Smallville: set between 'Power' and 'Requiem' in Season 8.
Harry Potter: post-DH, canon.
Your Standard Out-Of-Luck Superhero
"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art."
Miguel de Cervantes
"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." – Mark Twain
"Harry, you're going to be late for work—Oh!" I exclaimed, looking up (and up) into bright, innocent eyes above a plaid shirt. A stranger was standing on the doorstep. Of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. The house that is still Unplottable, last time I checked. The house my husband Harry Potter, my sons James and Albus, and my infant daughter Lily, and I live in.
I'd opened the door for Harry, so he could Disapparate on the top step. I was wearing a pair of Muggle sweatpants and tank top. Lily was on my hip, chewing a piece of red hair (mine or hers, I wasn't sure). And now there was this incredibly tall young man dressed in red and blue standing there in front of me. My first thought was that Harry had somehow worked out a way to make Grimmauld Place plottable again, but of course I had no idea how, and, even if he hadn't mentioned it to me, surely he would've told Hermione, and she would've told me. Besides which, I thought we agreed that having the house unplottable helps keep out the press.
"Who are you?" I asked, a little rudely, once I'd recovered my breath.
The boy (he couldn't have been much more than twenty) blinked innocently at me. "I'm Clark Kent, ma'am."
It was at that moment that Harry came clattering up from the kitchen, waking that bitch Walburga Black's portrait on the way.
"Filth! Blood traitors! Scum!" she screamed. That's all she ever says, these days.
"You must be wondering—" I began. For some reason, I felt like I needed to excuse the state of the house.
Mr. Kent shook his head. "No, ma'am. Not at all," he said politely. "She kind of reminds me of someone."
I didn't ask who, but I wanted to.
"Clark!" cried Harry, as though he were welcoming a long-lost friend. I stared.
"You two know each other?" I asked, with admirable restraint.
Harry had the grace to look embarrassed. "You know that time I went to America three years ago?"
"Well, I was looking for unexplained, high levels of magic—we'd been getting reports—but I found meteors and aliens."
Mr. Kent flinched, but before I could utter a shocked, "Aliens?" Lily gurgled happily, spitting the piece of red hair out and looking down toward the square.
"Luna!" I exclaimed, relieved.
"Is there a reason we're all standing on your porch?" Luna asked. "Because Wrackspurts can occasionally gather around doorways, but I don't see an unusual level of infestation here."
Mr. Kent looked completely bewildered.
"Luna, not that it's not great to see you—" Harry said distractedly, "But what're you doing here?"
"I'm going out today, remember?" I reminded him. "Luna's babysitting."
"I really do need to talk to you," Mr. Kent said apologetically to Harry.
"Right, of course—"
"You should consider yellow," Luna told Mr. Kent, looking him up and down.
"Huh?" he asked, and I sighed, grabbed Luna's arm, and pulled her inside. Harry and Mr. Kent followed, the former reluctantly and the latter hesitantly.
Albus, I saw with a sigh, was attempting to reason with Walburga Black's portrait. "Honey," I began, but my son just raced over to Luna, hugging her around the knees and shrieking her name.
"Au't Lu-na! Au't Lu-na!"
I rolled my eyes. "James, Aunt Luna's here!" I shouted, then turned to Mr. Kent, who was watching in some awe. "Luna, this is Clark Kent—an (apparently) old friend of Harry's. Mr. Kent, this is Luna Lovegood."
"It's an honor," Mr. Kent said admiringly. "Please, both of you call me Clark. Mr. Kent was my dad."
"Sorry to rush this along," put in Harry, "but Kingsley's got another assignment for me, and I've still got to persuade Hermione to finish writing my last case report—was there something in particular you needed, or is this a just a social visit?"
Mr. K—Clark immediately sobered. "Actually—" he began.
"Aunt Luna! Aunt Luna!" screamed James, racing down the stairs. Lily reached out to Luna, trying to wriggle out of my arms. I handed her over, and Luna embraced all three of my small children at once, laughing. She's really good with children—I guess they believe all her unproven assertions about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, etc.
"I should go," I said, and Clark flinched as though my words physically hurt him. How could that be, though? We'd hardly known each other long enough for him to be desolate at my imminent departure.
"Me too," Harry agreed. "Listen, Clark, if it's not too urgent, why don't you stay to dinner and we can talk then? You could explore London if you'd like."
"You look like the pic'ures of Gran'father Potter," James observed, looking up (and up and up) at Clark.
"Thanks," Clark said, smiling. And what a gorgeous smile it was! It transformed his whole face, and I was startled to find he wasn't such a baby as I'd thought. That plus the admiring looks he kept shooting Luna, and an idea occurred to me.
