Fandoms: Bleach/Harry Potter
Summary: 7 years into the Winter war, and things aren't getting better. The Kurosakis leave Japan for the twins' safety, and go to England, where the three children can finally get involved with the Magical world and fully acknowledge their mother's legacy. But Aizen plans, and the Death Eaters are still around. Ichigo finds himself involved yet in another conflict, one he has no part in, as the war of the spirits and the mortals join, and everything goes downhill. AU.
3: Gothic Git:
"You look smug. Outrageously so." Snape commented between two mouthfuls of vanilla cream. "Is it linked to the reason why a hundred points were suddenly taken off from both Gryffindor and Slytherin?"
The other teachers leaned in to listen to the conversation, and waited with bated breath as the young DADA Professor bade his time to answer, savoring his dessert and calmly putting his spoon down on the table.
"Well, I did have Gryffindor and Slytherin Seventh years last period."
He paused, enjoying the torture he was making them go through, then smirked maniacally.
"They all have detention with me for the next three months. Every week. I'm going to make them sweat."
He cackled inwardly at the stunned expression on their faces, especially Minerva McGonagall, who looked like she had just choked on a sour lemon.
"And what, pray tell, did they do to warrant such a punishment?" She asked in a clipped tone which clearly expressed her disapproval.
Ichigo smiled charmingly, but his eyes remained cold and unblinking.
"Why, they disrespected me, dear colleague. They proved to be in need of a serious... attitude adjustment. I felt that if nobody here was going to do it, then I would."
She stiffened at the tone.
"Surely, they didn't do anything so drastic that it would require three months worth of detention and a hundred points per House..."
Ichigo's eyes hardened.
"Minerva, the House rivalry is childish, and pathetic, and outdated. You'd think that after you all fought side by side against the main enemy, you would have overgrown that appalling state of mind, but seeing at it isn't so, then I will tear it off those children's mindset while it is possible to redress it. I will use whatever means necessary to do it, but if they refuse to change attitudes, then I promise you they will lose far more than a couple points and get detention. I'll put them in the negative if I have to. Now if you will excuse me..." He stood up. "Good night, Severus." He said the last bit in Japanese, with a nod, and the Potions Master nodded back with a smirk.
The young man swept down the aisle, ignoring the looks he earned himself. He felt a little better now.
There was a knock at his door, and Ichigo unlocked it with a flick of his wrist. He heard footsteps in the entrance hallway, but didn't bother looking up from his book. He had settled in a comfortable armchair by the fireplace right after dinner, one leg dangling over the armrest and the other laid over the closest fire-dog. It was at times like this that he felt truly at peace, though right now, he could keenly feel the absence of someone he used to enjoy long, quiet evenings with, silent evenings they merely used to spend basking in the company of the other.
The footsteps stopped at the entrance of the room, but he still didn't look up.
"You really like that book, don't you?"
He sighed inwardly, and finally glanced up, closing the book after having carefully marked the page. The Time Master trilogy, by Louise Cooper. It was a recent work of pure fantasy, nothing scholar, but he liked it anyway. The main character was, in more ways than one, very similar to him. He gently laid the book on the coffee table, and gestured for his father to sit, which the man did.
"Sake, if you have some."
Ichigo nodded, filled a cup with the clear liquid, and handed it to Isshin.
Ichigo poured himself a glass of brandy, and took a sip of the alcohol, before looking at the fire, twirling the amber drink in the glass mindlessly.
"What is it?" He asked.
Isshin shot him a not-so-surprised-anymore look. After all these years, he knew what to expect from his son, despite -or maybe because of the change that had so completely altered his character during the last few years.
"I heard what you said at dinner."
Ichigo nodded, and took another sip of brandy. It burned his tongue, and he let his eyelids droop until his eyes were half-lidded in pleasure. The young man, Isshin thought as he observed him, glazing absently at the fire, his long lashes almost brushing the flawless skin of his high cheekbones, the firelight outlining his striking hair, looked magnificent and otherworldly. Of course he was his father, and therefore more than a little biased, but still... he knew of at least a dozen people who thought like him. And he knew of the unconditional admiration his son had earned himself from the large majority of Seireitei.
