Disclaimer: Harry and Heero are not mine, never have been, never will be. In this case I can't even claim the plot as that was a challenge that was given out by PhoenixEternalFlame. *pout* About the only thing that I have claim to is the title...I think.

Masks and Mirrors


Chapter 1

If anyone had really noticed the quiet figure shuffling down the sidewalk that evening, it would have been obvious the boy was troubled about something. The boy walked slowly with his head bowed, lost in thought; his wild, shaggy black hair falling into his eyes as he contemplated the concrete in front of him. He paid no mind to the traffic roaring passed as he continued out of the city along the coast road.

But no one did, everyone too busy with their daily lives and the threat of war that darkened the horizon of their world. No one noticed the haunted emerald green eyes and distinctive lightning bolt scar on his forehead. No one noticed the ill-fitting clothes and nearly instinctive side-stepping of physical contact.

No one in the city knew that Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, was walking through their city completely alone.

And that was just what Harry wanted.

Harry had been here only a day and a half, but he was already beginning to like it. For the first time he could walk down the street, buy a meal, shop for groceries, and feel completely normal, with no one paying one iota of attention to him. The people were friendly, though a little worried about the currently political situation. With the military installation close by, no one had given it a second thought when he had moved into a small, private house outside of town. Remus would be arriving in a couple days, and the lack of restrictions on underage magic here meant he would be able to start some intensive training.

Even as these thoughts brought a tiny smile to Harry's pale face, the memory of why he was here stole it away.

Harry stopped and wrapped his arms tightly around his chest as the pain of betrayal flared white-hot in his heart. Gasping in an attempt to control his emotions, Harry wrenched his thoughts away from the memories. Glancing around, Harry searched for something, anything, to focus his attention on other than the pain of the past.

Sparing a quick glance at the beginning of the sunset, he pushed the troubling thoughts away, and was about to continue on his walk when he noticed something in the surf. It took Harry only a second to recognize it as a pressurized flight suit used for space travel. Whoever was in it appeared to be trying to get to shore, but the bulky suit wasn't meant for swimming.

His surprise only lasted a second as his mind took the time to register what he was seeing. Harry knew he was supposed to be staying 'under the radar' so to speak, but his 'hero complex' jumped to the front of his mind and kicked his body into gear. Looking back and forth over the twelve foot fence that separated the road from the beach, he found a gate that gave him access. He jumped down the steps, taking them all in one in go to land on all fours in the sand, before running into the surf to pull the now still body onto the beach.

By the time Harry had pulled the body clear of the water, his arms were shaking from the effort. Quidditch might be good for training agility and reflexes, but it apparently didn't do much for bulk muscle, Harry noticed with a grimace. He mentally noted that he would have to ask Remus how to correct that. The shallow water had helped him at the beginning but once the body touched the sand, Harry had to rely purely on his own strength to drag the body up onto dry land; an area that he appeared to be sadly lacking.

Carefully turning the body over, he quickly checked for any obvious injuries while calling to his rescuee. When neither yielded any results, Harry backed up to take stock of the young man. The first things Harry noticed were A) the figure was definitely male, there was no hint of curves on him, B) the boy was no older than Harry himself, and probably younger. Kneeling in the sand beside the suit, Harry guessed his height at maybe 5' 2", and that worried him. Last time Harry checked, the Muggle military did not allow soldiers that young during peace times, and while people might be worried about the Earth's relations with the colonies, there was no open conflict at the moment. So who was he and what was he doing here in what looking like a military flight suit?

Sitting back on his heels, Harry tried to decide what he should do next. The kid was out cold, though breathing easily, so he wasn't an immediate threat right at the moment. Looking around Harry weighed his options.

He knew most people would tell him to just walk away, since it wasn't really his problem, but his conscience killed that thought before it was even fully formed. This kid needed help. He was exhausted from his struggle with the ocean, and Harry had no idea when it would be high tide. If the boy got caught in the tide, he would drown. There was no way in hell he could do that.

He could call for an ambulance, but if he did that it would bring both himself and the pilot to the attention of the authorities and the Alliance. That was something he wanted to avoid, and he was pretty sure that his new friend would too.

The last option, one that was going to get him in a world of trouble with Moony, was to take the boy back to his house and help him there. It was getting late, and the sun was almost totally down now. They needed to get indoors before the temperature dropped any farther. Remus had created an untraceable portkey to the house they were going to be using, so he would be able to get him there without any help.

Making up his mind, Harry pulled the guy into a sitting position, then into a fireman's carry over his right shoulder, staggering slightly as he straightened up. Yeah, definitely had to do some strength training, Harry thought.

Taking a look around, making sure that no one was watching them, he pulled a small locket on a gold chain out from under his shirt and whispered the words to active the Portkey that would take them to his house. Instantly his world was consumed by color and by the familiar pull at the naval as the Portkey whisked him off to his new home.

Fifteen minutes later, a teenage girl contemplating her relationship with her father, walked down the same path only stopping along enough to watch the sunset and a passing plane fly by.