Not Harry's best day.
Chapter 2: The Wild Horse
Seer's Hut, Joketsoku Village
"The Child of Thunder Comes,
Time and People will Shape Him,
into the Wild Horse,
Pain will be His Shadow,
Loneliness His only Companion,
His Honor will Anchor Him,
But Love will Not Find Him."
Outskirts of Juuban Ward, Tokyo, Japan
Harry arrived in an explosion of magical energy, dropping him roughly in a ditch alongside a road. Laying there and groaning, he tries to regain the proper use of his extremities, using his Dursley-tested injury checklist. 'Ok,', he thought,'toes: wiggling and relatively pain-free, knees: little scuffed, no blood, fingers: scraped from the landing, spotty, already starting to scab cuts, wrists: sore, but no major damage, elbows: feel jammed from impact, but in serviceable condition, shoulders: ok, back: something is digging in my back, but good overall, and finally, head: mild headache. 'System check complete.' Harry thought sarcastically. 'Now, let's open up the eyes and see how bad I'm in it this time.'
Opening his eyes, he sees....bamboo. A naturally grown forest of bamboo. Sitting up and looking around, he sees the road he's next to, and bamboo and grass.
"Bleeding hell.", groans Harry out loud. "Great job Potter. You have managed to get your stupid arse blown clear to somewhere in Asia. (1) How the hell did I get here? Did I Apparate or was it a port- wait a tic. That crystal said something about 'Wish Granted'. What wi-?", he trails off, finally remembering the last thing he said before he 'left'.
"OH, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!!", he yelled. "You can NOT mean to tell me that the only honest-to-MERLIN wish I have ever uttered that's probably EVER going to come true was THAT ONE?!?!?"
Harry gives in to the urge to rant a bit. "Then again, why not? Only time I ever have any type of luck, something is bound to be buggered up. Couldn't have wished for Sirius or my folks back and get that, no. Nope, had to wait until I had it, literally, in the palm of my hand as I was hearing about what my so-called friends thought of me, traitors that they are. This little episode fits right in with the rest of my life. In the book of Laws in the Universe, next to the entry of Murphy's is a footnote: see Harry Potter for examples."
"Well, I might as well try to find out just where I gone and sent myself. I'll follow the road. It'll eventually lead somewhere. Man, my life sucks." Harry starts walking down the road on the lookout for roadsigns that could tell him where he might be. All the while, Keeping a running commentary to pass the time, and get his feelings out in the open.
"Gonna have to see about some new friends, though. Neville and Luna weren't there, so I might not be completely screwed. The DA had some cool people in it. I'll have to see when I get back. First thing I'm gonna do is boot those traitors from MY house. The Order of the Fried Pigeon and their baby chicks can sod off. I might let the twins stay, but the rest of the Weasley Clan can lump it on back to the Burrow. Dumbledore can find a new clubhouse because I'm closing mine."
As he crested the hill, he sees an absolutely huge city that was a lot closer than he expected. A road sign about ten meters ahead said, 'Tokyo, Juuban Ward',in English, and the equivalent, he imagined, written in Japanese symbols below. (2)
"Well, that answers that. I wished myself clear to Japan. I'm gonna have to find the magical area here, and get myself back to England before Dumbledore comes and finds me himself. Probably give me a lecture on how I should control my temper, and all the other fortune cookie wisdom he hands out. If he doesn't want his office 'redecorated' again, he won't try getting me to talk to the traitors. Now, where should I go? I don't speak Japanese, have no muggle money, and no passport. All I have is my wand, coin purse, and an Extendable Ear. I'm sure the Knight Bus isn't international, so I have to find a Gringotts branch or the International Floo Terminal."
Standing outside a temple on the edge of Tokyo, Harry starts to feel strange twitches in his muscles. His body feels like it did when he took Polyjuice in second year, only more painful. A LOT more painful. Through his thrashing, his sees his limbs become smaller and smaller, until they are the size of a toddler's.
"What the hell?!?!?", squeaks Harry. Startled at the sound of his voice he clumsily gets to his now baby feet and unsteadily walks to a nearby store window. The reflection looking back at him is what he imagined he might have looked like around the time Voldemort came for him and his family.