"Are you really going to do what you said?"
The young Clan Head looked at him for a fleeting second, before going back to the flickering flames.
"Yes. As I said earlier, this rivalry is childish and pathetic. They need to get over it, or it will be their downfall."
The dark-haired ex-Shinigami smiled.
"You've grown so much..." He whispered.
Ichigo grunted in answer.
"It won't be easy. You will most likely be the most hated teacher by the end of the first month of class."
The hybrid shrugged.
"What do I care? It will only be difficult with the upper years anyway. The first and second years are too young to have truly been marked by the war, and the third years, though they might be a little more difficult, will quickly relent. As to the fourth to seventh years, they can pass their exams without my help."
Isshin shot him a sharp glance.
"You were serious about it, then? The rumor has been running around, but I thought it was only bluff."
Ichigo smirked briefly, in a way eerily reminiscent of Severus. Isshin held back a shiver
"Well, it was at first, but then I thought I do have a mission and paperwork to do at the same time, so if I can spare some time, then I will. What's more, as I told them, they're working for themselves, not for me. I could care less whether they pass or not."
He drained his glass quickly, and stood up, while his father chuckled.
"Well, I look forward to seeing the results of your method. It promises entertainment."
Father and son shared a conniving smirk.
"They're going into muggle training during detentions. That's why I think they will actually last the whole year."
Isshin laughed outright and clapped him on the shoulder.
"Of course, son, we can't have them disrespect a teacher, now can we?"
They moved to the door, and the portrait swung open. Isshin stepped out, still chuckling to himself.
And then they parted ways. Ichigo quickly changed into his pajamas, then snuggled under the warm blankets and stared at the ceiling for some time before finally allowing sleep to claim him.
Ichigo started going on with his plan on the next day. Whenever he heard an insult such as 'slimy Slytherin' or 'Gryffindork', he took points, and gave a detention to the students involved whenever the argument was too violent for his taste, or if it had degenerated to a duel. That's how he found himself with a good forty students more for the scheduled detentions of every Friday evening. McGonagall had tried to call them off and oppose him, but he had been quick to brush her away, and since he had Severus' support, well, let's say that it wasn't easy to catch him anyway.
The Headmaster didn't say anything, but contented himself with merely sitting back and enjoying the show, which the young Shinigami felt only too inclined to give him.
Severus felt compelled to tell him that in less than two full days of teaching, he had managed to crack the record of the most detentions given out to students, along with that of the most points taken from the whole of the four Houses.
The students who had been nearby when they had had this conversation had glared, and the two teachers had merely smirked at each other. God, this felt good. And thirty-six hours after his arrival, Ichigo had already been nicknamed 'The Gothic Git'. The name had actually earned such a predatory smirk from him, that everybody around, except for the Potions Master, had inched away from him.
On Friday evening, right after dinner, Ichigo got to enjoy his second evening as a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry overseeing the detention of around seventy students. Snape had graciously accepted the offer to come and enjoy the show, and when they arrived at the Quidditch Pitch to meet the students, they were pleased to see that they tensed and grumbled under their breath, glowering at them.
Ichigo inwardly rolled his eyes at seeing that they had separated between two groups. The Slytherins on one side... and the others on the other.
"Pathetic." He deadpanned as he got closer.
"My father will hear of this!" Malfoy stated, arms crossed over his chest.
Ichigo chuckled darkly.
"Oh, by all means, write him about the terrible new teacher, and precise my name. Make sure you get it right, yes? It's Kurosaki Ichigo. I'm sure he will be so incensed he will do everything he can to... get me to see the error of my ways."
And then, something happened, something they never thought they would ever see one day, something so incredible that there was a thud as Neville Longbottom dropped down to the ground in a dead faint.
Severus Snape laughed out loud. And strangely enough, it was a very pleasant sound, rich, silky, smooth, cultivated, a deep, heartfelt, humorous laughter, and they couldn't help but stare in bewilderment.