"Why don't you stay and get to know the kids?" I suggested slyly. "They're always looking for even more heroic role models."
Harry looked a little jealous, and I rejoiced inside. Take that, you secretive-saving-the-world-head-auror! He could have told me about the aliens before this, after all.
"Sure," said Luna, "you can tell us about what it's like in America. I don't suppose you've noticed any Crumple-Horned Snorkacks there?"
Harry clapped Clark on the back (he had to reach quite high to do it), and left, rather sullenly, for work. The last thing I heard before I too Disapparated was Clark asking Luna, "So what'd you mean, I should consider yellow?"
After a long hard day of interviewing the entire Montrose Magpies Quidditch team after they beat the Chudley Cannons again, I'd almost forgotten about Clark and the aliens.
When I got in, though, tired and sweaty, he was sitting in the kitchen with Luna and the kids, playing three-dimensional HoneydukesLand, the new baby-game. James and Clark were winning against Luna, Al and Lily, but the outcome was still in doubt.
I smiled, cheered by the domestic scene and the obvious attraction Clark had to Luna. He looked like he didn't get to play with kids enough, let alone my kooky friend. There's no one else like her in the world.
As long as they were keeping the kids busy, dinner was fast and easy. I had everything ready by the time Harry came clomping down the stairs, running a hand over his exhausted brow.
"Dinner," he sighed happily. "Gin, you didn't have to—"
"Of course I did, silly," I said, swatting his arm playfully. Will he never learn? We've got a deal—I cook if he does the cleaning (with Kreacher's help, of course).
We had dinner, and then James insisted Clark tell the kids a story before bed. At first, he seemed all embarrassed, but he finally came out with a tale of a hero called 'Naman' and his arch-enemy/friend 'Seggeek.' It also included cameos by blue monsters, fabled swords, and strange green substances.
At last, after the kids were in bed and Luna had agreed to stick around for Clark's next, true story, and I'd served coffee, Harry asked, "Okay, Clark. Let's hear it. Why are you here?"
"Well," Clark said, looking uncomfortable. "You know the bald billionaire you met when you visited?"
"Yeah…" Harry said warily. I waited, wondering if this billionaire was a wizard with lots of Horcruxes, a Shape-Shifting Gibraltar-Beast, or just your standard filthy rich pureblood supremacist.
"Well, he's gone missing—we thought he was dead for awhile, actually." Clark explained. "Only now, he's been making trouble—from a distance—and my friend Chloe thinks he might be in England."
"Well, can't you just do a Mass-Locator Spell?" I asked reasonably. "Unless this rich guy's shields are advanced enough to…"
"Oh, they are—against ordinary methods of detection," Clark assured us. "That's why I thought maybe you could help—magic might be able to find Lex where technology never could."
"Sure, no problem," said Harry, thinking fast. "A Mass-Locator Spell's a good idea, Ginny—I can get it set up tomorrow without too much trouble. How big a threat is Lex anyway?"
"Big," Clark said with a sigh. "He's got nothing to lose now, because he hasn't got his Prometheus suit. So he'll be even more dangerous."
"Just so long as he's not a Fire-Wraith of Simonya," Luna said cheerfully, "Everything should work out."
Wishful thinking, that. Oh, not Lex Billionaire—it sounded like he wasn't even a wizard, so I figured that part wouldn't be too much trouble. I didn't even mind when Harry invited Clark to stay with us. Godric knows we've got the space, and he's quite a nice guy, really. Plus, he's really handsome. I just know he'd be perfect for Luna.
No, the problem arrived the following morning, in the form of a high-powered brunette who ran like she'd swallowed a whole cauldron-full of Swiftness Potion, and who introduced herself as "Lana Lang—Clark's girlfriend."
Girlfriend? I'm not convinced. Oh, sure, he kissed her hello, but his face fell ludicrously when she came in right in the middle of another game he was playing with Luna and the children.
"Lana, it's not safe for you here," he said urgently.
She laughed. "Not safe? Clark, I'm fine—you don't have to keep saving me anymore. Besides, I thought these people were your friends."
Clark looked worried, but made introductions all round.
"Lana, this is Harry and Ginny Potter, and that's James, Albus, and Lily—" at Lily's name Lana's eyes narrowed a bit. I wondered if she knew someone with the name, or she just had a problem with adorable redheaded babies. "And this is Luna—Luna…" Clark trailed off helplessly. Apparently we'd forgotten to tell him Luna's surname.
"Lovegood," she finished for him. "And it's lovely to meet you, Lana."
She sounded so sincere—how does she do that?
"Okay, I'm going to go and get everyone set up," Harry said into the uncomfortable silence.
