Ack! I'm so terribly sorry about the long wait! My computer died.
Anyway, here is the last part of 'Butter.'
A horrifying thought flashed through his mind - this crowd was too big to be anything other than Magneto attempting to take over the school once and for all.
There was a soft sound in the back of his mind, as if his plea to the professor had been answered. Then he realized it was Harry. A tiny part of him was curious about just how powerful Harry was. For the most part, though, he was nervous facing so many of Magneto's Brotherhood with just the two of them and a handful of children.
"What do you want?" Remy demanded of Magneto.
"I just wanted to welcome the newest of Charles' X-Men," the metal-working mutant suavely said. He was looking at Harry, who was still facing Remy. "He's not particularly tall, is he?"
"You must be the same Magneto that I've heard so much about." Harry was suddenly turned away from Remy with his hand out as if to shake hands. There was an odd tone to his voice, as if he were another person.
Magneto stepped back slightly; a half step that sent ripples through those behind him. Remy was watching Mystique as she looked to Magneto in confusion. She was usually the best indicator as to how aggressive her leader would be. If she wasn't sure of what to do, there may be enough time for the others to get here - and they were coming.
The leader of the Brotherhood seemed to regain his composure. "Judging by the accent, I would have to say that you must be one of Charles' associates from England."
Harry laughed, sending shivers down Remy's spine. It wasn't a nice laugh at all.
"No. I am not one of his 'associates.' I am here to teach some special children that they couldn't find otherwise."
It was at this point that Remy noticed one of the children had followed Harry. All of four, Billy was now clutching Harry's leg with one hand as his other hand was planted on his chin and the thumb firmly in his mouth.
"Child sitting?" Magneto asked with a laugh. "You are hardly out of childhood yourself - you must be directly out of school. If you aren't one of Charles' students, then where did you go?"
The name was said as if he was easily conversing with friends, rather than a megalomaniac that seemed intent on making his own little world of mutants. Yet at the same time, Remy could feel the power in those two syllables. He watched as that power sent waves through the ranks, with a couple of people moving restlessly. The thought that wizards would also be attracted to Magneto had never crossed his mind, but he wasn't all that surprised that they would.
"Are you Harry Potter?" a voice called from halfway back. "You have green eyes, just like him." The young woman stepped forward as she finished talking. She still stood behind Magneto, but she wore a cloak similar to Lupin's, as Remy had seen him a month ago. Remy didn't recognize her, but that didn't mean she was new to Magneto's cause.
"Get back, Lightning," Mystique hissed.
"No," Magneto intoned. "Let us hear what she has to say."
"Did you really kill Voldemort and his army by yourself?"
There was another rustle through the ranks, although this one smelled of fear. And Remy's sense of smell was as normal as the next person's. He looked at Harry, who had a wary set to his face. The look changed to resignation after a brief moment.
"I had help."
Magneto looked impressed. "Would you do so again - "
"Never!" Harry's shout startled Remy, even though he had known it was coming. From the little they had talked about this, he knew his friend was adamant that he would never again take a life.
"It was either myself or him. If he hadn't been such a bastard and linked his followers to his own powers, they wouldn't have died. I would rather have seen them in Azkaban to rot than dead."
The boy clinging to Harry tugged on his pants. The young man lifted him in a smooth motion with his left arm, leaving his right hand free.
"Is there a problem, Eric?" the Professor's voice called as Nightcrawler popped him into sight beside Harry.
"I was meeting your new X-Man, Charles."
The Professor chuckled. "He is not a mutant, Eric. He is not one of my X-Men, although I wish he would reconsider my offer."
"What are you then?" Magneto asked, his frustration with his rapidly diminishing control apparent.
"He is a wizard," the mutant named Lightning answered for Harry. "He is considered to be the greatest wizard of the age. According to the Salem Gazette, he has enough power to wipe us out with a single spell."
The child in Harry's arms whimpered. He laid a hand on Billy's arm, who visibly calmed. Harry, on the other hand, looked extremely upset. If he didn't know better, Remy would say that he was glowing with anger.
"I would never do such a thing!" Harry whispered vehemently. "Never!"
"Why not?" Lightning challenged. "Muggle humans would destroy the wizarding world, just like they want to rid the world of us mutants."
"Because it's wrong." Harry was glaring at her, making her shrink back into the fold. "By doing that, I would become like Voldemort or the politicians that persecute mutants. I suppose that I could blow up the entire planet, then, to solve the problem. But until you can come to a non-combative solution, and wizards learn to embrace muggles, I will stay out of the entire thing." Harry looked down at the boy in his arms, then back up at Magneto with a fierce stare.
"I suggest you take your friends and figure out a different way to bring 'normal' humans around. After all, we all are still human. What difference does one gene make? Show those that don't have the x-gene that there doesn't need to be a difference." Harry turned and looked at Remy before shifting Billy onto his other hip. "Let's go up to the school and get some hot chocolate into you. Doesn't that sound much better than talking to the grown-ups?"
The boy nodded and the two headed up to the school, the other children following them without one of them looking back. Remy glanced at the other X-Men before taking off after Harry, catching up with the younger man with a swift pace. Once he was walking side by side with his friend, he offered what he hoped to be a comforting smile.
