Early childhood for Ranma/Harry. Up to the start of the training trip.
Chapter 3: Settling In and the Start of Training
Saotome Home, Juuban Ward, Tokyo, Japan
When Genma returned a few days later with news of trapping Master Happosai with Soun's help, there was a proud look in Nodoka's eye for her husband. When he told her of the engagement to one of Soun's daughters, she was thrilled. Her friend, Soun's wife Kimiko, was an excellent mother and would raise fine daughters for her special boy to marry. She thought of the future, with her and Kimiko watching as their children got married. She proceeded to start dancing and waving victory flags. Genma, still high from his freedom from the Master, joined her in a happy dance.
Through all of this, Harry kept quiet and watched. The past few days had been a bit of an eye-opener.
Waking up the morning after his arrival, and realizing it wasn't just a bad dream, Harry was trying to figure a way to communicate with Nodoka, so he could get back to England and get back to his proper age. She was nice enough, but he couldn't hide forever. That, and he really didn't want to grow up again.
After a few minutes of thinking, he got up, intending to find Nodoka and leave. Upon standing he realized he had a problem... he was in a crib. He also wasn't tall or strong enough to pull himself up over the side. So, he did what any 15 month did when they want out of the crib: he made a lot of noise. Nodoka must have been hovering near the door because Harry was just starting to make some noise when she waked in the door. She said something to him that was probably a morning greeting, picked him up, and cuddled him. Now, having never remembered feeling a mother's hug as a small child, Harry was quite unused to the feeling. He did like it, though.
She carried him into the living room and put him a high chair. After locking in the tray, she turned on the TV to listen to the morning news. This is where Harry's plan for leaving went up in smoke. Watching an interview with JOHN LENNON and followed shortly by a report about MARGARET THATCHER showing support for Presidential candidate RONALD REAGAN?!?!?!?
'What the Hell?', thought Harry. 'If this is right I've gone back in time. That project on Lennon in school is coming in handy. I know he died on December 8th, 1980, so I must be somewhen before that.' Looking around, he found one hanging on the wall by the telephone.
As he stared at it, Nodoka came through the door to the kitchen with what was going to be breakfast. Setting the bowl of applesauce and dry cereal in front of him, she looked at what caught his attention. Smiling at him and saying in Japanese, “Why yes, Ranma. It is time to change the calendar. Oh my son is so smart!”
Walking to the calender, she took a pen from a cup near the phone and scratched out the 31st of July, 1980. She picked up the calendar and flipped to August. All Harry could think as he watched her was , 'born as the seventh month dies'.
Once Harry had recovered from his shock, he thought about the consequences of this temporal wrinkle in his plans in returning to England. He started eating the breakfast that Nodoka had given him. 'There is no way anyone will believe I'm Harry Potter. He was just born. (1) I'm too old. I'm stuck here for awhile. I wonder if I have to wait until I go back 'here' to go back to my 'old' life?' As much as the idea of waiting 15 years to go back to England disturbed him, he forced himself to look at any other options. The best he could come up with were not great, but the most likely to succeed.
The first was to actually sit here and let Nodoka and her husband (he'd seen evidence of a male presence) raise him and let them know the truth when he had the option of staying or leaving. Nodoka knew that he wasn't her son, and there was no way that she could pass him off as hers. He wasn't Japanese. The benefits of this option was that his safety was pretty much assured. There were no Death Eaters in Japan. They never made it that far in the first war. With Voldy not here, there was no reason for the Order to be here either. Having no fear of the wizard world, Harry knew he was safe in the muggle. Nodoka hadn't even closed the kitchen door when prepping breakfast. Even now, she was watching him eat. There was a nice feeling going through Harry at the loving look she always had for him. The hugs were nice too. Fifteen years of this might not be so bad. Using that time to study magic, once he told her the truth, would be immensely helpful. Also, Japan was famous for martial arts, and learning to defend himself without his wand could be very handy knowledge in the future. 'Putting the hurt on Malfoy without a wand would be very satisfying.', thought Harry.
