The Boy Next Door
Summary: After the Cure fades away, Magneto needs to re-build his Brotherhood. He receives a tip that a powerful young mutant lives on Privet Drive. Posing as a family, Magneto, Mystique, and Pyro search for the mutant, becoming convinced that the boy next door, the apparently troubled Harry Potter is the mutant they're looking for.
Pairing: Slash. Harry/Pyro
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the X-Men. J.K. Rowling, Marvel, and others have that honor.
Spoilers: HP 1-6. AU for summer of HP7. X1-3.
Warnings: Slash. Strong Language. Adult Concepts. Sexual Content.
A.N. So after years of working on one story it's finished and I get to move on but I can't resist sticking with this pairing. This story will be much shorter. For those of you who have read Mutant Son, while much of the characterization is the same here, the characters will be somewhat different. And Pyro is not Voldemort's son and is ever so slightly older.
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Neighborhood
It was a very ordinary neighborhood. Neatly trimmed lawns, uniform hedges, even the houses resembled each other. It was the worst place possible for a child to grow up a mutant. If it wasn't for the fact that Callisto had, from her prison cell, informed a disguised Mystique of a very powerful mutant living on Privet Drive, Magneto wouldn't even consider being in the same presence as such mundane excuses for even Homo sapiens. Finding the mutant would be difficult, Magneto knew. For his own safety, the mutant would be wary, in hiding in his own neighborhood. Unfortunately even Callisto couldn't point them closer from such a far distance.
Mystique had thought it overkill to go on this recruitment mission but Magneto thought it best. The political climate in America was not optimal for Brotherhood recruitment. The current administration was preaching peace and launching Charles' traitorous X-Men onto a pedestal. But Magneto knew that wouldn't last. His army would be needed again. He just needed an army. He needed to rebuild. And Surrey, England was as good a place as any to start. Posing as the new family at Number Six Privet Drive.
Of course, there were other reasons for being here. Getting Pyro away from America for one. His protégé was growing distant. Pyro had lost his hero worship for him, quite unfortunate really as Magneto had found it useful in the past. If he had any hope of retaining Pyro as one of his lieutenants, he had to get him away from America and away from the X-Men. He needed to ensure Pyro's loyalty. Glancing around the upper middle class neighborhood, Magneto thought this an excellent place. Mutants were unwelcome here. Hated. Pyro needed to feel that hatred targeted against him. Magneto couldn't lose Pyro's anger.
"Are you just going to stand there?" Pyro grunted, grabbing another box from the car.
"I fear I am not as young as I once was," Magneto replied with a sigh. Pyro stared at him for a moment before turning to look at an approaching Mystique, her form as close to her true form as possible, her hair blonde and eyes a piercing blue.
"He's playing the age card again," Pyro informed Mystique as he brushed his brown hair out of his face. In hiding while Mystique and Magneto were cured, Pyro had returned his hair to the state it was in when they had first met him. He looked a bit like the rebellious teenager again, a look further added to by the ratty jeans, black t-shirt, and combat boots he insisted on wearing. Youth today.
Mystique sent Pyro a mischievous smile. "What? Can't handle a couple of boxes…John."
Pyro glared at the use of his human name. Magneto sometimes felt as if he was indeed dealing with the bickering siblings they would be posing as. Granted, slightly incestuous siblings who tended to flirt with each other as much as fight. It had taken Pyro a few months in the beginning but he had slowly gotten used to Mystique and stopped watching her so warily. Pyro opened his mouth to snap back a response, probably with his usual biting charm, but was interrupted.
"Oh, hello," a skinny middle-aged woman with blonde hair put down her gardening supplies and headed over to the driveway. "You must be our new neighbors. The Hortons, I believe. My name is Petunia Dursley."
Yes, the Dursley family. The husband sold drills and the wife stayed at home. They had a teenage son named Dudley who attended a boarding school called Smeltings. They also had a nephew of the same age named Harry Potter but neither Mystique nor Pyro had uncovered much information on him.