Ichigo's gaze softened ever so slightly as he savored the sound of his mentor and friend's laugh, it was so unusual, so rare, so precious, that he could do nothing but try and engrave this instant in his memory to remember it forever with crystal clarity. Contentment swelled in his chest at the thought that he had made Severus, who deserved happiness so much, amused enough that he would give up all pretenses and laugh genuinely like this, and he chuckled softly, shaking his head at his friend's antics. A glance at the students was enough to almost send him into fits of hysterical laughter as well, but as it was, his merely let the corner of his lips twitch in amusement.
After a few seconds, the dark man calmed down enough to control himself and gather his composure a little, and address Draco.
"Yes, please, Draco, write your father. I am most... eager to see his reaction."
The students looked at each other, confused by the two men's antics, but didn't say anything as they regained their seriousness, and gazed at them sternly.
"Well," Ichigo said, "since you think you are so superior and don't need any muggle training, you will start by running three laps around the lake. Together. If I see any foul play, it will end very badly for the people involved. It is about time you grew up and started thinking for yourselves, meaning that you have to understand that not everything is black and white. Now go."
"We really are going to run?" Pansy Parkinson shrieked.
He rose an eyebrow at her, noticing the clothes she had, and which would be fit for a party, certainly not for sports. Unsurprisingly, more than half the students hadn't followed his instructions regarding the way they would have to be clothed, and had come in casual attire, but nothing fit for training. Hermione Granger, though, he noticed, had managed to force Potter and Weasley into something appropriate, and several Slytherins were ready as well. Among them, Draco Malfoy.
"Yes, Ms Parkinson, you are. And remember I did tell you what to wear for your detention. Since you didn't deem it necessary to follow the teacher's advice, then you will have to suffer in silence. Now off you go. I expect you all to be back in thirty minutes, seeing as you are all so fit and all that."
"Thirty minutes?" Weasley yelled. "You're mad, nobody could do that!"
Granger elbowed him in the gut, but it wasn't enough to tame him, and he kept glaring hotly at him, like most of the students there. Potter, he noted idly, was one of the few who was just watching from the sidelines. The boy wasn't as stupid as he wanted to look.
"As a matter of fact, Mr Weasley, I could do this in fifteen minutes. I gave you double the time I would take to do this. And as a proof, I'll run with you. Professor Snape will see to it that you do not linger behind. I'll even give you a head start."
He shrugged off his cloak and handed it to Severus, who took it and folded it neatly over his arm. Under it, he was wearing no outer robes, only the black cargo pants, dragon hide boots, and the short-sleeved, fitting high-collared shirt which showed off his toned body nicely.
"Show off." Snape growled from behind, and Ichigo smirked at him over his shoulder.
"Yeah, I know, I'm handsome." The man scowled, but there was amusement dancing in the depths of those onyx orbs.
Instantly, the students started running, dragging themselves around the lake. They heard Snape give the signal for the DADA teacher to go after they had finished the first lap, meaning ten minutes later. Glancing back, they could see the Professor start running, and they sped up a little, confident that he would never catch up to them with that much of a distance between them.
Ichigo started running at Severus' signal, and instantly immersed in the rhythmic thud of his feet pounding on the ground. He lost himself in the soft, repeated sound, one-two, one-two, one-two, focusing on his feet, his breathing, the deep sound of the air navigating through his lungs and then leaving his mouth in gentle breaths, the ruffling of the fresh autumnal breeze in his air and its caress on his bare arms and face...
He could see the group of students coming closer, a distance away from him, but he was closing the gap, leisurely, effortlessly, and suddenly, here they were, gaping at him as he caught up to them, not breaking a sweat, and then ran past them, leaving them to eat his dust as he continued jogging in long, powerful strides, uncaring of their comments and stupefaction.
Ten minutes later, he was finished, and they were still at the beginning of the second half of their second lap. He shook his head, completely unsurprised, and walked over to Severus, stretching his arms as he did so. The obsidian eyes were gleaming in satisfaction and pride, and he shot his mentor a rare smile.
"Hi. Missed me?"
The man rose an eyebrow at him.
