Title: Halo
Author : Nilitara (livejournal)/loonie_lupin (ff. net)
Fandom : Criminal Minds : Suspect Bahavior/Harry Potter
Characters/Pairing : Mick Rawson, Harry Potter (very light slash – nothing graphic – at the end)
Spoiler : After Deathly Hallows (minus epilogue) and pre-series.
Rating : FRT
Summary : After the war, Harry's not himself. Thankfully, he finds his saving grace in the middle of another warzone.
Disclaimer : The characters and settings are not mine but the property of their creators. The song "Halo" is property of Beyonce.

Note: Not sure where the idea came from but I was listening to the song and the fanfic practically wrote itself. It strange but, who knows, maybe if inspiration strikes I'll make it a whole fanfic. For now, it's just a one-shot.

HALO

Once the war was over, Harry knew that he had to leave England for a while. There was nothing more for him there, except desolation and nightmarish memories. Yes, he still had his friends, but they had their own family to think about and, no matter how much he loved them, he knew he didn't really belong anymore. Of course, he would stay in touch – they had gone through way too much together for them to go their separate way completely – but it would be a long distance kind of relationship with the occasional visit. Ron and Hermione may not really understand his need to go away but they accepted it and it was all that mattered. He really couldn't have wished for better friends.

Harry knew himself enough to realize there was no way he would be able to stand staying idle and, really, there was only one thing he knew he was good at – fighting the good fight. Kingsley helped him out on this, getting him all the necessary credentials he needed to work in the field, for the special division of the MI6. It was the division made of magical users and, while most of them stayed in the magical worlds, those who knew enough were also sent in the non-magical one. They were the best of the best and, sometimes, Harry couldn't help thinking he had cheated his way in. still, he knew he was capable of doing a good job so he just accepted it.

It was a lifestyle that suited him just fine. He was doing what he was good at, fighting enemies, helping people along the way and it permitted him to travel as far from England as possible. One would have thought that after ending Voldemort's reign of terror, a warzone was the last place he wanted to be in but, to be perfectly truthful, it was where Harry was the most at ease. It was a place where he knew how to act. He knew what was expected of him and that was more than he could say about anywhere else.

He didn't let himself get close to people, though. No matter how many people he met, no matter how many teammates he had, he never let them in. He moved too much, trying not to get attached when he knew the ravage it would do to his heart once they were killed, because that was the risk when you were in a warzone. He knew it wasn't healthy, knew that all of his friends were worried about his detachment, about all those walls he had erected around himself, keeping other at bay to stop himself from being hurt once again. It was so much easier that way.

Until the day it wasn't…

Remember those walls I built

Well, baby they're tumbling down

And they didn't even put up a fight

They didn't even make up a sound

I found a way to let you in

But I never really had a doubt

Standing in the light of your halo

I got my angel now

The very last thing he had excepted when he had gone to Fallujah was to meet someone in anything more than a professional capacity. There had been soldiers from the US and British Special Force on site and, if Harry was honest with himself, it had begun as any other mission before this one.

Harry was young – twenty-three – but he had been doing that kind of jobs for long enough that he knew exactly how it worked. They would all work together for a little while but then, little by little, people would either be sent back because of injuries or disappear, dead or alive. Some would be deployed elsewhere, other would never recover. There was nothing knew there.

Until him.

Mick Rawson had saved his life, in more way than one. Of course, the day of their first meeting was when he had done it quite literally. Harry had been in an ambush and had thought his last hour finally arrived.

At the time, he had been glad to feel the prickle of fear in his heart and not the quiet resignation that had been invading his whole being years ago, when he had taken his long walk into the Forest. Still, even as he had accepted he was going to die, he was still hoping he would be the only one, doing his damn best to provide cover to those with him, who still had a chance to get out. His saving people things, as Hermione had once called it, was still present even in the face of death.

He had been taken by surprise when shots, friendly shots apparently, were fired, disposing of his enemy and he had automatically, more because of reflexes than anything else, gone to take cover with the others. The shots were coming from a long distance and Harry's mind registered that it was a sniper that had saved his ass. It had been a relief to be out of immediate danger and, once his unit had made it back to the camp, he had made sure to find out exactly who had been said sniper.