"WISH COMPLETED. PRICE PAID.", intoned the voice he heard from the crystal. Said crystal was nowhere in sight.
'Price paid?!?!', Harry thinks furiously to himself. 'You mean this little, and I mean 'little', transformation is the cost of sending me to Japan with a wish I accidentally made? Hell, while that piece of rock is at it, why not just transfigure me into a jackass, because I'm starting to feel more and more like one.'
As he slowly regained some semblance of calm, he started to think about the difficulties his new body could bring. He thinks, 'If this new me ages the same rate as everyone else, this little 'spat' between the Dark Idiot and myself just got at least 15 years longer. That's only if he doesn't find, and kill, me before I grow up...again.'
'IF I can stay hidden, and have access to magic books, I could train myself for that time. With decent food and good exercise, I might not even be a shrimp. The question is: how do I go about doing all of that without the Pigeon Club, or the Dark Goon Squad finding me? Gringotts would hide me, but as much as I like Griphook and the other goblins I've met, I don't want to live without human contact for all that time. Maybe they could find me a squib family to take me in, and then, they could have me trained? It'd have to be someone they could control...an employee maybe?'
Harry shivered, even though it was warm, he WAS standing in a pile of Dudley's old clothes, that didn't even fit when he was his original size. Now, it was a large pile of rags surrounding him. Taking the shirt, and twisting and tying until it resembled a cross between a wrestling singlet and a sumo muwashi. (3) Now, unlikely to be detained for indecent exposure, not to mention being a toddler alone at night, Harry slowly walked onto the temple grounds.
'Buddhist (or is this Shinto?) monks/priests should be fairly safe people to approach. They'll probably hand me over to the authorities, but once in their care, I can look for a way home. The police will have access to people who speak English. A call to the muggle front of Gringotts will get them here and me into hiding. A place to sleep and eat while I wait wouldn't hurt either.' A small rumble from his belly confirmed that.
Disillusioning his wand holster, and stowing his wand in it, Harry made his way toward what looked like the side area of the temple where the living quarters might be. Upon arriving, he realized that this area was dedicated to smaller shrines. As he was walking back to the main temple, he heard an agonized sob. Harry started to turn back toward the path to see what the problem was, he stopped. 'This isn't my problem. I certainly can't help whoever that is. Especially as I am. I'll direct a priest out here when I get inside. Yep, that's a good idea'
Just then another heart-wrenching cry was heard, and he immediately went toward the sound, all the while thinking to himself, 'Potter, you have no spine at all. Gryffindor, bah! Not that there's anything wrong with them, but you, my lad, are Hufflepuff to the core.'
Nodoka Saotome was crumpled in front of a shrine for lost children, weeping out her soul. Dressed in a fine kimono, now stained with dirt, the bun of her auburn hair looking disheveled, she was mourning the loss of her son, Ranma. He had died the day before from SIDS. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) She had not contacted anyone. Only after collecting the death certificate, and making arrangements for cremation, she went home. Staying up all night staring at the certificate, she wandered into the temple near her house and completely lost it. She had been crying for hours in front of the small shrine with small stone statues of children looking on.
Her husband, Genma, was away on a 'training trip', with his 'Master', Happosai. Along with his friend Soun Tendo, they were the students of the 'Anything Goes' School of Martial Arts. It was a formidable fighting style, but Soun and Genma were the only students who could tolerate Happosai long enough to learn anything. Now, neither of them, were paragons of virtue and strength, but as fighters, they were some of the best around. Genma would return in a few days, and the loss of her son probably meant the end of their marriage. Genma did care for her, but he would not want to continue a childless marriage. Complications from Ranma's birth had resulted in damage that would make it impossible for Nodoka to have any more children. Regardless of the fact that Genma married into HER family, with Nodoka unable to bear children, the divorce would be in his favor, and restitution for the dishonor would rest with the Saotome Family. Along with the fact that she married him against her father's wishes, and cut her off from all family contact, would insure that, while her father would pay him, she would be forever dishonored. She would be pitied and scorned. She would live with her parents until their dying day, and then passed on to the next Head to make sure she didn't cause more 'trouble'.
