A/N: Idea popped into my head and the concept begged to be written. Enjoy! You mainly see through Marcone's POV. We see a lot through Harry's POV in the original books, and I really wanted to delve into Marcone character a bit. He always seemed so cool, calculating, and distant in the books, which is why I love him, but something in me wanted me to write him with a softer, more human side to him.
Disclaimer: I do not own these wonderful characters, unfortunately. Fortunately, the wonderful Jim Butcher does!
Warnings: SLASH! Sexual content between two males.
Rated: M for later chapters.
Summary: Harry and Marcone meet as teenagers and become friends, but time and circumstances pull them apart. But Marcone has not forgotten the boy who captivated his heart. Years later they meet again, but how will these two do when they don't realize who the other is?
Goblins, Wizards, and Mob Bosses
The alley was dark and damp. Puddles of oil, mud, and urine all mixed together were spread out along the alleyway, but John paid them no mind as he went trampling through them, slinging up the messy concoction unto his dark wash jeans. His steps echoed off the building walls as he ran between them, desperately trying to get away from the monster that was after him.
It was deathly dark in that back alley, and if John hadn't have traveled those very alleys before, he was sure he would have gotten lost. But as it were, he knew his way so well that he did not need light to navigate through them. He was very thankful for that fact now.
John's legs hurt from running so fast and for so long, his lungs burned like liquid fire, and all he could hear was the rushing of blood through his ears. Every few seconds he would turn and look behind himself, every time catching the glimpse of a large shadow swallowing up two round orbs that glowed green in the night.
Still there! It's still after me! A voice inside his head screamed at him. Faster! Faster!
He tried to pick up his feet more. To will his legs to move faster. But the adrenaline was wearing off now and after jumping two chain link fences and running through alleys for the past half hour, his body was reaching its limits.
John heard a loud snarl resound off of the walls behind him and that sent another spike of fear and adrenaline through him. He made it out onto a dark street, turned right and then disappeared again into another dark alley.
Maybe I can hide!
John looked around him for a place to hide, but there was none. But he didn't imagine that he could hide from the creature. At least, not for long. The thing seemed to be following his scent like a dog and not actually seeing where he was running.
He could turn and fight him, John figured. No! That thing practically ate the bullets from my gun like they were pieces of candy. Then it really ate my gun after I ran out of bullets and through it at it!
But then, just as John was losing hope of out running the beast, a ray of light pierced through the dark alley, seeming to practically split it in two. A door had opened to a building and someone was coming out. A tall, lanky young man, carrying two bags of trash was coming out of the beam of light, his back turned to John and his pursuer.
"Hey!" John yelled to the young man, not really knowing what else to do. "Let me inside! There's something chasing me!"
The man turned and looked at John, at first he looked agitated and about to tell him off, until he saw what was chasing John. As John drew closer to the other man, he saw the other man's eyes grow wider and he couldn't help thinking, "told you!". But what happened next, John could never have foreseen.
"Get behind me!" Yelled the lanky stranger when John was about a foot away from him. The stranger stepped aside before reaching out for John and forcibly pushing him behind himself. John fell to his knees when the man pushed him, but quickly turned around to see the stranger placing himself in between him and the monster.
He's going to get himself killed!
"No don't!" Yelled John, struggling to get his aching legs back under himself. "You don't know what's after me!"
Don't be a hero, Stupid!
"Actually, I do," replied the stranger, voice confident and firm as he stood looking down the dark alleyway, in the direction that John had just come from. And for a moment both boys were quiet and still, listening to the thud of heavy feet getting louder and louder. Till a loud scream made them both jump.
John stood and reached for the stranger's arm, gripping it firmly and trying to pulling him away from the monster as it sprinted toward them. But the stranger was stronger than John anticipated and just stood there.
"Stay behind me," the stranger whispered, voice soft and reassuring and, somehow, comforting to John. The stranger nudged John back a bit and John, still on wobbly and weak legs, stumbled back, but he was ready to protest every second.
What do I care if this idiot gets himself killed?! John's inner voice hissed. I should leave now. Save myself! But even though he thought these things, he couldn't leave the man. The man who was risking his life to save him, Johnny Marcone, punk juvenile delinquent. There was no doubting that was what he was, and one glance in his direction told everyone that. From his torn up jeans and leather jacket, to his bad attitude and Italian accent. Stupid boy!
John stood behind the taller boy, fists clenched tight and ready for a fight. "We gonna really do this?" John asked, causing the stranger to turn and look at him, eyebrow raised in question.
