So, i've started school. That means that i'll be updating less regularly, although I will try to make at LEAST one chapter per month.
To the guest Ryan Pratt:
Sorry I couldn't really reply to your review - doesnt allow links in their messages so I couldn't really email you hahaha. If you really wanted to, you can email me at my username hotmail :) Anyway, to your review; it does indeed make sense, although I've already decided on his patronus unfortunately :B I'm happy you're liking the story so far and I hope you continue to support it!
Also, this chapter is NOT BETA'd. Actually, none of the chapters are. But i usually give them a thorough read-through once to fix some simple mistakes but I didn't do it for this chapter since I was already running late and if I had to read through it too it would take a couple more days as I've already begun receiving assignments for school.
Thus! I hope you excuse any blaring mistakes and enjoy ~
Regardless of the new turn of events, all of the adults continued with life as normal. Harry had moved on to implementing moving-target practice with the Defence classes for the benefit of more fatal attacks that he didn't want the students performing on their friends.
In the safety of the Danger Room, he'd conjure various humanoid targets much like those the DA had used in their fifth year. In a way, the dummies could be for his own benefit as well. Often between lessons when he couldn't be bothered to make his way to the forest, he'd conjure up quite a number for himself to practice on. Although they couldn't effectively attack him back, the number and their nimbleness were enough to keep him busy.
When they could, Harry had still managed to keep up his and Kurt's sparring at times. It was most helpful considering Kurt was quite a formidable opponent in his own right. Aside from that, the more familiar sparring he had were the few against Kathy or Emi. It was familiar because they were both witches and thus each knew just about everything the other could dish out.
He hadn't forgotten about Rogue's offer either. Even though at first it seemed like merely a polite thing to do, after a little thought, Harry had thought that the main thing he'd have to focus on when going against Rogue was fighting in a weakened state. He was admittedly rather curious about it, but not going to risk it for now because they still didn't know what would happen if Rogue were to absorb Harry's magical abilities.
On the note of Magneto's movements, the Professor had informed all of them that he'd gotten in contact with Agent Coulson who had agreed to help and would be letting them know about what SHIELD had on Magneto's movements as Harry had requested. Coulson had, unfortunately, needed to report the situation to his superior – Director Fury – who'd apparently sworn colourfully before nodding for Coulson to get right onto it. Xavier had said that Coulson mentioned the probability of them meeting up to discuss the matter at a later date.
Hank was stuck at the moment because the President was apparently busy with other matters and had said he would try his best to do what he could. But for now, they were 'on hold' in that regard.
As promised, both Emi and Kath had immediately dialled up their contacts for 'all information about a certain 'squib' named Raven Darkholme and her movements in the last twenty years'. After acquiring both the pseudonyms and human names of those in Magneto's 'Brotherhood', the girls had also sent for their people to run background checks on them – both magical and muggle.
The next day, the girls had had to say their goodbyes and return home, to his dismay. There was a touching farewell between them just outside the doors of the Mansion and they both gave him kisses on his cheeks in goodbye. They had also made him promise to visit sometime soon, which he did, albeit a little reluctantly. Emi had told Harry she would keep him updated on the information he had requested and also told him to connect the Mansion's fireplace so that it would make things easier to reach one another. Scott had driven them both to the American Ministry and returned to let Harry know that they had left safely.
Harry had also gotten hold of the Aurors he'd still had some contact with, including various Ministry workers still loyal to him. He'd requested a list of all known Dark Wizards that had yet to be captured – which had raised some confusions but no arguments – and for the Ministry's cooperation.
Truthfully, Harry had felt a little bad at the hesitance he'd had of calling the Ministry representatives that were more of acquaintances than friends, because he didn't exactly want word to get around that he was – god forbid – getting back 'into the game' again, as some people liked to claim whenever he expressed some sort of interest in criminal movements.
Then again, considering he'd raised, taught or trained what made up the core of the Ministry itself, he hoped that he'd at least maintained enough respect from them so that they don't get too nosy in his business this time.
For now, he was gearing up for some busy days ahead. His duel with Logan was scheduled to be in about 3 days, Agent Coulson was set to come visit the Mansion the following day, and Harry was in the midst of discussing with Professor Xavier the possibility of him taking a quick trip back to London to be in better contact with his people.
Logan was lounging against the bed in his room, laid out on his back with his hands behind his head as he looked up at the blank ceiling. He sighed, shifting in his position before shutting his eyes tiredly. In contrast to the silence and serenity of his room, Logan's mind was whirring with thoughts.
