The Boy Next Door
Summary: Fifteen months after the events of Part I finds Harry Potter post-war. While victorious, Harry can't seem to get things back to normal and he soon becomes obsessed with confronting Pyro. Upon meeting him again, things don't go as expected, at least not how Harry consciously expected things to turn out. Harry soon finds himself in the middle of a mutant conflict and, for once, his role as the Chosen One, even a wizard, is not to blame.
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, First Class.
Warnings: Slash (not too explicit). Strong Language. Adult Concepts. Sexual Content. Violence/Abuse.
A.N. I am so sorry for the long wait. And the short chapter with the quick ending. But I really can't write this story anymore, or this fandom. I think I have writer's block for all things Pyro and Harry Potter. It's been simply too long since I've been active in either fandom and too long since the books/movies to continue getting inspiration. But I couldn't leave you hanging so I finished it, though nowhere near the quality that my loyal readers deserve. Again, I apologize. I'm going to probably write in other fandoms from now one so I won't feel insulted if you remove me from your alert lists. But thank you for all your kind words and sticking with me.
If anyone wants to take a crack at re-writing the ending or expanding it, I would read it and, if it fit in my vision for the story I would post it and credit you with your writing.
Chapter 19: The End
Harry figured he'd better get comfortable. He was still tied to a chair and it didn't look like he made any progress with John. And it sucked. Big time. Harry didn't just express emotions. He didn't spill his guts. He didn't tell people he loved them. He didn't even know if he had ever said those words in his life. And for it to mean nothing? To have John just walk away? Well, it sucked.
So he sat there, perhaps feeling sorry for himself for a while. He didn't even think much of escaping. Magneto didn't seem to want to kill or torture him and frankly he didn't have the energy to think up some convoluted way out that just so happened to work. Now maybe if a dragon just happened to wander by…but what was the point? He was so tired again. That's what being Harry Potter got you. But that was who he was. He didn't have a choice about that. So he just sat there.
Harry had no idea how long he did so. He figured it had to be less than an hour when he heard it. A commotion on the other side of the one-sided mirror. With a loud bang, Harry saw the mirror shake. And then the door opened and John there stood, hair just a bit out of place. John didn't waste any time coming to him, taking a look at the metal cuffs that bound his hands and feet.
"So you did decide to get me out of this chair," Harry said, trying for light.
John unlocked his hands and feet. "Maybe I figured I'd try to be the person you needed me to be."
Harry resisted saying something corny about him already being that person, figuring that would be a little much. Instead, he stood, shaking out the kinks in his body. "Time to make an escape, huh?" he said instead.
John took him in as if looking for something. "How much use are you going to be if we run into anyone?"
"I don't have a wand," Harry shrugged.
"Seriously? A wand," John looked hysterically incredulous for a moment. "Never mind that. So it's just me then." Harry shrugged uncomfortably, not liking the idea of being powerless in the situation. He hadn't had to worry about such a thing for so long.
"Let's just go," Harry said, making for the door, but John grabbed him.
"The rule is that the one with some way of defending us goes first," John said before pushing ahead of him. They made their way through strangely empty halls, not speaking. For a moment, Harry though he saw a flash of blue around a corner but it was quickly gone. He wondered if John had also seen it because he paused for a moment, a strange look on his face. But soon they were on their way again.
No sooner had Harry thought perhaps this would be easier than expected, things started going wrong. Harry acted quickly, pulling John into a room as they heard voices approach.
"Why did you do that?" John hissed. "I could've taken them."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I'm sure. And in the process you would probably alert everyone else." And Harry thought he jumped into things.
"You're right," John sighed, listening closely at the door. "The X-Men can handle them. Let's just get you out." He made to open the door but Harry stopped him.
"The X-Men are coming?" he asked sharply.
John raised his eyebrows. "Of course. Do you really think I'd betray Magneto and leave him free to chase after me? I'm not suicidal."
"But then, we're running away from the fight," Harry said incredulously.
"No," John said slowly. "Well maybe literally. We're just letting those who care duke it out. Let them fight."
"But I care," Harry insisted.
John rolled his eyes. "It's not your fight."
"It is my fight," Harry argued back. "Magneto is starting a war. It's wrong. And he's manipulating people to do it. Including you." Harry's voice had gotten a little louder so John shushed him. "Don't you want to finally fight the right fight?" Harry whispered, watching him carefully.
But John looked frustrated. "I don't know, okay? I don't know what's right, what's wrong. What I want beyond you safe. So my choice is you. Not Brotherhood, not the X-Men."