The only other option was to get out of here and hope to find the magical section of Tokyo. It wasn't really an option, what with him being all of a year and some change toddler. Even if he did find it, and found someone who listened and believed him, he still didn't know if he could be returned to his proper age. If he couldn't, he would become a ward of the local Ministry of Magic, or worse sent back to the English one. Fudge wasn't Minister yet, but it was Bagnold that sent Sirius to Azkaban, so Harry didn't want to leave his fate up to her, either. He wasn't sure if he wanted Dumbledore's attention either because he was the one who sent him to the Dursley's home in the first place.
However, even with all those negatives he still contemplated it simply because on the off chance it worked, he could change things for the better for everyone he cared about. He could get Sirius out of jail, catch Wormtail, save Cedric, even keep Sirius away from the Veil. Maybe, if he's fast enough, even be able to save his parents. Harry knew from talks with Herm- Granger that it could create a paradox that would destroy him. 'If it would save them, and definitely give the 'new' Harry a better life, I'd do it in a minute.', decided Harry grimly. 'It'll never work though. I'm not that lucky. I'd probably mess it up so bad that Voldy actually wins.'
In the end, Harry decided that he'll stay with Nodoka, but send a letter to Dumbledore in September that week after school starts when things calm down. That will give Dumbledore a little over a month to change security on Godric's Hollow and catch Pettigrew. The rat wouldn't expect it because no one knew he was the traitor, so he still walked in the open. He was still risking a paradox, but it was a chance he was willing to take. He figured, 'At worst, I'll still be here and go with the first option, or Dumbledore will be by to pick him up and I may have to deal with an orphanage, or even the Dursleys.'
With that decided, Harry finished his breakfast, and started studying how coordinated he was in his new body. The answer was not very. His muscles and reactions were not that well developed even though he knew how to do them. His body just couldn't obey his commands. He figured he was better off than normal toddlers, but he was far from what he was.
As Nodoka finished her food, she cleaned up the bowls and wiped Harry's hands off since eating with them, and they were a bit sticky form the fruit. Then, she picked him up and cuddled him. Harry, still new to cuddling was still hesitant, but was getting better at enjoying it faster. She made her way to the bathroom and started filling the tub. Next, she turned to Harry and started to undress him. He was mortified, but he knew he had to put up with it. He was blushing heavily, and it got worse as she started to undress as well! Harry stared at the floor as quickly as possible when he figured out what she was doing. When she finished, she started to scrub him down outside the tub with soap and water, and then rinsed him off, quickly doing the same for herself. He tried his best to ignore it, but that got really hard when she picked him up and stepped into the tub. As she settled in, she turned him around so that he faced her. Harry, still in shock for the skin to skin contact as she held him to her chest while she got in, could do nothing but stare at the first naked woman he'd ever seen. After all, he may have the body of a toddler, but the mind was that of a 16 year old male.(2)
As he watched the couple caper about, he told himself to stop thinking like that. It happened everyday, he couldn't get out of it. The next day he'd tried fussing to try and get out of it. That just resulted in being held tighter. Feeling pressed against her was worse, so the fidgeting stopped quickly. Now, he was just resigned to it. He'd hoped that with Genma's return, that he'd take over bathing duties. That didn't come to pass, so he was slowly trying to get used to the idea of bathing with an attractive 24 year old woman that was supposed to be her new 'mother'. Harry mentally snorted, 'Freud would have a field day with me.'