"Yes, very much, it has been so long!" He said, sarcasm dripping from every word.
Ichigo smirked and stretched some more, before he went to stand by Severus' side to watch the students start their third lap, sweating, panting and cursing. He, however, wasn't out of breath in the slightest, and hadn't sweated a drop. This was so disappointing it wasn't even funny.
Sighing softly, he rested his chin over his knees, arms circling his legs, and closed his eyes.
"Kami, I'll never see the end of this."
He didn't need to look to feel Snape's smirk.
Finally, the students were back, completely exhausted, sweat running down their faces and soaking their shirts, moaning and complaining and dragging their feet. Ichigo wanted to off himself right there and then.
"My, what a disgraceful sight." He drawled in a perfect imitation of Snape. "I have to say how impressed I am by your endurance and speed, you deserve a standing ovation, bravo!" He clapped, sarcasm dripping from every word like acid.
Several of the students had turned a nice shade of dark purple by now, and he smirked.
"Now, my dears, you will do fifty pushups, and fifty situps. Seeing as I don't plan on spending the night here, it would be most kind of you to start now."
He started to lay down on the ground, arms crossed behind his head, while Severus sat beside him.
He didn't have to look to know who it was.
"Fifty points from Gryffindor for insulting a teacher, Weasley." He said nonchalantly, and smirked at Severus at the muffled exclamation that no doubt came from Ms Granger's elbowing the brat in the guts, and none too gently so.
"My," he whispered, "what a beautiful night."
Beside him, Snape nodded silently as they stared up at the starry sky.
And truly, beautiful it was.
When the "Gothic Git" finally let them go, it was past midnight, and they so utterly exhausted they had trouble dragging themselves back up to the castle. Snape had stayed with the man, sitting on the grass and looking up at the stars in so casual a fashion that it had been horrifyingly disturbing to see the "Greasy Git" actually do anything remotely common. Kurosaki, on the other hand, had just laid on his back and stared up, though that didn't prevent him from giving out orders, and calling on whoever cheated on his demands. They had thought it would never end.
Now, both Professors were escorting them back to Hogwarts, and their alert demeanor was past infuriating. They completely ignored the glowering, seething students, and merely walked in powerful strides, not waiting for them, and thus forcing them to actually go at an extremely fast pace they couldn't believe their poor legs could endure.
The doors opened before them, revealing the illuminated Entrance Hall, and they couldn't repress a sigh of relief before scrambling to their dorms without a word to the teacher.
Except that he hadn't forgotten about them.
"Well, see you next week for an encore!" He called out to them.
The glee he didn't even bother to conceal made them grit their teeth in rage. At the moment, they really hated the man. And then, to top it all, they heard Snape's low chuckle, followed by an invitation to a nightcap.
"Greasy Git" and "Gothic Git" were drinking buddies. Couldn't life get any better?
On the next morning, the teachers and students who hadn't yet been told of the unsusual detention were quite puzzled to see seventy of their classmates limp into the Great Hall for breakfast, nursing their sore muscles and groaning every now and then. They felt like shit.
And the sight of a perfectly fine Professor Kurosaki smirking and talking with Professor Snape at the Head table did nothing to help. In a surprising show of unity, all punished students from the four Houses wanted to strangle the git and chop him into pieces. Slowly and painfully. And of course, some of them were writing their parents.
I hope you are well. I would love to say I am, too, but I must admit that I have been better. We have yet another new Defense Professor, who absolutely insists on having train the Muggle way! He actually gave us a year worth of detentions every Friday evening, and solely focused on that ridiculous idea of his.
Yesterday evening was the first one, and it wasn't pretty, believe me, father: we had to run and sweat like pigs, and then do stupid useless exercises which left all of us in a terrible shape.
I dearly hope you will do something about this intolerable situation, father. Clearly, Dumbledore's touch is getting poorer and poorer each year, and this muggle-lover is so magically weak that he has to resort to muggle methods to shine.
Awaiting your answer,
Draco put down his quill and folded the parchment, then sealed it, and handed it to the owl which had just brought him treats from his mother. The bird took it in its beak, and took off. The Slytherin smirked to himself. The man wouldn't what hit him.