Harry stared for a moment. "But the fight."
John grabbed both of his arms. "Harry, you're not a soldier anymore. You got what you wanted: me out. So let's get out of here, together."
Harry wanted to argue but John was begging him. He had only gotten involved for John. Sure he knew it was right to fight with the X-Men, that a year ago he wouldn't have thought to let a friend like Bobby fight without him. But John was right. They could just go. Be gone.
"Alright," Harry agreed and John pulled him into a quick kiss. As he pulled away, a grin spread across his face. Harry let John lead him back out and down the hall. But Harry knew plans always went to shit. It was at that moment that the X-Men arrived. They couldn't see them, but the noise and commotion was undeniable. And it was coming from ahead of them.
"Shit," John snapped. He looked down another hall. "Come on. This way." And then he was dragging Harry swiftly in another direction.
"There he is!" A shout came from behind them and the building began to tremble. John grabbed Harry as he whirled around, pushing him behind him and shooting flame out from his igniters in one smooth move. He heard the sound of curses and doors slamming shut before he was being dragged again down the hallway again.
It bought them some time, but the Brotherhood was still coming for them. The trembling started again as they whirled around the corner. They slid to a stop as they saw two figures coming at them. Two familiar ones.
"Fuck," John muttered. He started pulling Harry the other way. "Come on, Harry."
"But it's the X-Men," Harry muttered. Sure enough, Cyclops and Wolverine's eyes narrowed in recognition. Harry tugged half-heartedly towards them, hoping John would change his mind but knowing he wouldn't. So Harry made a choice. He followed John.
They ran, well past the noise of X-Men vs. Brotherhood. Through hall after hall. Harry couldn't help but be impressed with the maze-like quality of the Brotherhood headquarters. At least John knew where he was going. Harry was just thinking that maybe they were going to get out of there when John let out a curse.
Harry's arm was tugged out of John's grasp as something snapped and came flying off of John's wrists. It took Harry a moment to realize they were John's igniters. But John didn't hesitate; he moved very quickly for his lighter, almost getting it open before the lighter was forced violently out of his grasp, almost taking John with him with as firmly as John was holding onto it. Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to light it before it was wrenched from his grip.
Harry tried to dive for it but it quickly moved out of his reach too. Magneto rounded the corner, a smirk on his face as the igniters and lighter disassembled in the air around him. "Such a shame you cannot create fire," Magneto commented lightly.
"Fuck you," John spit out, eyes darting around frantically. But Harry only had eyes for Magneto. Harry didn't have a weapon but it wasn't his first time in battle. You never took your eye off the enemy. You never knew when your only chance would appear.
"Language," Magneto responded. He eyed the two of them. "It is bad enough you chose your boyfriend over us, John. But to call in the X-Men?" Magneto's tone quickly changed. "I do not appreciate being betrayed."
"I figured it would be a good distraction," John told him. He shifted, trying to pull Harry back towards him but Harry shook him off. They were both weaponless now. Harry wasn't letting him push him in the back again.
"Not good enough," Magneto informed him. "What do I care about the X-Men when I have a traitor to take care of?" There was a groaning noise before Harry heard John scream out behind him. He whirled around to find some sort of metal objects wrapping around John's arms, legs, and neck, pulling him against the wall. They were so misshapen that Harry couldn't tell what they once were. "And I intend to take care of him," Magneto continued as he wrapped the metal around John tighter.
Harry didn't think. He only heard John's screams. But his first instinct wasn't to run to John. He knew he could do nothing about that metal without a wand. So he did the only thing that came to mind. "Accio wand!" he shouted reaching his arm out in Magneto's direction.
There was no hesitation; the wand flew out of Magneto's jacket and into Harry's waiting hand. Harry took momentary pleasure in Magneto's shocked expression.
"Maybe you shouldn't have underestimated me," Harry told him with a grin. However, taking the moment to gloat gave Magneto time to recover. As he let out his first curse, Magneto ripped a metal door off its hinges, placing it in front of him as a shield.
Harry rolled his eyes. "Evanesco," he vanished Magneto's shield and before Magneto could react, Harry cast another spell. "Stupefy."
In his old age, Magneto had no hope to dodge the spell and as the spell hit, Harry found himself looking at a stupefied Magneto. Just for good measure, he went over to check on him. Kneeling in front of him, Harry could tell he was indeed out for the count. "You're no match for a wizard," Harry informed him lightly before turning back to John who was staring at him with wide eyes, his metal entrapments lying still on the floor in front of him. "What?"