He had no idea why they were celebrating but was glad they were happy. He still had no clue what they said when they were talking. He also wished he'd learned the translation charm that Tonks was gonna teach him to read the books in the Black Library. It still hurt to think about his former friends. With his lack of knowledge of Japanese, which he was gonna have to learn if he was going to stay for awhile, he'd practiced his English at night to make sure he could talk. Safely establishing that he could, he started doing things to show that he wanted to practiced talking. Moving his fingers like he was counting was how he learned numbers. He figured his name was 'Ranma', and that 'Okasan' probably meant 'mom'.(3) 'Hai' was 'yes' and 'Iie' was 'no' and that was about the extent of his new language ability. (4)
After they finished dancing, Genma went out to the martial arts hall called a 'dojo' to practice his Art. Harry, even not understanding Japanese, was pretty sure Genma was no mental giant, but he definitely respected his fighting ability. Today, while he was watching he stood and slowly tried to copy what Genma was doing. Harry thought it was horribly mangled, but figured as his body developed, he would try to gain the grace Genma had.
Genma, seeing 'Ranma' trying to copy his moves, and doing well for a toddler, got excited at the idea of training him in the 'Anything Goes' school. Starting at a young age, he could make his son into one of the best ever. The training would be hard, but when he was finished, Ranma would take 'Anything Goes' to prominence, and with the marriage to Tendo's daughter would join the schools and insure a comfortable retirement for him and Soun. He couldn't take Ranma now because he was still too young and his body wasn't developed enough to properly hold stance and execute techniques. He figured he could start at about age 5. Before that, he would take Ranma on some short weekend camping/training trips to teach his son some basic survival methods and the basic martial art stances. Depending on how he grew, he would focus more on ground or aerial styles early on. Genma himself was built more for a ground based style, which why he surprised many by using an aerial style, and using it well. He was fine with ground styles, but he built the Saotome style around an aerial style after he married Nodoka. He was pretty sure that with her body style that she would produce a son that was a mix of her slender grace and his broad shoulders. If so, the Saotome style would be perfect for his son. If he grew to the mix he was hoping for, he would start him on the ground styles first. While this sounds counter-productive, Genma was taking the long view. If you can beat your opponent at his own game, you don't have to show your true skill. Always leave a little back for a surprise. He would teach his school after Ranma could beat some top students at ground based dojos. He figured by the time Ranma was ten he could start on aerial styles. Anyway, he couldn't teach an aerial style until he was big enough to jump as high as he'll need to be able to to truly practice the Saotome school.
If he followed Genma or Nodoka entirely, there was always the Yamasen-ken and Umisen-ken. He promised not to use them again after the...incident, but for his son's perfection of the Art, he would do whatever it took.(5) 'My son will be the best ever! With him and Tendo's girlfriends, we'll make a martial arts dynasty that will rival the Himura and Jubei clans. We'll be rich! We'll have the good life Soun and I dreamed of on the road with...Him. I'll have to get him away from No-chan. She'll only make him soft. When I bring her a 'Man amongst Men', she'll thank me.', thought Genma. 'Anyway, I have plenty of time to come up with a plan.'
Four Years Later (6)
Genma had convinced Nodoka to let him take Ranma on a six month training trip. Nodoka had only agreed because it would be the last trip before Ranma started school in April. Her baby boy was a perfect gentleman and very smart for his age. She wondered if she'd be able to get him to skip a few grade levels. He can write very well and his grammar is perfect. With the skills that her husband would teach him on this trip and training after school, her son would become a heart breaker by the time he hit high school. Whichever Tendo daughter married Ranma would be a fortunate young lady indeed. She also saw this trip as an opportunity to get some other tutors for Ranma. He was already a decent guitar player for his age. She loved that he learned to play the theme song to that American cartoon 'Scooby-Doo' just because she liked to hum the melody. What really surprised her was that he sang in perfect English. He looked Japanese, except for his eyes. (7) He could also speak it fluently. While they were gone , she was going to take lessons in English, so they could talk in both languages.
The final tutors were going to be Kendo, Iaido, and other teachers of sword styles. While she had been cut off from her family, she was going to teach her son in the arts of the Saotome family. Her family were samurai in the service of the Emperor, even during the Shogunate. They were the trainers of the Imperial Guard, blending individual styles into the Imperial Sword style. The style was developed by her family during their service, so they did not put their name on the style, giving all the honor to the Emperor.