And once his father was finished with him, there would barely be enough left of him to fill a spoon.
At the Head table, Snape leaned towards his neighbor, and whispered what he had just seen in the younger man's ear. They shared a knowing look, and smirked identically.
This would be infinitely amusing.
Karin sighed for the hundredth time in an hour. She was sitting outside, in a patch of grass flooded by the sunlight, and basking in the warmth it gave her, as she tried to complete her Potions assignment with a couple of other Slytherins.
Blending in hadn't been as difficult as she had thought it would be. Her dry humor and sarcasm seemed to please the English students, and they had welcomed her with open arms. According to them, as Slytherins and outcasts from the other Houses, they had to stick together and show a united front. She liked their logic, and went on with the flow. She was at ease with them anyway. Their quick retorts and high intelligence made for thrilling battles of wit, and she loved the way they never pried into her life, but accepted that she had secrets she wasn't about to tell them, without ever comparing her to her brother, sister or father.
In Slytherin, she was Kurosaki Karin, and no one else.
And she loved it.
Looking up at the Slytherins working with her, she saw their own desperation as they gazed helplessly at the subject, and sighed. Goodness gracious, they would never finish this.
A shadow fell over her.
The Slytherins jumped at his appearance, none of them having heard him approach, and looked up at him, startled that he would offer his assistance.
She scowled at him.
"You're hiding the sun."
He shrugged, but moved slightly to the side anyway.
"So, do you need help? You look ready to commit murder."
Her scowl deepened, but she handed him the parchment.
"Potions." She groaned. "I bet it was revenge."
"For what you said the other day?" He said without looking up. "It most certainly is. But I will help you if you ask nicely."
She glared and crossed her arms over her chest, looking away.
"No way in hell."
"Well, I guess you'll all have a T, then." He started to turn away, but then, she chanced a glance at her classmates, saw the glares they were leveling at her, and caved in.
"Okay, okay! Please, would you help us, Ichi-nii?"
He turned around, and she repressed the urge to strangle him when she saw the smug smirk on his face. She so wanted to kill him right now! But she couldn't. Not now, at least. Loath as the was to admit it, she did need his help for her Potions assignment. After that, however... She inwardly cackled in glee, but quickly shut up when he ruffled her hair. The affectionate gesture effectively making her breath catch in her throat.
It had been so long...
"See? It wasn't that difficult, now was it? Now let me see." He said softly.
He sat down next to her, and read the subject once more, before nodding.
"Well, it's quite easy, actually. Think about it this way..."
Fifty minutes later, he stood and walked away, leaving a group of dazed Slytherins staring at his back in awe, certain they would have the best mark of their life, and the praise of their Head of House. God, but the new teacher was a bloody genius! He knew everything, answered every question in depth, and could see every angle of the problem. He told them all they would need and more, while still making them think about the problem so that they wouldn't merely be consuming what he was saying passively, and would understand the issues raised by the subject.
They looked at Karin, who was scribbling on her parchment, her forehead wrinkled in concentration. To think that she was the sister of such a knowledgeable man... Now they only had to see if he was as competent in Defense and Practical dueling as he was in theory. Looking at his powerful strides as he walked away, though, they had a feeling that he was.
The girl, however, was completely focused on her essay, and they didn't dare disturb her. They might not have known her for a long time, but two days had been enough to learn that she had a mean right hook, and didn't like being disturbed when she worked. So they carefully kept their mouth shut, and waited for a more appropriate occasion.
Blissfully unaware of the questions raging through her classmates' brain, Karin scowled at her paper. She had stopped calling Ichigo Ichi-nii when she had turned thirteen. At the time, she thought it was too childish. But deep down, she still missed it, as much as he did, and she enjoyed it when he blackmailed her into calling him by that nickname again. Though she would never ever admit it out loud, she knew her not using it anymore had been the result of something deep, a fracture deep within her brother, which had changed him to the point that he wasn't the same person she had called Ichi-nii for the thirteen first years of her life.