He left, and I was stranded with the now-melancholy Clark, the horrible Lana, and Luna and the kids. I saw Lana wrinkle her nose when Clark suggested she join their game.
I couldn't babysit them all, though, so I set to work a couple of feet away writing out my article about the Magpies.
It was an uneasy several hours. Finally, I got up, giving work up as a bad job, and went to get the kids a snack.
"Can I help?" Luna asked from the doorway.
"Sure—Muffliato—you left that bitch with my kids?" I complained.
"She's not that bad…Clark's there." Luna Summoned some crackers and ate one absently.
"She is that bad. Did you see her face when she heard my daughter's name? And what is Clark doing with that girl? She reminds me of a young Bellatrix."
"You don't think it's as bad as that? She's a little…but Clark can handle it—he sees the best in everyone."
I scowled. "Admirable, but hardly practical." I glanced slyly at her. "And what about Clark? The way he looks at you…I can't believe he's got a girlfriend."
"Me?" Luna asked, surprised. "Why, he doesn't even know me—and it's not as though he's got an Identity Glass, or accomplished Legilimency—besides, he's just a kid."
I laughed. "I won't tell him you said that. Poor thing, his pride'd probably be wounded."
"This Lex…I know he's probably not a Fire-Wraith of Simonya, but…from what Clark says, I don't think we can discount him either."
"What, so he's not just an ordinary Muggle?" I asked distractedly.
Luna gave me a curious look. I searched my conscience, but I couldn't think why she'd be annoyed.
"He has power—not magic, but something," she said at last. "Muggles aren't as helpless as they look."
I rolled my eyes. "I never said Muggles were helpless…look, that Lana girl's a Muggle, but she's still just like Bellatrix. I mean, if that doesn't prove it, I don't know what does."
"We should probably go rescue them," Luna agreed.
"The kids?" I asked. "I know—that little Super-bitch has it in for Lily, I can just tell…"
Luna blinked at me in surprise. "I meant rescue Clark and Lana. Super-powered, perhaps…but we left them up there with three Potters."
I stared at her for a moment, and laughed, almost hysterically. "Oh, my Godric, you are so right!" I gasped, feeling grateful I'd married Harry. Our kids are tough.
We took the snacks upstairs, and sure enough, Clark and Lana were arguing while James and Al tussled over a toy and Lily fussed a bit at being left out. I scooped Lily into my arms and separated my sons, and Luna went to open the door for Harry.
He'd brought half the Auror Department, plus Hermione, of course. She took one look at Lana and stiffened, just like me, but she didn't say anything.
"Are you sure this will work?" Lana asked, looking fascinated. Her eyes lit up with that same lust for power I've seen so many times on Death Eaters' faces.
"Unless Lex Luthor is really a Fire-Wraith," Luna assured her.
"Or if he's got a highly advanced mental shielding system of interlocking spells," Harry finished.
"And we're not going to look past the United Kingdom," Hermione added. "There's only so much the Auror department can do without Ministerial authorization." Wisely neglecting to mention there's not much Kingsley wouldn't do for Harry right now. Not after what happened last spring.
The spell was really quite complicated—anything requiring cooperation of more than one wizard always is. I watched with interest, while keeping an eye on nervous Clark and power-hungry Lana. Lana was, honestly, transformed: she stood there drinking the magic in, or trying to, and I knew that if stealing someone's magic does turn out to be possible, she's totally going to do it to some poor sucker. Guys always fall for girls like that, even if they come to their senses later. Look at Cho Chang, Fleur Delacour, and Bellatrix Lestrange.
Finally, they were finished. I think Clark was a little surprised it wasn't flashier. "Bangs and clouds of smoke are the mark of inexperience, not expertise," I told him gently. Every kid learns that in first year.
"Oh," was all he had to say to that. He's rather laconic. Then, "Well?"
Harry drew a hand across his brow, looking exhausted. I decided I'd make him some tea later, after all the excitement. "Lex Luthor is not in England," was all Harry said.
"And hasn't been for the last year or so?" Clark inquired diffidently.
"Hang on…" Hermione said thoughtfully. "Lex Luthor? I've heard that name before…"
"Really?" I asked, surprised. I always forget Hermione's Muggle-born.
"Yeah—my parents talked a lot about this time he shipped an entire castle from Scotland to Kansas," Hermione said.
"That was Lionel," put in Clark helpfully.
"Oh, right. Lionel Luthor, famous entrepreneur and owner of that huge American company. Kansas, though. I thought all famous Americans lived in New York or California."
Wow. Hermione must've been really wigged. She never makes sweeping generalizations like that.
"Well…" sighed Clark. "It was worth a try."