The Emperor Meiji rewarded the family by making them the representatives of the nation with the foreign governments that visited Japan. That allowed the family a smooth transition into business after the samurai class was disbanded. The family became prominent during Japan's first appearances on the world stage as a nation after centuries of isolation. That in turn gave them a great amount of wealth and prosperity. Up until the Second World War, the family served the Emperor's family faithfully. Unfortunately, they did not return their faith. After an assassination attempt on him in Paris, the young Emperor, Hirohito, became very paranoid. He listened to advisors that advocated an 'proactive defense'. Basically, if we (Japan) are in charge, it's easier to be safe. Hence, the preemptive strike on the United States that had devastating consequences. After the war, and the beginning of the Occupation, he visited the Saotome's new home. They had been evicted by the generals running the war, using it as a barracks. It had been flattened by a bombing run. The new home was a pale shadow of the glory of their ancestral home that had been destroyed. When he had met with the current head, Nodoka's grandfather Nobuhiro, in private, he apologized profusely. Rather than see the Emperor suffer more, Nobuhiro immediately welcomed the return of friendship. Since then, the Emperor used the council of his friend to navigate the will of the people to rebuild their homeland. While not in charge of the government, he used his considerable image to lead by example, if not by law. He studied marine biology, making some discoveries on his own. He promoted good relations with all nations, even former enemies. Some nations responded, while others didn't. The point was to try.
After the death Nobuhiro, Nodoka's father, Seijiro, became the head of the family. While he was too young to be a trusted companion to Hirohito, he was well-placed to be a mentor to his son, Akihito. In turn, Akihito became like an older brother to Nodoka. When she married Genma, her father's action of cutting her off got rebukes from both Hirohito and Akihito, but they could not change Seijiro's mind. They sent her a very nice gift: a sword made by a Master blacksmith. It was perfect. Razor sharp and polished to a mirror sheen, it was as functional as it was beautiful. She sent a letter back to them, swearing to carry it wherever she went, until she could pass it on to her children. (8)
When she started looking for tutors, word got to the Imperial family. She started getting requests from Masters of all sword styles to be allowed to teach her son. She chose a Kendo Master from Kyoto, and Iaido specialist from Sapporo, surprisingly a Fencing teacher from France that Hirohito met on his sojourn in Europe. Being married to Genma taught her the effectiveness of unpredictability. Along with the tutors, the Imperial family sent along a collection of scrolls containing the only known written knowledge of the legendary style lost when Himura Kenshin was killed in a bombing raid in 1945: the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. Nodoka was amazed at how helpful they had been and called them, asking why they were so generous...too generous. Hirohito answered that this just a small bit of repayment that showed how grateful he was for her grandfather's forgiveness and friendship after his poor choices. That night, Nodoka went to her family shrine to pray for her grandfather to thank him for his aid, and praise his wisdom. She told the tutors she would contact them when Ranma returned from his trip. She did give the scrolls to him right away, telling him to study them very hard.
For the past four years, Harry had lived as Ranma Saotome, and loving every minute of it. Embarrassing bath moments aside, he had a much better home life than he'd ever had before. Just getting to sleep in a bed and good food was enough to make it better than any time he'd been at the Dursley house. Along with that, he found Nodoka to be a wonderful mother and Genma was pretty good as a dad. His plan to stop his parents' deaths was foiled by the one being that he would never believe to try and stop him.
Flashback 2- September 1st, 1981
Harry had just finished his letter to Dumbledore, and was preparing to send it by muggle post. It would take about a week to reach him. It was sent to the Leaky Cauldron's post box in London, where it would be attached to an owl and sent on its way. He wrote everything of importance he could think of, even signing in blood, so there could be no doubt it was true. Just as he finished addressing the envelope to Dumbledore, Fawkes flashed into the room.