"Hello, my dear," Magneto offered her a smile. "Yes we are the Hortons. I am Erik." He then gestured to Mystique and Pyro. "And my grandchildren: Raven and John."
"Raven," Petunia gave her a false smile. "What a pretty name." She glanced between them. "And all three of you are moving in?"
"Yes, our grandfather is getting up there in years," Mystique responded, mimicking their neighbors' false smile. Her eyes remained hard though, unimpressed with the woman's attempts at subtle information gathering. "Someone needs to take care of him."
"How sweet," Petunia's smile seemed pasted on. Pyro studied her, face carefully blank. She turned to him. "And what a handsome boy you have here. He can't be much older than my Dudders."
Pyro's eyebrows rose, either at the compliment or the apparent nickname for her son. Magneto stepped in before Pyro could open his mouth. Pyro had made it very clear that he thought this mission stupid and only reluctantly took his orders. Magneto wasn't letting him rub the woman the wrong way right off the bat.
"I assume that," he paused for a moment, "Dudders is your son. Is he twenty, as well?"
"No, Dudley is seventeen," Petunia answered brightly. "I am sure he can introduce you to the other boys in the neighborhood," she continued towards Pyro.
"That won't be necessary," Pyro responded, turning away from her. "I'm gonna finish unpacking the car while you guys bullshit." Petunia looked affronted as Pyro carried a box off towards the house.
"I apologize for my brother's behavior," Mystique stated. "What I didn't say before is that he's another one I will be looking after. John tends to be a bit of trouble." She couldn't hide the amusement in her eyes.
"Yes, I know how that goes," Petunia responded. "Not from my Dudley of course but…well I believe I should get back to my gardening." Sending them one last false smile she walked back to her house and kneeled before the flowers.
Magneto and Mystique exchanged unimpressed looks. "Homo sapien," Mystique sneered dismissively before grabbing her own box. Her eyes flashed yellow for a moment. She headed towards Pyro who had apparently decided to take a break and stood smoking on the porch. Magneto watched as Petunia's eyes glanced warily towards Pyro. He sighed. Pyro was going to be difficult. Perhaps, however, he could use that to his advantage.
Two Weeks Later
Harry opened his eyes as he felt the car come to a stop. "That boy is outside again," Uncle Vernon said to Aunt Petunia.
"Leave it alone, Vernon," Aunt Petunia sighed. It took Harry a moment to realize that they weren't talking about him. Usually the word 'boy' was reserved specifically for him.
"I don't like the looks of him, Petunia," Uncle Vernon continued, glaring out the window. Harry followed his uncle's gaze. At first he didn't see anything but then he realized that a pair of jean-clad legs were sticking out from under the car in the neighbors' driveway.
"New neighbors?" Harry asked before he could stop himself. He winced as Uncle Vernon whirled around to look at him.
"And you will not interact with them. Do you understand?" he snapped. "We don't need the neighbors seeing you with that boy. And the girl and that old man are perfectly nice, normal people. We don't need you poisoning against us."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I don't think you need any help there." He swung the door open before his uncle could respond. Once out, he slammed it shut just to be difficult. It had only been two days since Professor Dumbledore's funeral and, needless to say, Harry didn't feel very tolerant of his relatives' antics at the moment. He didn't feel particularly tolerant of anything really.
Glaring, Uncle Vernon got out of the car and unlocked the back of the car so that Harry could receive his trunk and empty cage. Harry hauled it out.
"Oh, Mr. Dursley," a female voice called out from the new neighbors' house.
Uncle Vernon stepped on Harry's foot, causing him to almost drop his trunk. "No funny business. Remember that boy."
Harry turned to watch a beautiful blonde woman make her way towards them. "Hello Raven, dear," Aunt Petunia said as the woman came to a stop in front of them. "Can we help you with anything?"
"Oh, no thanks." Though the woman was smiling, Harry thought there was something off about her eyes. Something hard. Dangerous. Harry shook the feeling off. The Order wouldn't have allowed a Death Eater to move in next door. Nevertheless, his skin prickled as her eyes landed on him. "Just wanted to come say hello. Who is this?"