It didn't take very long for Harry to be directed to Mick. The man, who had been roughly the same age as he, had waved his thanks aside, saying that he was only doing his job and that Harry himself had been acting nobly, trying to save the rest of the team at his own risk. Still, it was only polite to say thank you when someone saved your skin and, finally, Mick had accepted his gratitude.

And in that moment, Harry knew that everything was going to change because Mick gave him a smile, a sincere smile and he knew there was no way he was going to forget it or the way the sniper's eyes shone when he did.

It's like I've been awakened

Every rule I had you breakin'

It's the risk that I'm takin'

I ain't never gonna shut you out

Mick and Harry were staying at the same camp, as Harry had gathered when he had met the man and, no matter the wizard's resolution not to get attached to anyone, he found himself gravitating towards Mick. What could he say? He had been ensnared as surely as if he had drunk a dose of Amortentia. Oh, there was no romantic feeling, not at this point in time anyway, but Mick's personality was magnetizing and the sniper seemed to be looking for Harry's company as much as he was. Maybe there was so much resemblance between them, like the loss of their parents when they were young, that they naturally fit in together.

Between the two of them, the conversation flowed easily. At first, the subjects they discussed were not personal. They talked about their respective jobs, the assignments they had been given before – as long as they were authorized to talk about it, what they had done but, slowly, the exchanges steered towards more private matters.

Mick told him a lot about Jenna, his little sister, the only constant in his life at this point. He told him how he had taken care of her since their parents' deaths and Harry talked about his friends still in England, but mostly about Teddy. He told him about Remus making him Teddy's godfather when he was only seventeen and how he tried to be there for him as much as he could when he wasn't on an assignment. They talked about Mick's parents and Sirius, how their deaths had let a void in their lives and Harry told Mick about the very first time he had killed someone, when he was only eleven. There were whispered confessions by the campfire and admission of their hopes for the future, a future they both had difficulty to imagine now that they were stuck on what could be considered hell on Earth.

Yet, as time went by and fights went on, Harry found himself letting someone new in for the first time in years and he didn't even try to fight it. There was something about Mick that talked to his soul and told him he had no chance of avoiding it. Quite frankly, he didn't want to. For the first time since Voldemort's demise, more than five years ago, Harry decided it to let himself create a bound with another human being.

Everywhere I'm looking now

I'm surrounded by your embrace

Baby I can see your halo

You know you're my saving grace

You're everything I need and more

It's written all over your face

Baby I can feel your halo

Pray it won't fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo

Little by little, Harry felt that he was slowly changing to get back to who he once was: not a solider anymore but Harry, just Harry. Since Voldemort had regained power, he had forgotten who he was, becoming the beacon of light everyone expected him to be, but Mick was making him come back to himself. Harry was certain Mick wasn't even aware of what he was going and it made it all the more important to the wizard because it wasn't deliberate, because it wasn't Mick trying to get Harry to open up as his friends had been doing all along, it was just Mick being Mick.

It was only afterwards that Harry really noticed the impact Mick had had on his life. Once he was back in England, away from all the excitement of the war and on one of his numerous visits to his beloved godson, Andromeda took him aside to talk to him. She was wearing the biggest smile he could ever remember seeing on her face and, once she told him the reason of her joy, he realized.

She told him that she was finally getting to know the young man she had always wished to meet and not the soldier destroyed by the war that had taken her daughter and husband away from her. Andromeda had never met Harry before it was too late for him to be innocent but she had been hoping for years that she would once get to know the young man her daughter had described her after their first meeting, before he had lost Sirius, Dumbledore and so many others. Now, he was finally standing in front of her and Harry realized how right she was; the man who had come back from Iraq was very different from the one who had gone and, contrary to most people, it was in a very good way.

And when Andromeda, her curious nature taking over, asked what had happened to make that miracle possible, there was only one name Harry could give: Mick.

