Faster Than Flying
wolf-shinigami, (as of 10/19/09) who fixed up some of my editing.
vairetwilight, (as of 11/1/09) who was a great help getting everything sorted just right.
Summary: Slash; HarryxDom, FFxHP. Harry started traveling after the war, he never settled down, never married, never kept in contact with friends or family. It seemed fine that way, but Sirius' bike needs repairs, and he didn't know the damned trouble it would cause to get it fixed…
Note: I love the feeling of starting something new – for me it's as addicting as finishing a story up or mulling over other ideas. Unfortunately it seems that for the time being I'm only good for coming up with the new stuff. I've tried everything I can think of to defer to a different wavelength, this, I'm ill content to report, seems one of those times my mind drifts without musing on my poor fingers. I really have no idea why this occasionally happens – life altering events? Stress or the lack of global warming (I loath winter, as pretty as it is, I've a dreaded fear of falling since my accident last Christmas season) all the same this annoys me to no end. As I'm never sure of where a story is going until it is written out, and now I have to wait and wonder right along with everyone else.
Ah, well, at least I am writing something, right? Don't get picky then.
I've recently (finally) watched The Fast and the Furious (about damn time too, right?) and I couldn't help remembering all too fondly Serpent in the Shadows obsessing over the idea of it being crossed with Harry Potter. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? In my dark snickering fan girl heart I adore Vin Diesel in a worshipful way that has not been matched since the days before Pitch Black. I'd love to write a Brian and Dominic story some time, but as I'm keenly missing one of my best friends (my muse, my muse… –sob-!), I figure I'd give her something to read when she checks her email; surprise, surprise, aye?
So this unlikely pairing (and ever more so crossover) is dedicated to Serpent in the Shadows, may she snicker with delighted giddiness - or something….
Gritty With Glitches
Harry liked it fast. At first, it'd only ever been about running, getting a little thrill that he sometimes thought was only fear when he was chased. He'd almost gotten into track as a sport, but his ill taken reputation and unproven status as a runner had dashed those early hopes. Instead he'd had to settle for running from Dudley and his gang, only it was almost too easy to dash out of their way.
He'd learned then not to go too fast, not to be "unnaturally good" even at what he liked. For running away from Dudley as he had, had gotten him a lashing almost as bad as the time he'd tried to discredit claims of his reputation as a bad egg.
He'd learned that lesson well, and hadn't run too fast or too well, until the day he was almost caught – it was the sort of rush that welled up in him, of a furious joy and tainted chill – that reminded him of that day. The day he landed on the roof. The day he picked up his wand – the right wand – with the rush of sparks, and the giddy, delighted and yet still ill settled feeling that lingered in his stomach like heavy metal.
It was that rush he'd chased after ever since.
When he'd found something that could take him faster then his feet – a broom, flying just like witches in books – he'd put the goal of getting back his housemates magical object second, flying first. In only a handful of moments he'd floated up, he'd dived and blocked and swooped and raced. It had made him feel like he was floating, even with his feet firmly on the ground.
He knew then that no one could keep him on the ground; he'd find a way, sneaking a broom ride in at night if he had to. He need not have worried; these people were not like his so-called family, they were glad that he was good at something. Maybe even a bit proud to say that they had a hand in his natural born ability. He had not cared what was said – not then, and certainly not now.
Still, in the beginning things had seemed like they would never get old. He had taken delight in everything, in magic lessons, in magical school work, especially though in magical transportation. Then he had learned that not everything was how it appeared. Magic had its blacker places. It was just like anything else in life, not bad but not all good either. He hadn't really known what that meant, not at first. He had finally known what it meant after he had broken free in a magical flying car, and realized that he liked the rumble of an engine, and the rush of wind better then the effortless movement of rider and broomstick. He was a bit strange, even then, for he liked to work for his reward. Something he thought to blame those who had had a hand in raising him only later.
Harry remembered vividly when the chill of the night had settled in his bones, when he had looked in eyes that came close to hellfire red. He had not understood what he was looking at, what kneeled over the fallen silver body of a unicorn. That knowledge came later; even so he was not quite sure that the meaning came to him fully. Not until later, when he realized it was his life and blood and body that housed a power that was like and unlike magic. It might as well have been magic; for all that love was understood to protect him from deadly harm. It seemed impossible, but was not.
Then it was too late. By then, when he knew love of family and friend, he was in the midst of a war. A net had settled over him, which seemed impossible to escape without a snag of scars. He lost Hermione the same day he lost Ron, though not in the same place. Hermione had been visiting the Burrow, a surprise to Ron, but Ron had gone away to get Harry. They came back to the Burrow in flames, to laughter and jeers of Death Eaters. Harry could smell and see it still; like cooked fish and burnt beef, the pale black smoke that curled about the bone white mark of Tom Riddle.
"Ron – you can't go in, it's too late!"
"Harry, I have to…"
"Ron, please…don't do this – we can't – I won't…it…it's gone…!"
"Harry, do you trust me? I'll be back damn-it, just…it's… I need to make sure…"
"I'll be back…you won't be alone."
The thing Harry regretted the most was not making more of a fuss. Ron would never have had forgiven him, but he thought sometimes it would be worth it to have Ron still alive and whole. What they had thought an empty yard had been an illusion. When Ron pulled the fire proof coat over his red hair and walked beyond smoke into flame, even by then it was too late. The Death Eaters with skull white masks glistening with blood had made themselves achingly real.
Harry knew then he was alone, for the blood was fresh on those bone masks.
What Harry would always remember was the not quite silence. The crackling of flame and the dull roar of sparks and rushing heat, even in that moment which he shivered and quaked in, he had not been alone. It had made him grateful to them, even as he loathed them all the more for seeing him so weakened, they were still human and there was something of respect in them for him, even if it was to go to the grave unacknowledged. There had been a photo taken that night, it had been printed on the front page of the newspaper the next day. It was of him watching the flames. He hadn't known he had cried until he saw it.