He was not an idiot, as many seem to believe. He'd just had no desire or felt any need to show off like some people he knew. One thing that had been plaguing Logan's mind for the past few days was Harry. Oh, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the man himself. It was Logan's own attitude and feelings toward the other man that was worrying him so.
He would admit – albeit if only to himself at this stage – that he had been rather sceptical in the beginning when the Professor had 'entrusted' him to get along with Harry. Although to his surprise, he had then discovered it remarkably easy to get along with the man. He couldn't really put into words just why he felt so comfortable around Harry, but he did. They grew closer to one another each day, the bond between them strengthening steadily. If Logan tried to explain it, one of the reasons they understood one another could be their similar experiences and life leading up to then.
Although Harry absolutely did not look like it, Logan could see for his very own eyes proof of Harry's prowess almost every day. And instead of putting him on guard as it should, it merely caused Logan to be pulled towards the other man even more. For one thing, he definitely admired the way Harry held himself. Logan had seen it in very few others. And what set Harry apart from everyone else was his simple openness. Nobody who managed to live a life like theirs long enough maintained any form of purity. Always, they would create a hard shell around themselves, a barrier, to shield them from any and all harm intended towards them.
Be it physical or mental, it was hard for someone like them to ever let that wall come down. It was like a permanent fixture; a part of them. However, he witnessed Harry pulling down his entire fortification each and every day. Not only did he manage to trust others – especially people of whom he had hardly known – but he was probably one of the most sincere and kind-hearted individual anyone would ever meet. That, on its own, spoke legions about Harry himself. It was no doubt that everyone was drawn to Harry's bright personality. It sang to them, something so bright in a world so full of hate and anger.
So, it was only natural for Logan to pass off his attentions and affections towards Harry as being a result of the easy camaraderie that they both enjoyed in one another's presence. However, as things have been the past few days – especially the dinner Harry had prepared just a couple of days before – it seemed that Logan would have to begin re-evaluating his current thinking regarding his intentions towards Harry.
Jean and her boytoy Scott were both idiots thinking that he wouldn't have overheard them whispering to one another during that dinner. Although Jean was vague at that moment, most likely wanting to have the conversation later on in private, it was enough of a crumb trail to reveal to Logan just what it was she hinted to; Logan's attraction toward Harry.
One of the things that Jean had mentioned was Logan's 'odd' behaviour. At the time, he was confused by that since he didn't recall doing anything 'odd' of the sort. Now, though, he remembered the sheer domesticity of his actions that night. He actually didn't even mind helping out in the kitchen of all things! And not to mention that he'd kept his usual insults and crude remarks to a bare minimum whenever Harry would shoot him a warning look. For god's sake, he was acting like some newlywed! But the question now was – why?
It took a fool not to immediately realize that it was all tantamount to Harry, Harry's presence. The man seemed like a balm to Logan's generally rude attitude and behaviour. He soothed Logan, easily putting his angers down to a simmer just by the simplest of things – and that was also evident from Harry's easy distraction of Logan's anger when they had accidently stumbled upon one another in the forest before dinner. It was something unheard of in so many years.
Now, Logan could tell that he enjoyed being around Harry, keeping him close. So did that mean for him that he was attracted to the other man? Well, to test out that theory, he tried to imagine them in 'romantic' situations; bringing Harry out to dinners, dates, being able to put his arm around Harry's waist, kissing him, making Harry his. Well. That certainly seemed to cause an interest to his body – to his surprise. He didn't even think he would be so engrossed in the other man, let alone desiring him as such.
Logan was not someone who was very discriminative in nature. Only to those who shunned him and his own was he usually unkind towards. He cared little for the views of others and the world. The only thing that mattered to him was what his heart and mind showed him. Likewise, he wasn't all that bothered by the fact that he could be attracted towards another man; and a wizard at that.
So, now, what to do? Without little need to question his desires, Logan had to decide on whether or not he intended to act on the allure that was Harry. Maybe for now he could continue things as they were? And see how they went. Who knew; maybe this feeling may fade with time. Only time would tell.
Thus, Logan's decision was made. He would continue as they have and see how fate would play this turn of events out for him. Satisfied for now, he heaved himself off his bed and out to the door. He considered going to the Danger Room for a workout considering that his and Harry's duel was soon approaching. Maybe he would stop by to have a look at how 'his' classes were faring on his way too.