"This is my nephew," Uncle Vernon practically grunted out. Harry wrinkled his nose as he saw the way Uncle Vernon was appraising the woman. When Harry turned back to Raven, she seemed to be looking at him in amusement.
"Harry Potter," he offered, meeting her eyes. This time the slight smile she sent didn't seem quite so forced as with his aunt and uncle. "Now, I'm going to go drag my trunk to my room so they can tell you what a delinquent I am. It was nice meeting you."
Ignoring his aunt and uncle's outraged faces, Harry pushed past them. He looked over to the neighbors' driveway. His eyes landed on the owner of the jean-clad legs. The guy appeared a little older and slightly taller than him. Though his hair had clearly been gelled, it hung disheveled over his forehead as he smoked his cigarette. Harry could see why Uncle Vernon hadn't liked the looks of him. The guy glanced briefly over at Harry before his eyes returned to Raven.
Harry dragged his trunk and the cage inside and up the stairs. Once safely in his room, he shut the door behind him and dropped into bed. Another summer at Number Four. His last. He really wished Hedwig would arrive soon. Harry already felt lonely. Alone with his thoughts, dread entered into his body. His last summer at Privet Drive. Could it also be his last summer in general? Dumbledore was dead. There was no one left to protect him. Now it was just Harry, the Horcruxes, and Voldemort. The Order would do their best but they weren't Dumbledore. Harry had a war to fight and, if he was honest with himself, he doubted his chances no matter how determined he was to take his parents' murderer down. So his last summer. And he would end up spending it like he did any other summer at Privet Drive: alone and bored. What a life, Harry thought as he closed his eyes and dozed off. He hoped this time he wouldn't be seeing Dumbledore falling to his death.
"There's no record of him at St. Brutus's," Mystique pointed out as she leaned against the kitchen counter, watching Magneto drink his tea and read the paper. Pyro entered the kitchen and headed for the coffee-maker. She looked at him. "It's a little late for you and coffee. You'll be bouncing off the walls tonight."
Pyro only glanced at her before dismissing her and preparing his coffee anyway. "I'm sure I can find some way to get rid of my excess energy," he said dryly.
"Another meaningless night of sex?" she asked as he grabbed his coffee and lounged back on a chair next to Magneto. Mystique sent Pyro a predatory smile. He raised his eyebrows at her, unimpressed. "Just drop by my bedroom, I'd be happy to help you out."
Pyro looked at her warily. "Last time we tried that you turned into Rogue in the middle of it. I still haven't gotten over those nightmares."
She laughed. "I thought you wanted that."
"I prefer you blue," he told her. Mystique looked at him curiously. He remained the only man to ever tell her that.
"Enough," Magneto folded up his paper. "Back to business. Are you sure there is no record of the boy at the school?"
"What boy and what school?" Pyro asked, running a hand along the lighter safely tucked away in his jeans. When he had first joined them, Pyro couldn't help but toy with the lighter constantly. Magneto quickly tired of his excess energy and trained him to sit still. He had only been partially successful. Mystique thought Pyro's energy had something to do with his mutation. And his youth. Magneto put too much effort into driving that youth from him. Mystique brought herself back on track. Pyro was a soldier. She couldn't let her attachment to him mess with the mission. There was no room for a child in the Brotherhood.
"Harry Potter, the neighbors' nephew," she informed him. "They say he attends St. Brutus' School, it's supposed to be a school for hopeless criminal cases." She cocked her head. "You know for boys like you."
"One, don't call me a boy," Pyro said pulling his lighter out. "Two, look who's talking. And three," he turned to Magneto, "can I have my wrist lighters back?"
Magneto looked at him, eyebrows raised. "John, we have spoken about this. If you had the self control to not constantly light them, you could be wearing them right now. And try to focus on one subject at a time. Discipline your wayward mind."
Pyro glared. "Don't call me John."