"That shouldn't have been that easy," John said, voice a little choked due to the pressure the metal must have placed on his throat.
Harry shrugged. "Once I got my wand it wasn't a problem."
"I thought you couldn't do magic without your wand," John said, heading over to him. Harry checked him over, but the damage seemed minimal.
"So did I," Harry agreed but he wasn't very bothered. Most of his accomplishments had always been in the heat of the moment. He would dwell on it later. "Can we help the X-Men now?"
John hesitated. "I don't have a weapon."
"I'll light a fire."
"You can do that?" John sounded impressed despite himself.
"Of course," Harry said with a small smile. But that didn't seem to encourage John. He still hesitated.
"If I go back, they'll put me in jail. Probably cure me," John voiced. In that moment, he looked the most vulnerable Harry had ever seen him. Being cured would probably break him.
Harry pulled him closer to him. He looked him straight in the eyes. "I would never let that happen. Bobby would never let that happen."
"Bobby can't do shit," John shook his head. "Hell, the X-Men can't do a damn thing if the government decides they want me eliminated."
"So we run," Harry promised. "But right now, we have to do the right thing."
John hesitated for a moment. "I've never been good at that."
"Doesn't mean you can't." Harry didn't wait. He cast a quick incendio. John didn't hesitate, pulling the fire to him. "Let me know if that goes out."
John rolled his eyes, gaining back some bravado. "Like I would let them happen."
In the end, once Harry and John joined the X-Men, the battle was quickly won. Many of the Brotherhood were surprised to find John fighting against them. Others didn't know how to battle against Harry. Unlike most of them, he was not limited to a single trick. Once the fighting was done, things got awkward for a while. The X-Men eyed Harry and John, unsure of how to approach. John glared back, but his posture wasn't as confident as he probably would have liked.
Unsurprisingly, it was Bobby who broke the standstill. He pulled John into a tight hug which John only half-heartedly struggled against at first. At least until it lasted a second too long. "Get off me, Iceman," John grunted, elbowing him.
Bobby pulled back, a grin spread across his face, but he didn't say anything. Instead he pulled Harry into a slightly less intense hug. "What were you thinking going in alone?" he asked as he pulled away.
Harry raised his eyebrows. "Um, I didn't. They kidnapped me."
"Huh," Bobby commented. "Well, that's one way to find their headquarters."
Wolvernine, meanwhile, spoke up from the back. "I thought you two were going to ditch us."
John looked at him. "Harry talked me out of it."
"Somehow I'm not surprised," Wolverine grunted.
"The important thing is that you came back to help," Bobby said, but it seemed more like he was addressing the rest of the X-Men.
Scott stepped up. "We can talk about all of this at the mansion. For now, we need to call the cops. Alert them that this base has been taken out. Let them arrest the Brotherhood. We'll start the hunt for Magneto tomorrow."
"Oh, Harry already took him out," John told him. "In like two seconds flat."
The X-Men exchanged glances. "Did you lock him up some place?" Storm asked very quickly.
"Uh, no need. Unless someone dragged him away, he's still there," Harry informed them. "It would take a wizard to reverse that spell."
John stared across at Xavier, feeling like a student again. Xavier was expecting him to talk. John knew that. But he wasn't going to. In the last few days, he betrayed the Brotherhood, reported everything he knew about their accounts and bases, and named every member he knew. He wasn't very good with names so in the latter part he wasn't of much help.
Nonetheless, because of him, the key members of the Brotherhood were in jail and those that weren't lacked Brotherhood money or a place to go. With Magneto imprisoned again, it was likely they would disperse. The only thing the X-Men worried about was that Mystique had escaped. Somehow though, John didn't think she would help Magneto escape again. She was more likely to start her own group but he had realized, he didn't even know what her goals would be now on their own. But he owed her. She had spotted Harry and he escaping in the hall and just let them go.
However, no matter what he did, the government wasn't negotiating. John knew this would happen. Bobby and Xavier had gone to bat for him. They tried to convince the feds that John was an enemy soldier who had surrendered, not a terrorist. That he should be given special treatment for playing a vital role in taking out the Brotherhood. That he was underage when he joined to begin with. But the government wasn't biting and John wasn't surprised. What would it look like to the public if they let him go?
But the X-Men, the good-willed fools that they were, refused to turn him over. No matter the consequences. John figured Xavier would eventually fold. He had his students to think of, after all. But he knew Bobby at least would stick by him. John wasn't angry with Bobby anymore. He had come to terms with what happened in the last few years. But it was still awkward. Bobby treated him like nothing changed, but everything had. Even if the government was up for a deal, John didn't belong here. He wasn't a kid and he certainly wasn't an X-Man.