Nodoka was seriously contemplating suicide, and had even brought her tanto with her. She would not be so craven and foul as to kill herself on temple grounds, or even in her home. No, when that time came, she would go into the forest and do it there, so as not to inconvenience someone with taking care of her body. The animals would be her second.
Resigned to her death, she cried out plaintively one last time for guidance. "Give me a sign!! Life or Death! Please show me the way!"
As the echo of her final cry faded, she heard the patter of hurried footsteps. Figuring her last cry had awoken someone, she hid the tanto in her obi and turned to face the person rushing toward her. A simple explanation would send them away while she made her way out of the temple and to her fate. 'I will write a note to Genma and leave it before I go. With the few days before he returns, it will be over before I can see the condemnation in his face.' With a small sigh she raised her head to her new visitor.
Her eyes opened wide in disbelief. A child! He was about the same age as her son! Dressed in a strange outfit, he slowly walked toward her. Dropping to her knees as her legs gave out, she gave a small cry. 'Ranma!'
Harry, seeing the woman fall rushed forward. Stopping in front of her, he asked, ' Are you alright?' As she stared at him without acknowledging him, he thought, 'Idiot. She's Japanese. That means she speaks Japanese. Try again. Simple stuff.'
At her soft repeated uttering of "Ranma", Harry tilted her face with his small hands and said, "Ok?" What happened next was the last thing he expected.
At his small, "Ok", Nodoka threw her arms around him, standing and twirling in one motion, with such force the he was making comparisons on her hugging power that were well within Molly Weasley's range.
Nodoka was ecstatic. The gods had given her another chance! They brought her a child! She well knew it was not her son. While he looked Japanese, (4) her son had brown eyes, while this boy had the most startling blue-gray eyes she had ever seen. She didn't care, however, if he was green with ping-pong balls for eyes. He was her second chance! Sobbing in joy and hugging him, she slowly made her way off the temple grounds and towards her home. She knew Genma wouldn't notice the difference. She would tell him someday, but not until this 'Ranma' was safely out of harm's way. She will protect this child of the gods with her last breath, she swore to herself. Kissing his temple, she said, "Let's go home, my son. I love you, Ranma."(5)
Being held in this woman's arms cuddled, rather tightly, but cuddled nonetheless, felt really good to Harry. With the day he'd already had, this was a welcome change. He knew something wasn't right with her, going from sad to happy so quickly, but it didn't seem she was going to harm him. He decided to go with her without hassle, and find a way to communicate with her....tomorrow. When he felt her kiss his head, he dropped his head on her shoulder, with tears filling his eyes. He mumbled a small, "Thank you", into her shoulder and drifted off to sleep.
1: As far as I know, bamboo is only grown naturally in forests in Asia. If I'm wrong...sorry. I could say that it is Harry idea, but it's my stupidity, if it's wrong.
2: I am currently living in Japan, and all big road signs have the names of cities in Kanji and Roman letters. The top/bottom thing I may have backwards, but the rest is accurate.
3: A muwashi is the sumo wrestler's uniform. I've heard it called anywhere between a loincloth and a 'man-diaper'. I don't like these terms. Sumo work hard and die young for their sport. I wish they didn't die, but I won't mock their outfits for humor. Sorry about the small rant.
4: This will be explained in a later chapter. Her eyes aren't fooling her. At the moment, Harry Potter looks Japanese.
5: I know she sounds crazy at this point, and she probably is, but I'm having her call him Ranma now, because she knows she needs to get used to it herself before Genma gets home. She may be messed in the head now, but you would be too if your son had just died and another popped in while you were asking for a sign. Her devotion will be an important part of her character later. I'm just writing these out now to avoid flames about them later.
A/N: Another chapter done. I had originally made this chapter end after Genma got back, but I saw this as a better stopping point. You'll see what I mean in the next chapter. BTW, what do you think of my 'Prophecies'? I have a pile of them written for certain key parts of the story.
A/N2: This story and 'Mingled Souls' are the first I have EVER posted for others to read. I would really like some feedback to aid me in improving my writing. Thanks for all of those that have left reviews already. I hope to hear from you again. :)