"No," replied the other boy, and for a second John thought that meant they were going to run for it. "I am. Just stand there."
The beast tumbled closer, green eyes alight with anger and glee- from the thrill of the hunt, perhaps, John thought. Its big, ape like nostrils flaring as it breathed in and out through its mouth and nose, spit and mucus sliding down the monster's chin. Its teeth a sad, mangled parody of humans, but looking just as frightening as any rabid dog's would.
"Two soft humans whose flesh I will enjoy," snarled the beast.
Oh God! It talks! Thought John, literarily feeling the blood drain from his face, his knees trembled and his heart leapt up to his throat. We're gonna die!
"Not today," hissed the stranger, as he stretched out his arm toward the beast, palm facing it.
Yeah, like telling him to stop is really gonna work!
"Now leave before I make your innards into soup," continued the stranger.
He's got balls, I'll give him that.
The beast looked perplexed for a moment as he sniffed the air, his monkey nose making horrible grunting noises as he did so. "Ah," said the beast after awhile. "You are of the practice?"
"But you are also young."
"So? I'm still strong."
"But are you strong enough?" And with that the monster leapt for the young boys, the stranger moved his hand to point at the creature and yelled out a few words in a language John believed was Latin. And as the monster came down, it looked as if it had hit an invisible wall before being slingshot into the nearest building and hitting the ground with a solid thud.
The monster grunted and groaned as it got to its feet and all that John could do was stand still, feet rooted to the spot. What had just happened!? I didn't see anything! At least, I don't think so.
The beast growled and ran at them again and John covered his face with his arms, but before it reached them it looked as if something from behind had grabbed him and slung him back down the alley again. And the stranger was, again, yelling furiously in broken Latin. John was sure it was Latin now.
Again the beast stood and charged at them and again he was smashed up against walls, dumpsters, and asphalt, until finally when it got up it ran the other way. The boys were silent as they watched the beast disappear into the night, and they stayed like that till they could no longer hear the heavy thuds of his foot falls.
"What," started John, numbly, "on God's, good, green earth was that!?"
The stranger turned to John, sheepish smile on his face. "That's a long story. Maybe you should come in and I'll try to answer your questions as best I can," answered the stranger. "By the way, my name's Harry."
"Johnny," replied John as they both went inside.
Once under the bright lights of the diner, John could finally see his savior clearly. He was a tall, young man with scraggly brown hair and in a dirty cooking apron that was a tad too short for him. Harry led them to a table in the front of the diner before asking John if he'd like anything to drink.
"Yeah, whatever's fine," replied John. Harry turned and looked him over, giving a sigh before disappearing back into the kitchen. John noticed how throughout their whole time together, Harry had seemed to be avoiding eye contact with him. He leaned back in his chair and wondered who this strange boy was, but before he could get to the conclusion that this stranger could possibly be as dangerous as the monster outside, said man had returned, two cokes in his hands and a sandwich.
"You looked hungry," commented Harry as he placed down the items on the table and took a seat across from John.
John prickled at his words. Sure he had fallen on hard times, but he could take care of himself and didn't need charity. Especially, not from this kid who, on closer inspection, actually looked younger than John, though taller.
"I don't need your charity," fumed John, looking away from the sandwich even as his stomach lurched in hunger.
"Hey, don't get offended. It's just when someone's just been attacked by a goblin, it helps their nerves to eat something," explained Harry, hands going up in surrender, but eyes looking down at the table top. "Besides, I have a feeling you have a lot of questions and we're gonna be here awhile."
John shrugged and looked around the diner. It looked to be closed and he and Harry were probably the only two there at the moment. "A sandwich is really gonna help with my nerves?" Asked John turning to look at Harry, whose eyes instantly focused on the bridge of his nose.
"Yeah, with the soda."
John reached for the sandwich and started asking his questions. The basics. What was it that attacked him? Why? What's a goblin? And a multitude on how to avoid them in the future.
"Okay," started John, his mind having a hard time wrapping around everything Harry just told him. "So, you're telling me, that I somehow, unknowingly, angered a goblin. Which was that thing that attacked us and should not be mistaken for a hobgoblin which is a kind goblin. It chased me wanting to eat my flesh, because obviously goblins love soft, human flesh. Is that right?"
"Yes." Harry smiled and it irked John, because he acted like this was all normal every day stuff for him.
Wait a minute!