Hit me like a ray of sun

Burning through my darkest night

You're the only one that I want

Think I'm addicted to your light

It didn't take Harry long before contacting Mick again. He had known the man was also staying in the United Kingdom for a while. Since he couldn't go back immediately, they were required to stay on the continent for a bit of rest first, Harry knew Mick had wanted to see Jenna so he was going to be around there. They had exchanged numbers so they could talk to each other and they had both planned on doing so at one point. Harry had never thought it would be so soon.

It had only been a few days and yet he could already admit he missed Mick. It was strange; it had been so very long since the last time he had needed someone the way he seemed to need Mick. He had always been mostly alone, even when surrounded by his friends, and it had never really bothered him.

Mick had changed this. Unlike Ron and Hermione, Mick knew what it was it meant to have to grow up too soon, without parents acting as a safety net for you, helping you out. He knew what it meant to have to be an adult way before you should have to be, because there was no one else ready to take on that role for you. He understood Harry in a way that no one ever did before and Harry was slowly becoming addicted to Mick's presence.

He liked to think that his being there was helping Mick as much but that was a question that only the sniper could answer.

It seemed that Harry wasn't the only one who missed his friend if the enthusiastic answer to his phone call was anything to go by. Mick didn't waste time before asking Harry to come over for a visit. They had been given their next assignment and, by chance, they begun at the same time.

Harry got to meet Jenna and he had to admit he quite liked her. She was quirky and reminded him a lot of her brother, except a lot softer, her innocence shining through. Mick had always done his best to protect her after their parents' death and it showed. He, himself, had become colder to preserve her from having to close herself too. So unlike Harry and Mick, she had had someone to look out for her and meeting her, Harry remembered why most of them did what they did, to protect people like her.

He had taken Teddy with him, wanting for Mick to meet him. The sniper was unsurprisingly good with the child but Jenna literally adored him and Teddy himself was quite taken with her. Jenna seemed content not to be the youngest one anymore and had immediately taken on the role of a big sister with him.

Most of the visit had been spent with Jenna playing with Teddy while both Harry and Mick watched over. They didn't have to talk about what they felt looking at the scene, it was displayed on both their faces and their feelings were so alike that it seemed to be redundant to speak about them out loud.

This little parenthesis also gave them time to be together without having to worry about whether or not they would get shot at or bombarded. It was strange to be at the same place without being on their guard but their friendship, which had come so easily under pressure, remained the same in this time of quiet and their bond found itself only strengthened by it.

I swore I'd never fall again

But this don't even feel like falling

Gravity can't forget

To pull me back to the ground again

Harry remembered Hermione once accusing Ron of having the emotional range of a teaspoon and, at that time, Harry had felt that he, himself, was about the same. He could not understand what he was feeling, what Cho had been feeling. It all had seemed alien to him, all these emotions he had never felt before that had suddenly appeared. He hadn't known at the time whether it had been love, attraction or something else. Things had changed since then.

It didn't take Harry very long to grasp this friendship, so easy to fall into, had slowly morphed into love without him realizing it.

He had been completely unprepared for that insight. He hadn't been in love for so very long, not since Ginny. In the aftermath of their relationship, he had never thought he would fall into another one again. Ginny and he had hurt each other so badly. It hadn't been voluntary on either of their part and he knew that neither she nor he were to blame, only the circumstances. Ginny knew that too and it had been a blameless break-up. They had never been mad at each other, never tried to avoid each other afterwards, but they both knew their heart would never be the same again.

To fall for Mick had been clearly unexpected, yes, but what he was feeling for the sniper was so different from what he once felt for Ginny. He didn't feel like he was losing grip. On the contrary, it was as if he had never been more attuned to reality than at the moment. It was as if awakening from a long sleep and being aware for the first time in an eternity. He was anchored to reality now and it was his love for Mick that made it so.

To love someone who knew him so deeply, so intimately, was an absolute novelty for him. He had always held back from Ginny, always kept a part of himself hidden. She had never been able to see into his soul as easily as Mick could. Yes, Mick ignored that he was a wizard, but he knew Harry, knew his heart, his soul, better than anyone else ever did and it was what mattered. The rest was irrelevant. Him being a wizard didn't change who he was.

