku nodded and the entire room and their Prince blinked stupidly. How in the hell did someone make them seem saintly?

"Hell, even Frieza of all people is better than him! I have . . . seen things that-"

Goku's eyes were like burning coals as he stared down now, his hands in fists at his sides. His youngest wrapped his tail around Goku's wrist to help calm him. The haunted look did not bode well for what he had witnessed, been forced to share with their "help". His oldest put his large hand on his father's shoulder. The tension slowly abated, his eyes calming.

"Let us say that death is too kind."

"I can tell. I have known you for years and never have you been so close to a true rage, Kakkarot. What has this thing done to make you so furious?"

They waited, the man closing his eyes to the sight of his friends and children.

"Gohan, take Goten. Do not say anything,I will tell you later if I think it is relevant."

"Yes, sir."

The now named Gohan took his brother Goten into his arms, soaring off into the clouds with the child squealing joyfully. Goku watched them go for several seconds before his intense gaze pierced Vegeta and making even the dead Saiyans shiver. With a careful leash on his rage, he told of one of the many revels that the snake bastard had forced a child, a fourteen year old boy to watch. Vegeta had paled several shades, his body trembling. The Saiyans watching the orb felt bile rising in their throats as detail after detail of what was done not only to prisoners, but children, made them feel sick with their rage. They may kill, take, loot, but never had they raped a child at the tender age of six or seven . . . it disgusted them.

"We will train him."

It was the declaration of a Prince and a man of his own children, their Prince in such a fury they wondered how he kept from loosing himself. It was soon answered when a lavender haired boy flew to his side and smiled at the stoic man.

"Hey, Dad? Mom says dinner is ready."

"Good, son. Come, Kakkarot, break bread with us this evening. You are welcome to join us, baldy."

The orb went black, Bardock shaking his head. "I-" he started, faltering. Then his gaze became like black lightening, searing the soul of whoever looked. "I will not stay here to watch a child fight a monster like that," he stated in a seething calm, lowly but brittle. His King looked at him, his own black eyes showing acknowledgment. It was time to incite a riot.

"`~,*,~`"

"NOOOO! SIRIUS!" Harry watched, pulling at Remus to let him go, as his Godfather fell through the veil. He couldn't. Not again. He could not endure the loss of another so close to him.

"You can't, Harry! You . . . you can't." Remus hugged him tight to his chest, sobs filling him up. Harry looked at the one who had taken Sirius from him, had caused not only him but a close friend intense pain of loosing someone precious.

"You bitch," he snarled as he broke away, wand up. "Cruciatus!"

The spell didn't even hit worth a damn and apparently it tickled since Bellatrix started laughing. "Poor baby! Has your dogfather been taken away?"

Harry followed the stupid bitch from the room of the veil to the atrium where Dumbledore met him . . . as did Riddle. Their battle was short but intense, Harry trying to keep out of the way until the very end and right after receiving the Cruciatus curse. The disgusting feel of such a vile entity made him cry out, the sound from his mouth like that of a wounded animal. His mental shout and pain caught one observer unawares as Voldemort tried to force Dumbledore to kill his body and, therefore, him.

Get out of my mind! Leave me alone!

Voldemort laughed. Harry shivered and remembered the last time he had heard such a sound. Cedric had been killed not minutes before the ritual to bring Riddle back, the pain of loosing a friend filling him up as the anger drained away. Sadness the likes of which Voldemort had never felt before battered at his mind, the absolute agony of watching a loved one parish tearing at Harry's heart and Voldemort's mind. What finally forced the evil being away was the love he held for those people, the swelling need to protect and love them from the Dark Lord's vulgar self.

Harry blinked as his sight came back before he toppled forward. Black claimed his sight as his hearing echoed with the voices of people, those he knew and cared for. And then . . . nothing. Time seemed suspended as he floated in darkness, warmth gently coaxing him away from the pain as wounds healed. It was here that Harry met Shin, the being a bit fuzzy since his sight was not up to par even within his mind. How can you know full sight if you have only experienced a thick fuzz?

"I see that your eye sight is in need of correcting," rumbled a soft, kindly voice that had Harry spinning to try and find who – or what – had spoken to him. The voice chuckled, the teen getting a lock and turning up. "You are a smart child, aren't you? That is good. It will be needed in the coming months."

"Who are you? What do you want?"

Comfort flowed in waves around Harry as whoever it was came a little closer, the outline a giant ball of colored fuzz. "I am Shin of another world, and I need your help. But, in return, we will help you, train you, so that you may defeat your evil."

Harry, uh, sat – well, he could be duct-tapped to the floor and not know it – and contemplated Mr. Shin Le Fuzz. "You're seriously going to help me? This isn't a sick joke or a 'you do it but still take the BS and get nothing' deal, right?"

There seemed to be a tinge of sadness all around as Mr. Shin Le Fuzz sighed. "No, Harry, we won't. It is within our nature to finish a contract to the fullest because we are bound by our world's life force."

"What about magic? Does that bind you too?" he asked, his brow drawn down as he thought over the offer carefully, weighing the words for truthfulness and sincerity. But . . . he was desperate. No one would train him and, though the DA had done so damned well it was unbelievable, that would not be enough to rid the world of Voldemort. There were questions like: "Do we leave this world?", "Is it only me?", and "Why help me at all?" that bounced around and unknowingly found their way to Shin.