Ichi-nii had been a reckless, brash young man, filled with fire and the desire to protect his friends, even at the cost of his own life. Ichi-nii rushed head first, fought first, and asked questions later. He resorted to force to make things go the way he wanted.
Ichigo, however, though he still fought for his friends and wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice himself if it could save his loved ones, had become dark and silent. He didn't smile, he smirked. The usual scowl had been wiped off his face and replaced by a blank mask of emotionlessness. She could never know what he was thinking or feeling, and she hated it. Ichigo thought and calculated before going into battle, he planned and organized, and had proven to be an extraordinary strategist. Ichigo was a seasoned warrior, scarred and strong, powerful and sometimes even cruel, though he had gone to great lengths never to let his family see him in that state when he released the true extent of his abilities.
But she could feel it anyway.
Ichi-nii may not be dead, but he was buried so deeply within Ichigo, that he would never ever come back up again. He was as good as destroyed, and would never resurface, of that she was sure.
The war had cost her her brother, and she still mourned him. Yet, she knew she could hardly complain. He had changed, yes, but everybody had to grow up one day or another, and her brother was still physically present, and hell bent on protecting her, her sister and all of his loved ones.
In a sense, he was still her big brother.
And on the other hand, she couldn't help but feel like she was now related to a complete stranger.
She hated it. She hated the way he hid his true self from them, the way he left for battle in the middle of the night, sometimes for days on end, and came back as if nothing had happened, the only proof that he had been gone the increased number of horrific scars littering his body.
And she mourned for his lost childhood.
For his shattered innocence.
The weekend was over as soon as it had come, and the Slytherin-Gryffindor fifth years handed over their Potions assignment. Karin's group was confident they would get full marks, first because they were Slytherins, and second, because they had had help from the DADA teacher, who obviously knew what he was talking about.
The essay incident had put Karin at an all time high in her Slytherin yearmates' esteem, and they had quickly understood that it was best to be in good terms with her, not only because of her mean temper, but also because it was the best way to get tips from her genius of a brother whenever they were in an academic pitch. They didn't know if he was as good in other subjects as he was in Potions, but they had no qualms about trying and assessing his level.
Two weeks after the arrival of the new teacher and his family, they were in Potions class, and Snape was obviously about to give back their essays, seeing as he had just dumped a rather thick pile of parchment on his desk. Standing very tall at the front of the classroom, he let his enigmatic gaze wash over them, before finally speaking.
"I would like to know exactly how many of you actually got help from Professor Kurosaki for this assignment." He said at last.
Silence. And then, Karin rose her hand, immediately followed by the majority of the Slytherins, and several Gryffindors, while those who hadn't known about the unexpected source stared in disbelief.
"I see." He paused, dark eyes revealing nothing. "You have full marks, of course, seeing as he obviously made it so that you would put a large part of yourselves in there and thought about the subject rather than just writing down the information he gave you."
And just like that, he gave back the essays and said nothing more on that topic. Of course, by the end of lunch period, the whole school was aware that asking Professor Kurosaki tips for Potions assignments would be overlooked and would get them full marks, and most likely a better understanding of the problems they were met with.
"I see you haven't lost your touch in Potions." Severus commented as he sat down for lunch.
Ichigo shrugged lightly.
"Karin was in a pinch. I just helped her out a bit."
"And of course, you felt obligated to help half the Gryffindor fifth years and most of the Slytherins as well..."
The younger man didn't answer.
"Well," Snape sighed, "at least I didn't have to read sixty pages of rubbish. I suppose I should thank you."
Ichigo merely smirked at him, and went back to his meal. The dark-haired man discreetly observed him for one more minute, before following his example and quietly finishing eating. He already knew that he would get revenge enough when the students would start smothering his friend with requests for help with their assignments. And he had a feeling, seeing the way they kept glancing at him, that it wouldn't be long before his competences in each and every subject taught at Hogwarts would be tested thoroughly.
And for some reason, he was quite certain that Ichigo was aware of this, but wouldn't do anything to stop it. Really, the young man was odd. But it was the way he was, and Severus knew he wouldn't have it any other way.