For now, however, Harry resigned himself not to tell Mick about this. He had no idea whether or not Mick felt the same way. The sniper had never given him any indication that there may be feelings running deeper than friendship in his part and, at the moment, Harry didn't want to risk losing the one relationship that had been his saving grace, the one relationship that had helped him resurface when he was slowly drowning from the pressure of being Harry Potter. There would come a time where he would confess, but it wasn't the present moment and, for now, he went on enjoying his time with his best friend and Mick went on smiling, eyes shining, not knowing that he had captured Harry's heart.

Feels like I've been awakened

Every rule I had you breakin'

The risk that I'm takin'

I'm never gonna shut you out

As soldiers, they knew they would not be able to stay on the same assignments forever. The fact that their respective missions had let them be close to each other for so long was nothing short of a miracle already. However, all good things had an end and their luck couldn't last. It had come to an end now.

It had been hard saying goodbye, not knowing when they would be able to see each other again or even if it was going to happen at all. There was, after all, a risk one or both of them would die on a mission. It hurt to think about it but they knew it was always a possibility in their line of work and they had no control on it.

Once they got their separate orders, they had no other choice than obey. They had both pretended to be fine with it, pretended that they were just saying goodbye for a short while and would see each other again soon enough but, in their eyes, it was easy to see the doubt and Harry could almost feel his heart breaking, the moment so alike the one he had said goodbye to Ginny before going away for his one-year long trip before the final battle. He only prayed the story wouldn't end the same way, even if he knew in his heart that Mick was different from Ginny, that he understood so much better than her.

So Harry let Mick go and disappeared from his life, knowing it would probably be a long time before they reunited. He wasn't wrong as he was sent from place to place, were his magical abilities were required, ensuring that Mick would never know where he was as the magical world didn't communicate that kind of information to their non-magical counterpart.

Harry knew it would be easier to close his heart off once again but found himself unwilling to do so. He couldn't do it, not if he wanted a chance to continue his relationship with Mick, life permitting, if they crossed path once again.

It was time for Harry to forget completely about being the Boy-who-Lived and go on being just Harry, no matter the circumstances, no matter the heartbreak.

Everywhere I'm looking now

I'm surrounded by your embrace

Baby I can see your halo

You know you're my saving grace

You're everything I need and more

It's written all over your face

Baby I can feel your halo

Pray it won't fade away

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo

It happened years later. Years during which he had to think of Mick from afar, unable to see him, not knowing whether or not he was alive, wonder if he was still fighting the war or if things had changed since their last meeting. It was hell in a way but, in another, there was always the spark of hope, burning in his chest, every time his thoughts turn to the sniper and it was the sweetest things, this feeling of hope that, one day, they would be reunited and, maybe, just maybe, he would be able to say what he should have said when he still had the time, even at the risk of losing this friendship. At least, he would have known whether or not he had a chance.

But there he was now, face to face with Mick once again, not in the Middle-East but in the United State of America. He had been contacted to work on a case, in joint force with the FBI – more precisely the Behavioral Analysis Unit – and he had had the shock of his life when he found himself staring in very familiar brown eyes, a shock reflected on his friend's face.

Mick's colleagues had immediately realized that they knew each other but, when asked, they only gave vague answers about the war and how they had fought together for a while. Yet, it was so easy to work in tandem again. They were in synch, as if they had never said goodbye, and the case was thankfully solved very quickly.

Mick had declined his colleagues' offer of a night out in favor of catching up with Harry. They had talked for hours on end in the hotel room Harry was renting and Harry knew that he would be absolutely unable to part way again without being honest so, when Mick asked whether he had someone in his life – a question asked jokingly because he was aware of Harry's past relationships – Harry's answer hadn't been what he had expected.

"It depends," he said lightly and Mick just frowned, not understanding.

"Depends on what?"

"On you," Harry murmured and, without giving Mick the time to catch up with his thoughts, he put his lips on the sniper's.

There was a brief moment where time stood still and the Mick answered the kiss, his lips parting to give Harry entrance and Harry had the answer to the question Mick had asked. Yes, he did have someone in his life: his very own guardian angel.

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo

I can feel your halo halo halo

I can see your halo halo halo