"Yes, Harry, magic binds me just as tightly as it does the rest of your world. If I uttered an oath, I am bound to finish it or perish trying." Mr. Shin Le Fuzz waved . . . something that might have been an arm and a gentle coolness breezed by. "And, if you agree, I would take you from this world, but only for a short time. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this pact, only you would come with me, however that in no way stops others from following either way." Humor tinged the air and Harry just knew he was smiling.

"I . . ." Harry went silent for a moment. Then, "I want to do this, but your offer seems one sided. What do you need me for?"

Shin was smug sounding as he answered. "So bright. We need you to stop the rifts in the world. Something is coming, something that my warriors are unable to defeat even at their most powerful because physical and spiritual attacks don't work. This does not mean they are weak, far from it, only that I need a different kind of fire power. Magic and mana can destroy this creature. Magic is not as powerful as mana in the sense that mana is drawn from the earth while the magic is drawn from the body. Unfortunately, I am unable to have a mana wielder upon the world for they would be foolish to try and take the mana of the world as their own and either die or destroy the world. Magic users are more flexible and kind to the earth they inhabit."

Harry stared, squinting at Mr. Shin Le Fuzz. "Just one magic user to kill what your many warriors were unable to? Ha! That's ridiculous."

"But true," he quipped pleasantly. "Physical attacks are ignored and spiritual attacks are eaten as the beast feasts on souls and spirits to sustain itself. This is why we need you. You are a good, kind wizard, not really wanting the power you have but willing to use it in helping others and keeping them safe. If we had wanted nothing but raw brutal power with nothing to gain but more power, Voldemort or Dumbledore might have the one we picked. Your power is not mature yet so therefore it is less potent at this time but more malleable and willful to change. That is also a reason to help you, boosting your magic into maturity so that you may stand a chance at defeating this evil."

Harry thought about it hard, silence thumping in his mind as he came to a conclusion. "I will. I need to."

Mr. Shin Le Fuzz probably nodded but Harry wasn't all that sure. Then, the man was gone and Harry was blinking up at the ceiling in Madame Promphrey's Infirmary. Hermione was there, asleep in a bed beside him with bandages across her chest and stomach. Ron was on his other side, his sleep less than pleasant. Blinking in the bleary world, he grabbed for the glasses on his bedside. Something was wrong with this picture and it took a moment for him to figure it out. Ron and Hermione should be close to each other.

He wasn't sure why this thought occurred, but he did it anyway, rolling Ron's bed next to Hermione's and lacing their lax fingers together. Harry smiled when Ron stilled into a peaceful sleep and Hermione turned her face to that of Ron's. This was much better.

What Harry didn't know was that Shin had already started the transformation, giving his magic a more instinctive roll that helped the teen find his way through his thoughts. The god watched the boy, the guilt and sadness that should have engulfed him lessening greatly and leaving behind one who was grieving but not desolate. Sighing in that his work was done for now, he left the plain to return to his own, Goku contacting him.

'How is he, Shin?'

"He is nearly broken. This hurt him more than any would have suspected. But . . . are you alright? I know you had to have felt the curse."

'It hurt. More than dieing has ever made me hurt. I actually wished for a death so that the pain would lessen.'

Shin rubbed his face. "You had physical damage." It wasn't a question but a statement. The wordless acknowledgment had the god sighing. "I'll make sure that Harry brings with him nerve restoring potions."

'Just take care of him until then, Shin. I worry.'

Goku saying he was worrying was like saying that the sun was pink with purple polka-dots. It didn't happen. And that was the truly terrifying part of all of this. "I will try, Goku. I will try."

"`~,*,~`"

Harry sat on his rickety bed, the floorboard under it stashed with enough food to last two weeks if he was careful and a few potions he had filched for when the revels got out of hand, a sigh escaping his lips. Mr. Shin Le Fuzz had yet to reappear after nearly two days back at the Dursley's. Though he knew there had never been an official time for the being to come get him, Harry felt as if he should have already.

"I see you are a bit bored, Harry-heika," remarked a voice softly from behind him. "Then again, I might be too stuck within this prison."

Harry whirled and got his first more-or-less clear view of Shin Le Fuzz . . . Now Shin of the Purple Skin and White Gravity-Defying Mohawk. "Shin?"

The man smirked in a kindly way as he tipped his head respectfully. "That would be I, Harry-heika. Are you ready to leave?"

"Just one question?"

Shin chuckled. "Just one? Well then, be my guest."

"Um," Harry scratched his neck endearingly. "Will I return the same day I leave or later on in the future?"

Shin shook his head. Was it him or did the heroes get smarter while he wasn't looking – Goku didn't count, poor brain-damaged man. Fantastic battle tactician, but two plus two was just inside his mental capabilities. "If it would be needed, you would be returned to this day, moments after we left. However, it is not I who decides that, it is Fate and Chance."

Harry blinked as his mind worked that out, a small frown puckering his forehead. "Okay . . . Just let me grab a few things."

Shin nodded, waiting as the boy scrambled for the loose floorboard, his wand and a silvery cloak in hand, not to mention the few ration and protein bars and the potion vials that were stuffed in his giant pockets, and a book. "I'm ready, Shin."

The man looked around the room. "Nothing else?"

Harry shrugged. "I haven't anything else." He looked back at the room, not seeing the being in front of him near snarling at the simplistic way a child would dismiss his own severe neglect and near abuse. He calmed himself before the boy turned to look at him again.

"Then . . . take my arm and hold tight."

Harry hesitated before tenderly taking a hold on the expensive appearing fabric. Before he could make a sound, they were gone in a shifting of worlds.