Something in him was glad to know he was still human enough to feel that sort of pain, numbed as he had been that morning.
He didn't quite know what had happened, even now. He only remembered the fire, he might have watched it till it smoldered out. Certainly his next memory was of waking in the tree in the front yard of the Burrow, seeing the dew on the leaves and smelling the tainted smoke. He had been sick; he still remembered the taste of bile if he lingered on those memories too long.
To find out what had happened, to get back those lost hours between being surrounded and waking to sorrow, he would have to stir up the dead and speak with them. It was not beyond his ability, but for once Harry had listened to the inner voice that reminded him all too much of Hermione and he had not so much as whispered his desire for his lost moments.
Perhaps it was best he did not know, but he was certain all the same that Tom Riddle was dead. There were no war stories; stories of great heroes rising and living into lore and fable, at least not at the end of this war. That had been Harry's intention – if he had one – in his moment of fleeing.
He had seen that morning's paper, and known with a certain sickness in his belly that he could not linger in the world that had made itself into his home. He would be haunted everyday. He would be without friend or confident or family. He was more alone now, having known those things and missing them; then he had ever been as an eleven year old orphan with abusive relatives.
So now, like then, he ran.
Or, rather, rode.
Sirius had left him his most treasured possession - his bike, a 1981 sleek as night Kawasaki. It flew – sometimes literally – and Harry sometimes rode into the night, still trying to catch his breath and wrestle himself away from memories and moments.
Harry liked that it was fast and powerful, reminiscing that it likened to his own power. Then, halfway out of a town he didn't know the name of; on the West side of the United States of America (at least he knew that much of where he was!)….his bike broke.
Harry was not about to admit he was sulking. Nonetheless, his arms were tucked under his chin and his fingers were fidgeting as he stared at a list of drinks. He was supposed to be thinking of getting something. It was that or leave, in which case he didn't have anywhere else to go. For the first time since he had had a wrist halter created (a bit of magic resistant cloth tucked under his forearm, held in place by straps against his elbow and biceps and the sensitive flesh of his wrist all to keep his wand out of sight and mind – not that he couldn't feel its magic), he wondered if he ought to try to fix it with magic.
It might make it worse. He knew how electric mechanics got along with magic. His bike was something he did not want to risk with a possible glitch of his magic and mechanic wonder. He felt the sick chill of sweat cling to his grey sleeveless shirt at the thought. He huddled a bit in his off-brown leather jacket, seeking not warmth but the comforting scent of oil and sweat and foreign air.
"You don't look very good." Harry jerked slightly, for the voice wasn't the greasy tones of the bar tender, or those of a woman. He'd learnt all too well what bar flies were in these past years and why one avoided them if you liked your pockets full of coin or paper money. Windblown and sun soaked but still black hair fell into his eyes, and he shook his head, rueful that he might as well be a shaggy puppy the way his black hair had grown out. It was strange how things like that snuck up on him.
The man that had settled into the seat next to him (or he was fairly sure that he hadn't been there when Harry had dragged his ass inside) had a dark tone of skin, though it was warm for he thought he felt the heat off it even this close. It reminded him of an engine snarling to life only to idle in place. He'd shaved his head, and Harry had the sense that it'd been like that for a while for it was a natural look, something this man was comfortable with. It wasn't awkward or done for style, it was simple – it was the way this man was. Harry liked that.
"Boys like you who come in here looking like you do are two things, in love and finding out their dumped, or stupid enough to think they'll find comfort in the likes of this place." A glint of dark eyes, amused and predatory, looked him over from head to waist. Harry stilled with that look, as it reminded him keenly of a dragon scoping him out from the edge of her nest. Harry knew now whose town this was. He was sitting beside the man who owned it in all but money and name. This man had the power of the common people at his beck and call.
"You're not drinking, so it isn't comfort you're looking for…which means a girl broke you? Or maybe you're chasing the other side of the coin?" There was an amused curl of lips, and Harry knew it was time to say something. He looked away, feeling awkward for the first time since he fled the magical world and the home he'd grown up in.
"Isn't neither, my bike quit." Harry mumbled the words, but they were heard. The man laughed then, surprising him, it was warm and rumbled like a well oiled car. Harry shivered a bit, peeking though his hair to look again at the stranger who sat beside him.
"Name is Dom'…I'll see that you get your bike fixed, boy." Full lips stretched over white teeth, and Harry smiled a little back, reminded of his first friend, a half giant. It seemed a lifetime ago. Dom offered him a hand, and there was a tenseness – a wary regard – this, Harry knew, was a choice. It was more then what it seemed. Harry didn't know what it was, not yet, but he was intrigued enough to stick around and find out.
"Y-you would? Alright…m'Harry." Harry felt keenly that Dom's hand was bigger then his own, and the calluses were rougher, his skin well used. Dom didn't change his expression, didn't think less of him for having hands better suited to books and pens. Harry liked him for it. He felt the strength in those hands when they pulled him up out of his seat with Dom to steady him a little. Dom didn't let him slip for appearances sake. It spoke well of the sort of man he was not to humiliate him when he could have. Dom nodded out the door, letting Harry go as Dom walked away.
This, Harry knew, was another choice. It was an easy one to make. He followed.
Note; Biker!Harry, or rather BadAss!Harry. I like it either way, 'cuz Dom will be having…fun…as for why a 1981 Kawasaki? I needed something foreign sounding and in the right sort of timeframe…so –shrugs- there you are. If you know something mechanical about bikes I can use to make Dom sound like he knows what he's doing, I shall giddily start on the next chapter.