Harry tentatively smiled back, then suddenly stopped. He then pushed Billy into Remy's arms and disappeared without a sound.
Remy looked back at the almost-conflict at the edge of the woods, somehow knowing that Harry had gone back. He stayed where he was, waiting for his friend. Thirty seconds later, Harry reappeared in front of him and calmly plucked Billy out of his arms and continued on up to the school.
"What happened?" Remy finally asked once the children were seated in the kitchen with hot beverages.
"Butterbeer?" Harry offered. "It tastes like butterscotch."
"Sure." He watched the younger man as he took a sip out of the glass bottle. His eyes widened as the smooth drink slid down his throat. He was more impressed by this drink than he was by the firewhiskey, especially as it wouldn't get him drunk. Remy would have to visit the 'wizarding world' in Salem when given the chance, just to check out what other things they had. As long as they didn't get into the voodoo Tante had warned him about, he was fine with it.
"Good, isn't it?" Harry asked with a grin. He sat down next to Remy and took a long drink out of his own bottle of butterbeer. When he was done, he sighed heavily. "Magneto was thinking very bad thoughts very loudly. That's why I had to go back."
Remy stared at Harry, not really sure if he was astonished or bewildered at the statement.
"You have got to be kidding."
Harry looked confused. "Why would you say that?"
He shook his head in wonder. "Harry, Magneto doesn't wear that helmet for looks. It's his shield against the Professor's psychic powers."
The younger man wore a stunned look, which quickly turned thoughtful. "It doesn't shield against magic, then," he said before taking another slow drink of his butterbeer. "It was as if he was shouting and taunting Charles at the same time. It was loud enough to poke through my shields - although I haven't exactly kept them up as well as I should have, being out here. On the other hand, those are against magical attacks, and this certainly wasn't."
Remy shook his head again at his friend's explanation. He didn't think that Harry had any concept of just how hard it was for the professor to get any clue as to what Magneto was up to. The only thing that kept the X-Men up with the Brotherhood was the fact that their leaders had once been friends. His friend had power, but he was obviously reluctant to use it. To calmly face Magneto and the Brotherhood without even intending to use his powers was mind-bending. And Harry hadn't a clue about the entire thing.
"It's like a hot knife through butter," Remy muttered to himself.
"What?" Harry asked as he turned back from watching the children.
Remy shrugged. "Nothing," he said. "I'm only thinking out loud."
Harry grinned. "Do that much, do you?"
He snorted. "No, I don't."
"Because you don't think much, then?"
He opened his mouth to say a nasty retort before he saw the teasing look on the younger man's face. "Oh, I do. But I think on a much higher lever that you; playing with those kids all day long must make you feel right at home."
Harry looked at the children again before turning back to Remy with a serious face. "I do feel at home - more so that I've ever felt before."
Remy was kicking himself for saying what he did, but it was still nice to hear that Harry considered this home. He was always half-afraid that the younger man would leave them and return to England. It was a comfort to know that, even if he did, there would always be a piece of him here.
Epilogue - five years later
Remy tried to hold back his laughter as long as he could, but it didn't last long at the sight in front of him. After all, who wouldn't find it funny to watch Harry trying to teach the wizard-mutants how to fly on brooms? The young children were all shouting for Harry's attention as they flew around him, all of them using their various mutant abilities to hold the others back.
"Enough!" Harry roared, sweeping his hand out across his body. As his hand went by each child, they froze where they were, no matter if they were on the ground or twelve feet in the air. Those in the air slowly floated down to the ground in front of Harry, with those already on the earth moving to join them.
"Flying lessons are suspended until you want to listen to what I say. While you were doing... whatever you were just doing, no one was noticing the damage you were causing. When I let you go, all of you will look around and see what you have done. Then you will help clean up this mess before apologizing to the professor."
As Harry let the children go, Remy saw the sadness on their faces in the wake of Harry's disappointment in their behavior. It wasn't a surprise to Remy that the children didn't protest their punishment. Harry wasn't the most popular teacher at the Institute for nothing, whether his students were wizard, witch, or mutant. All of his students tried their best to please him, which, in turn, pleased Harry.
Late last year, Remy had had the opportunity to see Remus Lupin at work teaching. He had gone up with Harry to Salem for some shopping, and they had stopped by the school there for the younger man to talk to his mentor. Lupin's methods were the same ones that Harry used, and both of them taught in such a way as to inspire their students to learn, rather than to be told what to learn. It was unique that they had the gift, and it wasn't because of their magic.
None of their students would ever know the full truth behind the troubles in their pasts - or, indeed, of any of the teachers they had at the Institute or the wizarding school. Magneto's Brotherhood had gone quietly underground since the confrontation with Harry. Instead, several of them had joined political groups that worked with the government for change. Although it wasn't every one of them - more than a few caused trouble every couple of months. And from what he had heard of Harry's former world, one of his friends had been instrumental in advocating more tolerant policies, but not enough to tempt Harry back.
Remy shook his head of his wandering thoughts and turned his attention back to the present. Harry was helping the littlest child, a seven-year-old girl named Frankie, pick up some scattered papers. The younger man usually ended up feeling bad about having to discipline one of his students. That typically ended with the two of them joining Logan - aka Wolverine - at the bar.
As long as it wasn't for firewhiskey, Remy was fine with that.