Maybe it was normal everyday stuff for Harry. He had yet to ask who the young boy was or how he had stopped the goblin. Hadn't the goblin said something about Harry before it attacked them? Yes. He said he was 'of the practice'. What was the 'practice'?
"What's the practice?" asked John.
"It's short for the practice of wizardry. Or sorcery, depending on what you do," explained Harry, easily.
"There's a difference?" Asked John, munching on the last piece of his sandwich.
"So which practice are you of?"
"I'm a wizard," answered Harry. "Well, sort of."
"Sort of? How can you sort of be a wizard? The way I see it, is either you are or you aren't," explained John, giving Harry a puzzled look and slowly getting more agitated with how Harry always avoided eye contact with him.
"Well," Harry went on to explain, "I'm still learning. You know how you go to school to be a doctor or lawyer. I go to school to be a wizard."
"There's a school for wizardry?"
"Well, yes and no. But I was just using the whole school idea as an example. You're taking it too literally."
"Well what do you expect!? Until about an hour ago, goblins, wizards and the like where all just fairytales to me!"
"Well now you know they obviously aren't!'
"Well! You got any more questions or what!?" Harry huffed. And John stared, intensely, at him, but Harry was staring at someplace next to them.
"Yeah, just one more," answered John. "Why don't you look me in the eyes?"
Harry turned and looked down at the table as he explained. "It's called a soul gaze. When you meet the eyes of a wizard, you get to see into their very soul. You can see their past, their thoughts, their regrets, their every dirty secret. But in return, they can see into your's too. It's an intense experience, and most wizards are taught how to avoid peoples' gazes."
"Really? Have you ever had one of these soul gazes before?"
"Yeah, a few times with some older wizards."
For a minute John was thankful that they hadn't had one of these soul gazes. He had a lot of skeletons in his closet and didn't know if anyone else should see those. But then again, he wondered what Harry would see in him. Harry was a young boy working the grave yard shift at a diner in a very bad part of town, and fighting off monsters the rest of the time. Would he understand John? John sure felt like he would. John didn't have many friends, he had no family, and he didn't really trust anyone, but for some reason he wanted to gaze in Harry's soul. Be damned what Harry saw in him, he wanted to see who Harry really was. His fears. His regrets. His hopes. His dreams. Everything.
"I wonder what you would see in me," mumbled John, pointedly staring down at the table. There was a moment of silence and suddenly the light above their heads started to flicker. If John was a superstitious person he'd have called that a bad omen, but after tonight maybe he would be. He heard Harry sigh and as he looked up Harry stared at some point behind his head.
"You sure? 'Cause I can assure you, you won't like what you see in me." Reassured Harry.
Harry let out another sigh, but met John's eyes. They were both still and silent for a long minute, but as time dragged on; John started to fidget in his seat.
"What's supposed to happen exactly?" Asked John, feeling uncomfortable under Harry's intense stare.
"We were supposed to have seen into each other's souls by now," explained Harry. "I don't understand. When I did it with all the other wizards, I was able to see right into their souls."
John was beginning to think Harry had been pulling his leg all along, but then another thought occurred to him. "Maybe that means you're not a real wizard yet. You said yourself you're still in training. And those other people you soul gazed with were really, real wizards."
Harry, having to not fear an unintentional soul gaze, met John's eye. Obviously, even though Harry said he was sort of a wizard, liked others to refer to him as a wizard.
"You may be right, Johnny," replied Harry, leaning back in his chair once more, mulling over something. Then he said his name once more, but this time with the Italian accent like John had said it when he had first introduced himself.
"Oh! Nothing. I was just trying out your name."
"What? Like it? Wanna keep it for yourself? Or maybe you fancy yourself an Italian?" Mocked John, but Harry just smiled, more wisely than any kid his age should, thought John. "Okay what gives?"
"Well for one, a name holds a lot of power. Especially in the hands of a wizard," answered Harry. "You have no idea what I could do with your full name." Suddenly, John felt afraid again. Like he may have underestimated the kid. "But for the most part, Johnny just doesn't seem to suite you. Or perhaps, it sounds awkward rolling off my tongue."
John relaxed again, feeling that easy comfort that came with talking to Harry. He had to admit, he didn't much like being called Johnny, but the guys in the gang had christened him it, and he wasn't about to piss them off.
"You can just call me John," assured John as he too leaned back in his chair. "Besides, you could never pull off the Italian accent right."
The two laughed and started up an easy conversation.
A/N: Thanks for reading!