"You know there are things boiling up overseas in the wizarding world," Xavier commented. "They are close to civil war."
John stared. "That sounds like something you should tell Harry."
"I did," Xavier said kindly. "And if he somehow helped you escape your house arrest here and you disappeared into the wind, what could the government say? Where would they even begin to look?"
John couldn't help but grin. Xavier really was a piece of work. Not knowing what to say, John only nodded his thanks.
"You know St. John," Xavier said, stopping John from leaving. "It wasn't because we didn't care that we didn't come after you." John didn't look at him, only staring out the window, biting down his words. "But I believe in free will. Your fate was always up to you."
John finally looked at him. "It would have been nice to know my options."
"I should have known you well enough to know that you didn't," Xavier admitted. "No matter what the government thinks, you were just a child."
John snorted. "I haven't been a child in a long time."
Xavier smiled. "Maybe not in many ways. But in some ways? Tell me you don't still see the innocence in Harry. Not yet nineteen and he has seen so much. But he is still so young. You have that, too."
"He's better than me," John stated looking down.
"As I said, I believe in free will. Who you are is up to you. Not me, not Magneto, not the United States government. Certainly not your father. You can choose to be good enough for him."
John paused. He sent Xavier a small smile. "Harry can't be all that good. He broke into a freakin' bank."
Xavier nodded, face growing solemn. "And he killed his uncle."
John froze. "I—"
Xavier sent him a look. "Harry knows what he did. Like I said he has seen so much. I'm afraid he has much more to see before long. He doesn't need someone to kill for him. He needs someone that can get him through the things he has to do." Xavier shook his head. "Harry knows he has to return to the wizarding world. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't. But perhaps it can be your job to help him live with himself for the things he has to do once he does return."
"I think I can be that person." With one final nod, John left Xavier.
He spent the night with Bobby, playing random card games and eating cartons of ice cream. For a moment, it did feel like it used to. Maybe better because John didn't get that weird feeling when Bobby smiled at him just right. At some point, Bobby stopped in the middle of a joke, the wide grin falling from his face. "I can visit, right?"
John rolled his eyes at the comment. "I think Harry would be pissed if you didn't." He thought for a moment. "But you can only visit if you play dumb for the feds. We don't need you in jail for harboring a fugitive."
"Is it harboring a fugitive if you're the one visiting them?" Bobby asked through a mouthful of ice cream.
John rolled his eyes again. "Tomorrow this conversation never happened." Sure enough, the next day when John was across the ocean, Bobby would tell the feds he had no idea what happened and no idea where Pyro could be.
Harry grabbed John's hand. John glanced at him, raising an eyebrow. "I didn't know we held hands," he commented.
Harry elbowed him. "Be supportive." But clearly John was only trying to lighten the mood because he squeezed Harry's hand encouragingly. "Well, here goes nothing."
Harry eyed the exterior of Grimmuald Place once more time before dragging John in with him. John took in his surroundings, wrinkling his nose at the troll leg umbrella stand. Harry shushed him when he opened his mouth to speak as they were not quite past the portrait of Sirius' mother. They rounded the corner together and into the drawing room.
Clearly, Harry was out of practice because he was soon sprawled on the floor with an armful of Hermione. John looked surprised, quickly putting out his flame as Hermione kissed Harry's cheek. "I missed you so much," she breathed.
"I missed you too Hermione," Harry told her, helping her to her feet. Harry's eyes landed on Ron who was standing off to the side.
"Alright, mate?" Ron asked somewhat hesitantly.
"How about we agree right now that our last conversation never happened," Harry offered.
Ron sighed. "Agreed. You're here now, that's what matters." Ron and Harry fumbled for a moment, trying to figure out how to greet each other.
"Boys," Hermione rolled her eyes, turning to John. "You must be John."
"Yeah, that's me," John agreed, eying her like he thought it was a possibility she might attack him too. But Hermione only nodded. It was clear neither she nor Ron knew what to do about him. Harry figured they'd learn. John wasn't going anywhere.
Harry grabbed John by the hand, leading him over to the couch. Perhaps they sat a little closer than they had to, but Harry didn't care. He needed John now. And Harry was pretty sure John needed him. Harry had an identity to return to and John had one he needed to discover.
"So," Harry breathed. "Tell me what's happening in the wizarding world."