"We must stick with our human names even in private," Magneto scolded. "We cannot slip out there." Mystique held back a laugh as Pyro viciously flicked his lighter. While it was clear that Magneto hoped to use this mission to re-ensnare Pyro, acting as a father figure would not gain him any favor. But she wouldn't tell Magneto that. A part of her thought he'd deserve losing Pyro for what he did to her, abandoning her after she had taken a cure dart for him. And an even smaller part of her thought that Pyro deserved a better life than this. "And can we please return to the mission at hand?"
Pyro returned his attention to her. "So hopeless case, huh? He didn't seem too criminal to me."
Mystique shrugged. "Well he clearly has a lot of anger and a good deal of spirit."
Magneto watched her. "But you don't think he really is one of those hopeless cases."
She looked between the two men. "I think after two weeks we have our first lead. There's very little record of him, his relatives seem to despise him, and the neighborhood makes him out to be some sort of trouble. He's the first person that's stuck out in this horrendous neighborhood."
"He's definitely got the troubled kid thing going for him," Pyro agreed.
Magneto turned to him. "I wasn't aware that you've spoken to him."
"I haven't but I have eyes. It's called body language, old man," Pyro leaned back further in his chair.
Mystique snorted. "Who needs body language to tell that kid is troubled? His eyes are incredibly expressive."
Pyro sent her a smirk. "Staring into the kid's eyes, Stique? A little young for you, don't you think?"
"Oh, maybe," Mystique returned his smirk. "Why don't you have a go instead? Let me know how it is."
Pyro wrinkled his nose in apparent distaste. Mystique held back a smile at his act. She had seen him look after all. "He's a kid. You know I don't go anywhere near anyone younger than me."
Mystique rolled her eyes. "And you are so much older yourself."
Magneto shook his head, returning to his paper. "It amazes me that we ever get anything done with your two's inability to remain on topic." His eyes traveled over the top of the paper. "Pyro, you're close to his age. Get it out of him."
John took a drag from his cigarette as he listened to the neighbors arguing. He couldn't make out the words but he could hear the raised voices from where he sat on the hood of the car he had been working on. This was the first fight he had heard raised voices in the two weeks that they'd been there. It was also the first night the nephew was home. Mystique was most likely on to something.
The front door suddenly swung open. The kid (Harry Potter, John remembered), slammed the door shut behind him. He ran a hand roughly through his hair. "Fucking lunatic," Harry said, not entirely under his breath, perching himself on the little fence splitting Number Four's front yard from Number Six's driveway. John took another puff, watching as the ember at the end of his cigarette flared briefly.
The kid turned very quickly around, handing going to his back pocket as he jumped off the fence. He paused, however, as his eyes landed on John. Interesting.
"Welcome home party getting out of hand?" John stated, flicking the ash from his cigarette.
"That's one way of putting it," the kid responded, jaw tight.
"I'm sure." John looked away. Across the street he saw a woman returning to the house after taking out her garbage. She practically ran back inside. So someone else besides him had been listening to the fight at Number Four.
Apparently Harry had followed his eyes. He snorted. John turned back to him. "Everyone here's incredibly nosy. They don't like anything that stands out but they can't help looking." Harry had a small smile on his face, slightly amused but more annoyed than anything. He looked back over at John.
John took a drag before taking a step forward, offering the kid a cigarette. Harry shook his absentmindedly. Not in disgust though. Mystique was right. The kid had very expressive eyes. Very green. Emerald almost. And sad, definitely sad.
John turned his eyes back to the door into which the woman had disappeared. "And let me guess everyone's always looking at you."
Harry let out a short laugh. John raised his eyebrows at the reaction. "You have no idea," Harry said, smile on his face.
"I have a little bit of one," John offered. "Standing out's not always a bad thing, you know?" He put out his cigarette. "See you around, kid."
"Don't call me 'kid'," Harry responded.
"Whatever, kid," John returned with a smirk as he entered the bright kitchen. Yes, Mystique was on the right track.
A.N. What do you think? It's so hard to start from scratch again, especially when you're making a new story/relationship with the same characters.