Xavier sighed, mentally attempting to will away the tension and weariness weighing upon him. At the moment, he was rather disappointed with the news that he had just received. Hank had called not five minutes prior, letting the Professor know that the President had seemed rather hesitant in assisting them on their current crisis; regardless of the fact that Magneto's current endeavour might affect humans as well.
There really was no reason to feel disappointed. The President had never truly shown any interest in mutant affairs, no matter how welcoming he may look now as he had taken in Hank. Still, as he had been told numerous times already, the Professor always insisted on viewing mankind with hope that they would turn around in their fallen ways and embrace the reality of those who were different.
Currently, he would have to let the others know about this revelation and inform them that they should not be hoping for any sort of assistance in this matter. He would also need to speak with Harry on his own part and also further discuss his plan on returning to Britain for a short trip. Xavier was reluctant in allowing Harry to leave at a time like this, but he knew that Harry would be able to gather the answers he sought more quickly and efficiently if he were there in person.
For now, it seemed that the day was soon over and he decided he would head out for a stroll around the Mansion to try and work up an appetite for dinner. It had been awhile in his mind since he was able to enjoy the company of the younger ones in the Mansion.
Jean was smiling to herself again, as she had been for the past few days. It was ridiculous, but she couldn't help it. A few days ago, right after that delicious dinner that Harry had cooked up for them, she had taken Scott aside to speak of what she had seen before his arrival.
"What is it, Jean?" Scott had asked in the safety of a quiet room. "What were you smiling about earlier?"
Speaking in hushed, conspiring tones, she had said; "it was Logan!"
"Logan?" Scott had repeated, confused. "What the hell do you mean? You were smiling because of Logan?" Then, jealousy and anger began to colour his tone. Jean had waved off his silly behaviour jovially, and shushed him.
"How he was acting!" she clarified for his benefit. "Didn't you see him?"
Scott shook his head to indicate the negative, adding on a bewildered "no?"
"Oh please!" she had thrown up her hands. "Logan was so… tamed! I can't believe you couldn't see it! He was just so behaved, I couldn't believe my eyes!"
"He was?" Scott said, his brows furrowed. He had tried to think back to the dinner and really didn't see it. Logan had still been condescending towards him when they had been having the discussion about Mystique's movements.
Then he moved on to focus to the other parts that hadn't concerned him; like whenever Logan had interceded in the conversation between Harry and Logan. Logan had been rather helpful instead of rude as usual. Sometimes, Logan and Harry would share a look that would amuse each other, like a silent secret, before coming back to the conversation once more.
"I don't remember anything all that different…" he had said, "other than the fact that he and Harry seemed to have become unusually quick best friends."
Jean had rolled her eyes. "Exactly!" she said, pointing to him as if he was the answer. "That's it! Him and Harry! They were absolutely adorable!" Scott's brows had shot up dubiously at the description. "They were sweethearts!" she had continued. "I still can't believe that Logan was just so… so domesticated."
Scott's brows had already gone up after 'adorable'. "Domesticated," he repeated sceptically. "Logan?" He was even more bewildered when Jean looked like she wanted to squeal in delight; practically shaking in her excitement.
"Oh come on!" she exclaimed. "Don't tell me you didn't notice it at all? He hadn't interrupted, or made any crude or insulting remarks all through dinner; and the way he was with Harry!" she paused to let out a dreamy sigh – one that made Scott decide he would never be able to understand the mind of a woman. "Just—the soft whispering between one another, the small nudges, and even stealing food from each other's plates! It's all like something out of the beginning of any romance novel!"
Now; that statement had definitely made Scott sputter and choke in surprise. "Romance?" Jean rolled her eyes and pinched him playfully.
"Really, Scott," she admonished, adopting a disappointed tone. "Have you even been listening this entire time? That's exactly what I'm saying! Logan's clearly besotted with Harry!" once again, another happy sigh. "Oh Scott," she continued softly. "This is just perfect; Logan needs someone like Harry." She was silent for a moment more, then suddenly her face morphed from dreamy, to eureka!, then slowly changing into a Cheshire-cat grin.
"Jean? Jean?" Scott looked on worriedly at her. "Oh no. Jean, whatever you're thinking; it's a bad idea."
Heedless of his words, Jean clapped her hands together, beginning to rub them slowly – in a move reminiscent to that of a plotting villainess. "Ooh, this is going to be so fun!"
Harry had just exited the Professor's office, having successfully endeavoured to ask the Professor for permission to link the Mansion's living room fireplace to the international floo-network so as to allow easier communications for him and his friends.