“Fawkes! Do you know who I am?”,asked Harry. Fawkes nodded. “Great! You can take me to Hogwarts, so I can warn Dumbledore.” Fawkes shook his head clearly indicating 'no'.
“Oh. Well, at least you can take the letter to him.” Again Fawkes shook his head negatively.
Now, Harry was upset. “Why not? This information will save a lot of people, including my parents.”
Heaving what looked to be a sigh, Fawkes carefully dipped a talon into the inkwell Harry had gotten in a calligraphy set Nodoka had given him when she saw him trying to draw kanji. Hopping over to the envelope, the phoenix started actually writing out a few words, dipping his talon in when he ran out of ink. Finished, he hopped over to the corner of the desk and burned off the ink on his talon with a bit of fire.
Harry walked over to read what he'd written. It simply said, “Can't Change Time. Sorry” Turning to the phoenix, he said,”So, no matter what I do, it'll all happen the same way it did? Even if I sent this letter, and you didn't stop it, it still wouldn't help, would it? Something else would stop it.” Fawkes trilled sadly, but nodded.
“I have stay here until I come here in the future don't I?” Nod.
“It's not fair, you know?” Nod.
“Can you...you know, give them a nuzzle from me? It's the closest I'll get.”, said Harry, with tears in his eyes. Fawkes trilled, and nodded. Harry got an idea.
“Fawkes? Could you visit me every once in awhile?” At the look on Harry's face, Fawkes trilled warily,but nodded.
“Then, would it be out of bounds to bring me some books? If I have fifteen years of living as Ranma, I can use that time to learn things I'll need when I become Harry Potter again. There have to got to be books no one will notice going missing.”, asked Harry hopefully. “If I can't save my parents, Sirius, and Cedric, I want to be able to avenge them. It would help me to fulfill the Prophecy, as well.”
Fawkes sat there with a pensive look on his...beak? Finally, he made a motion like a shrug, and nodded.
End Flashback 2
After that, Fawkes brought two books. One on Warding and one on Silent Casting. When asked why by Harry, Fawkes did his writing trick again. “Protect Home. No Hear, Hard 2 Defend.” Harry laughed at Fawkes' method of writing 'to'.
After Harry had read each book and used what he knew to ward his room and put up some detection wards around the house and dojo. Silent casting was harder, but practice had allowed him to do basic charms and hexes silently. More complex spells were out of his reach now, but Harry was patient. He knew he had time. After a year he could use all the magic he knew silently, except warding. That required chants that needed to be spoken aloud.
Fawkes visited every few months. After Harry finished the books, he brought books on Potions and Charms next. Specifically, charms on poison curing and potions on healing. When Harry mock-grumbled about Fawkes making him paranoid, the phoenix gently cuffed Harry like Hedwig would when she was peeved at him. Those books only lasted for a few months because while highly specialized, there were very few actual spells, and he couldn't brew the potions, so he just copied down the recipes.
This continued up to the present. So far, Harry had studied up on Shields, Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, which helped with his warding. He studied Occlumency and Legilimency to protect his mind from Snape and Voldy. Recently, Fawkes brought in books on Animagus training and Wandless Magic. These were the last books that Fawkes would be able to bring while Harry was on his training trip. They had both agreed it would be a bad idea for the phoenix to visit Harry while he was in close quarters with Genma.
On the fateful night Harry's parents died, Fawkes stayed with Harry all night while the boy grieved for his family. As he managed to move on with the help of Nodoka's love and his training with Genma and his own magic training. He eventually started to think of Nodoka as his '2nd mom'. Genma wasn't quite there yet, because beyond training and the camping trips they'd taken to prepare for this trip, they didn't really spend much time together. Genma didn't acknowledge any of Harry's 'gentleman training' that Nodoka loved to call his lessons. Harry knew he was what most people would call a 'momma's boy', but Harry figured, as long it could be Lily or Nodoka that would be ok.