The Aurors left, and Lana Lang did not offer to help with dinner. Luna did, but I told her I'd really prefer it if she watched over the kids. The last thing I need is for Super-bitch to traumatize them for life. Or, you know, vice versa.
"You're both welcome to stay as long as you'd like," I heard Harry saying as I levitated dinner in. I cringed, and nearly spilled everything.
Before I could balance it properly or set it gently on the table, there was a wooshing noise like right after someone Disapparates, before the Crack! and then voila! Dinner was perfectly set on the table. I gasped in surprise.
"You've got a bit of soup on your shirt," Luna informed Clark matter-of-factly. I just stared.
"Yes, thanks, Clark," said Harry, sounding nearly as bemused as I felt.
Lana laughed. "We'd love to, honestly, but we really should go. Lex is still out there."
"And that's a big deal because…?" I couldn't stop myself from asking. Honestly, as far as I can tell, this Lex person is just an ordinary Muggle billionaire. I mean, have Clark and Lana met the Malfoys? I didn't think so.
Lana's expression was unreadable, and Clark just looked frazzled. I'm not sure he's positive what the point of all this Lex Luthor, searching for, really is, either.
"Well," Clark explained uncomfortably, "Lex is…sort of…evil, and he knows my secret…" Which fact upset him more was surprisingly unclear.
"You know you can count on us, if you need anything. Sorry we couldn't be more help," apologized Harry.
Clark shrugged. "It's fine. Chloe'll probably be able to figure it out."
And we left it there for the rest of the evening. Contrary to Lana's assertion, they didn't leave right away—the two of them spent the night with us—in the same room, incidentally. Not that that's any of my concern.
Still, even if she isn't interested, I still think Clark treated Luna rather shabbily. Whatever.
Next morning, Clark tried to make toast. For someone with superpowers, he really has no idea what to do in a kitchen. Maybe his Muggle cooking skills are superior though, I really wouldn't know.
"Do you like cinnamon toast? Mummy makes it really good," James informed him.
"I'm sure she does," Clark said, avoiding my eyes. I decided to make pancakes instead.
"Is Lana your girlfriend?" James asked.
Clark flushed, looked everywhere but at my son, and finally muttered, "Aren't you a little young to be asking about that?"
"How come everyone you know has two 'L's in their name?" was James's next query. He's so bright! I realized he'd just made an excellent point. Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Luna Lovegood...there was definitely a pattern.
Clark shrugged, looking surprised. "I don't know. Coincidence, I guess."
I breathed out rather skeptically, but forbore comment.
Clark and Lana zoomed off into the distance at around lunchtime (when Lana finally got up—lazy bitch), with lots of heartfelt farewells and promises of mutual assistance.
I could see Harry doing his I've-Had-The-Weight-Of-The-World-On-My-Shoulders-Since-The-Age-Of-One expression, and Clark was looking similarly reminiscent of Atlas—although with rather more height and rather less real power, I thought. Fact of the matter is, he may be an alien, but he still hasn't worked out how to talk to girls, as witness his farewell conversation with Luna:
"I'd love to stay in touch—you're really…I mean…uh…"
"Send me an owl anytime. I don't stay in one place much. I'll search the skies for you."
"How did you kn—I can't, you know—I mean, not yet…"
"You will, though. It just takes practice."
"Good luck, Clark. It was nice to meet you."
"Yeah. I mean, thanks."
After that, Clark turned to Harry and his expression must've conveyed something, because Harry laughed and said, "Not to worry, Clark. Your secret's safe with us. After all, you're not the only one with powers."
"Yeah," said Clark. "Thanks, Harry. It's good to know someone else is out there, doing what's right."
Lana waved sardonically at James and Albus, glared at Lily, and grabbed Clark's arm. They super-speeded away—and I only hope they stay far, far away from me and my kids. Super-bitch is a little too much for them to handle right now.
I don't remember saying that out loud, but Luna replied, for all the world like she was completing a conversation we'd had a while back, "Give it time."
Harry turned to go back inside. "Well, Al, how about I show you my baby pictures again?" He knows that's a real treat for Al, who looks just like his father.
"Oh, no, not so fast," I said, following, with Lily in my arms. Her red hair shone bright under the midday sun. "Someone's going to tell me what he thought he was doing, keeping aliens and meteors a secret from me for three years…"
"Uh-oh, your mother's on the warpath…" Harry stage-whispered to Al. But I could hear the laughter and relief in his voice.
Godric, but it's nice, having my house and my family to myself again.
Maybe Luna and Clark could be pen-pals…there's no way he and Super-bitch are going to stay together, after all, and it doesn't hurt to plan for the future…