Title: A Different Kind of Friendship (1/16)
Author: loonie_lupin (ff. net)/nilitara (livejournal)
Fandom: HP, CSI :NY
Characters/pairing : Harry Potter, Adam Ross (friendship only)
Summary: Harry meets someone in a bar and finds out it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Prompt: 060. Drink.
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of their respective creator. I own nothing.
Once the war had been over, Harry had decided not to stay in England anymore. His friends had been put out, to say the least, having thought they would all stay together but, in the end, they had respected his decision. They knew, of course, that Harry would never have been able to live a normal life, his only dream, if he stayed in the United Kingdom. His fame, which had bothered him since the moment he had entered the wizarding world, had skyrocketed after the final battle against Voldemort. It was to be expected, really, but he couldn't even go grocery shopping anymore without being almost mauled by the crowd and he just couldn't stand it anymore.
Ginny had been disappointed, when he had told her his decision, that they would not get to live the picket-fences life she had planned for them before, but she had been also mature enough to realize they had both changed a lot during the year they had been apart and that their relationship had never taken off the way it should have once they had been reunited. In the end, it had been a nice dream, one they would always cherish, but nothing more than a dream. They had parted on good terms, though, and there was no bad blood between them.
Harry had decided on the United States, mostly because of the language. Plus, it should not only be far enough from England, but also untouched by Voldemort, that his fame shouldn't have reached out there. Besides, he had always dreamt of visiting New York, ever since he was a kid. His relatives had talked about it, from time to time, but never got the chance to, because of money. However, hearing them talk about it had given Harry dreams of traveling there.
So he had brought a one-way ticket to JFK airport, jumped in the plane and had begun a new life in the Big Apple, as it was affectionately called. He had opted to stay in the muggle world. Not only did he miss a world where the technological level was up past the Middle-Ages, but also he was certain not to be recognized. It was nice and New York was a very dynamic city, a city that never slept, quite a bit like Harry actually.
He was renting an apartment for the time being. He knew he had more than enough money in his bank account (and wasn't he glad the goblins had decided to forgive the break-in) to buy a flat or even a house but, for the moment, he hadn't decided with finality whether he wanted to stay there or not so he was taking the time to think about it. He wasn't working either but, for that, he would have more than enough time. First, he needed to find his marks.
Right now, he was sitting in a bar, listing to modern music, which he had to admit he appreciated far better than the Sisters, and watching people come and go. It was a hobby of his, one in which he indulged quite frequently. He was only drinking club soda, never mind the fact he could have used his magical ID to buy alcohol. He had never really liked drinking and it seemed pretty stupid to break the law if he couldn't even enjoy it.
Something suddenly caught his eyes or, most pointedly, someone. Someone was watching him with a look indicating recognition in his eyes. Harry found it strange. It was the very first time it had happened since he had entered the country. Normally, he would have felt uneasy, or even annoyed, but the man didn't seem incline to make a move. There was no sign he was going to try and talk to him. He just seemed to throw him some look quickly, as if he was trying not to stare but too curious for his own good.
Harry hesitated for a second. He knew that the smart things to do would have been getting out of there and never look back, especially since the whole point of leaving England had been not to be considered a celebrity by the outside world anymore but, on the other hand, he was quite curious himself. How could someone, a muggle at that, from halfway around the world, know who he was? It was a mystery and, as anyone who actually knew him could confirm, Harry had never been capable of letting a mystery go unanswered.
He took his drink in hand and got up, walking straight to the man whose eyes seemed to widen comically in fear as he watched Harry closing in on him. Harry smiled, trying to reassure him, telling him silently he wasn't going to attack or anything like this. It wasn't his usual style but, apparently, the man was very uncomfortable with being caught staring.
"Hello," Harry began pleasantly. "I couldn't help noticing you staring at me. Do you know me?"
It was a direct approach and most of his friends, Hermione in particular, would groan at this point, annoyed by his lack of subtlety, but Harry tended to prefer doing things that way. It may lack subtlety, yes, but at least you didn't spend hours in pointless chatter before getting to the point.
The man stammered for a bit, before finding his voice.
"Yes, I mean no. I mean, I know who you are but I don't really know you, only what is said about you and most of it is probably wrong anyway but I thought I recognized and it just seemed strange for you to be there and…. Sorry for staring?" he finished, almost asking Harry and the young wizard had to smile.
Someone was nervous apparently but Harry got the impression, especially after seeing the man's almost exasperated with himself look, that it didn't have a lot to do with Harry but mostly was him being himself.
"Well, I'm Harry Potter, which you seem to know already, and you are?"
He sat down in front of the man, not asking permission, and looked expectantly. His interlocutor seemed dumbfounded for a minute, either by his forwardness or his interest, and then he realized he had been asked a question.
"Adam, Adam Ross," he informed. "You're not mad that I…"
Harry shook his head good-naturedly. Strangely enough, he wasn't.
"I'm used to it," he shrugged – wasn't that the truth? – and he decided against telling the man that it was the reason he had left England in the first place. "But I must admit I'm surprised to be recognized there, especially when you don't seem to be a…"
He let his sentence go unfinished, knowing he wasn't supposed to say the word when there was a chance the person in front of him didn't know about magic. Adam's recognition of him made him almost certain he was aware but he didn't want to take the risk. Adam seemed to understand, though.
"I'm not," he quickly said. "I had a friend who was when I was a kid. He wasn't supposed to tell me but I saw a few things and he did and he had a lot of story about you. I think they began to appear when I was almost ten and…"
Harry nodded. It made sense. He had been told about the children books written about him and the fact they were very enjoyable for kids around that age.
"Well, you were right when you said most of them weren't true," Harry said because, quite frankly, the only things that was remotely factual was what was written about October 31th and it was mostly speculation on what could have happened inside the house; the rest was pure invention from business men who wanted to take advantage of his popularity to commercialize their products.
"It's fine. So tell me, what do you do when you're not reading children books?"
Adam was all set for defending himself, telling Harry it had been a long time ago, when he saw Harry's mischievous smile.
"Ah…. You're joking. Funny."
It seemed he was used to be considered as a joke and Harry felt a pang of sympathy. He had to admit, it hadn't been very nice of him and Adam looked kind of a loner, a lot like Harry used to be, before Hogwarts.
"Well, about the book part anyway. I'm really interested in knowing what you do."
And he was. Since coming to the States, he had been all alone and Adam was the first person he had talked to for more than a few phrases here and there, the bare necessities. He appeared to be quite nice and he already knew the existence of the magical world without being a part of it; all in all, it would be nice to have him as a friend.
Adam looked at him quizzically, probably trying to decide whether or not Harry was putting a joke on him and Harry tried to show his sincerity.
"Tell you what," Harry tried to encourage. "Lose the hero image you have of me and I'm sure we could have fun together."
He meant it too. Adam seemed a good person and maybe, just maybe, he had finally found a reason to make his stay in New York permanent. After all, what better motivation then a friend?