Currently, he was striding towards said living room to immediately proceed and do as intended. On his way, he passed a few lingering students – to whom he each greeted pleasantly – and finally came to the large room. A few people were also in the room; doing varying things from reading, snacking, to taking a brief nap on a couch.
Silently, he made his way over the glowing fireplace, gently settling himself down onto the carpet before it. For the first time, he intended to use his wand. He probably wouldn't need to, but he also did not want the spell going awry, so the safest bet was to use his wand to cast the appropriate spell. Taking a quick glance around the room once more, Harry sat himself crossed-legged.
He gave his wrist a quick flick and his holly wand slipped fluidly into his grasp. The feel of the familiar, smooth piece of wood was comforting; and he relished in it for a moment before looking determinedly at the fireplace. Considering the use of this spell, there really wasn't much behind it. No fancy movements like the levitation spell's 'swish and flick', or any required thoughts. Harry merely needed to hold his hand steady, focus on the task, and incant the words of the spell.
He did so in a swift and precise way and without further ado, it was done. The fire burst out in energy once, before reducing and returning to a soft but strong glow. To be honest, the spellwork was considered 'specialised', but he'd already made prior arrangements with the Department of Magical Transportation's Floo Network Authority, in both the British and American Ministry of Magic.
Now, rummaging through his mokeskine pouch, he pulled out a small handful of Floo powder excitedly and leaned in towards the fire. Clearly but not loudly, he said, "Weasley Manor; Devon, England." Tossing the powder in with ease, the fire billowed, and he lowered his head into the fire. Absentmindedly, he also held up a hand behind him to calm the few who were exclaiming in panic at his actions.
He coughed, never having liked fire-calling. "Stephen? Steve?" he called out. He heard some muffled sounds of movement before a familiar face grew closer.
"Harry!" the man exclaimed, face lighting up in happiness. "It's been a while, how are you doing?"
Harry chuckled. "Not that long," he commented. "I'm fine, and you?"
"Good, good. Oh! Right, Emi called me," Stephen said, more serious this time. "She told me about what the favour you asked her of. And I also heard from the Ministry itself of course," he added. "Is there anything you'd like to tell me?" he raised a brow, as if he was a parent awaiting their child's confession.
Harry simply laughed, shaking his head. "No, it's alright. It's not too bad this time. Has the Ministry managed to gather what I asked for?"
Stephen cleared his throat as he rearranged himself into a more comfortable position before the fire. "Almost. You know how it is. Even with how much you've done up the Ministry with grandpa Ron and grandma Hermione, the records from way back are.. a mess, to say the least."
Harry sighed, rolled his eyes and nodded in understanding. He looked up once more when Stephen continued.
"Are you planning on coming back for a visit anytime soon?"
"I'm not sure, Steve," Harry answered truthfully. "I think it would be the best course of action if I did – if I was there to get everything in order myself. But I have things to sort out on this end too. I'm still just thinking about it for now."
Stephen nodded in understanding. "Well, if you do, be sure to drop in for a visit yeah? The kids will want to see you," he smiled.
"I'll do what I can," said Harry. "Catch up with you later, alright? Give my regards to the kids and Anna." They bid their goodbyes, and Harry lifted himself from the fire, giving his head a few good shakes. To his side, he heard someone clearing their throat in that annoying way that was only to get someone's attention. He turned his head and was surprised to see Logan standing there.
"The Professor wants you in his office," he said vaguely, offering a hand to Harry who took it gratefully, heaving himself up.
"Okay," Harry agreed easily enough. "What about?" He had an inkling – what else was there to talk to him about? – but asked anyway.
"He's letting the others know and probably wants some input from you," Logan shrugged. By 'others', Harry surmised that he probably meant the rest of the adults in the Mansion.
Harry nodded silently, walking leisurely towards the Professor's office. He smiled softly when he watched their feet, noting that Logan was slowing his pace and shortening his steps to accommodate Harry's own stride.
So, how was it? :\ A little bit of a filler this one. I think if i'm right.. the duel should be more-or-less the next chapter.. who knows :P Not much for me to say this time, and I hope to see you all soon :)
As with this chapter, I probably wont be doing much cursory read-throughs so as to not take too long between updates so if anyone was interested in giving chapters quick read-through (taking only about a day or so) then do let me know! :) I only need it to fix simple stuff like grammar, wording etc.
Anyway, please review and i will see you soon! xx