The Harry Potter in Privet Drive would be green with envy with the life the Harry Potter of Juuban lived. This Harry was fit, smart, and above all, happy. The anger and hurt he felt about his ex-friends' betrayal had faded to a small ache of regret for the way it ended. 'Even if they turned on me, they were there up to the end.', he thought sadly.
He missed Hedwig, but she wasn't even hatched yet, and she'd be there when he got back. He gave the Weasley twins the benefit of the doubt because they weren't there and had never to his knowledge firebombed him like the ones at Grimmauld. He even got over most of the hard feelings with the headmaster. The only ones he still felt hate for were the Dursleys, Voldemort, Bellatrix, Wormtail, and Snape.
Even without being able to practice magic he was really looking forward to the training trip. The survival tips Genma taught him were fun and very useful. The full-time practice he got was great conditioning and helped him feel good about how much better he will feel after he's done growing again. Going through the wandless magic book gave him some meditation exercises that will help him feel his magic core. 'This trip is gonna be great.', he thought happily.
He was leaving his wand behind simply because he would be tempted to use it if he had it, and it'll make him work harder on the meditation. Maybe he could even try a Leviosa if he got some time alone. Anyway, with Genma there, he was safe. 'What could go wrong?', he thought.
Apparently, happiness can breed forgetfulness, or he'd remember the other 16 years of his life and not think such things.
Genma was giddy. The trip to insure his future good fortune would begin this weekend. 'I knew No-chan would make him soft. Reading, writing, MUSIC, ETIQUETTE, COOKING, and the worst of all, SWORD TRAINING.', he thought with disgust. ' I've got to break him of these bad habits. I'll give him a year. Then, I'll try the Cat-Fist.'
Genma had no intention of coming back after a mere six months of training. 'I figure 9 or 10 years should get him to the point where training can be reduced to a half-day. That, and he needs to pick which Tendo he's going to marry. Going to school may appease No-chan, so she doesn't skewer me with that damn sword.'
Genma sighed. 'This will be hard on Ranma. He's my only choice. My only chance. I wonder: could I do this if he were..? Bah, I'll never know, will I?' (9)
A/N: Well, here's the next chappie. Sorry, it took so long. Thank you to all reviewed and all that (hopefully) will for this chapter. Now, I've mentioned this is gonna be a Harem fic. The only one for sure is Padma. Every other girl, except Ginny, Hermione, and Tonks, in BOTH fandoms are available. I will have at least one from Ranma, but if you want more, you need to tell me. I already have Harry's departure from Nerima at the end of canon planned. If you pick another member of the NWC, I'll need to edit it.
The next chapter will fly through the training trip and all of Ranma canon. I'm not changing canon Ranma very much. The parts I do change will be explained in the chap. You'll understand when I finish the next chap.
1- Yep. He was transported back to July 31st , 1980. The exact time he was born. Why he wasn't de-aged to a newborn will be explained later.
2- Men, imagine yourself in the body of a toddler with your mind as it was as a 16 year old, or as it is now in the bathtub with an attractive early 20s Japanese woman that is NOT your mom. Yeah, that's what I thought. I'd have a 'hard' time thinking too. Ladies, sorry if you think guys are pigs all I can say to my fellow pigs is 'Oink, Oink, my good man.' ;)
3- Moms usually don't introduce themselves to their children by their given name.
4- Learning a new language is hard enough with textbooks, much less without.
5- Genma's word is known not to be trusted, but his greed is.
6- As much as I like detail, if I mention everything, I'll have a million words in this story before Harry leaves Nerima.
7- Again, this will be explained later.
8- While many of you may think of this as useless back story, I don't like stories when they don't give at least lip service to give plausible reasons for some things that are uncommon. Sirius leaving everything to HP is is practically 'fanfic canon', but Nodoka being family friends with the Imperial family is not. Being rich, yes. Connected to royalty, not often. Hence, the back story.
9- Interesting, neh?