Disclaimer: I own nothing! Credits to Marvel, JK Rowling, etc...
Near the Golden Gate Bridge, California…
Harry stumbled a little on landing and would have fallen if it weren't for Logan steadying him.
"Ya' alright?" Logan asked concern in his dark eyes. Harry didn't look so good. In fact, he looked to be just on this side of death.
"I'm fine. A little tired is all," Harry said, straightening up through sheer will power.
"Harry!" Ginny's voice called over to him from an empty space.
"Come on," Harry said, leading the way through the invisible barrier that hid everyone from view.
Logan followed closely, feeling as if he was walking through water as he passed through the boundary.
When he came through to the other side, he saw Harry sitting on the ground with several of his old friends hovering over him.
The Hermione woman pressed a sandwich into his hand, ordering him to eat.
"I'm fine," Harry grumbled, no longer used to and uncomfortable with all the attention he was suddenly receiving.
"Like hell you are! Merlin, Harry. You are just like you were in school. Always forgetting to take care of yourself when you think you have more important things to do. Always everyone else and never yourself. Always got to be a damn hero!" Ron quietly exclaimed. Anger not covering his anxiety for Harry in the slightest. "You are going to eat and rest until we get a better idea of how to approach the island. I'll stun you if you don't," Ron said firmly, calmly taking his wand out.
"Fine!" Harry groused, biting into the sandwich. "Happy?"
"Not in the slightest," Ron said with a smirk.
Harry rolled his eyes and eventually realized that he was starving. He scarfed down the sandwich and then two others that Hermione wordlessly passed to him before settling back against a lamppost.
Instantly, he was asleep.
"Finally," Logan muttered. He turned to the Brits, "He always like that?"
Ginny smiled softly, looking down at Harry's pale but relaxed features, "Since day one. Part of being the Savior, I suppose."
"Bloody bastard that he is," Ron muttered under his breath, glancing at Harry with exasperated affection.
Logan smirked at that, sitting next to the slumbering wizard. He listened with half an ear as plans were discussed and discarded. The rest of his mind locked onto his senses, honing in his instincts to warn him of approaching danger.
An hour passed, then another, until Logan sensed something that made his neck hair stand on end.
Instantly, Harry's eyes flew open. He smoothly gained his feet. His movement attracted his friends' attention.
"Harry?" Ginny began before Harry silenced her with a shake of his head. Putting his finger to his lips in the universal sign for silence, Harry stared at a point past the barrier.
The reason became clear as hundreds of mutants flashed into existence. Right along with them, their British hostages stumbled and held onto each other to prevent separation. Mass teleportation. Harry couldn't believe the Brotherhood was able to do it.
In the lead was Magneto and the Dark Phoenix. Xavier's X-Men and the gathered wizards and witches watched in silent horror as the man used his powers to lift up the Golden Gate bridge, with the shrill squeal of wrenching, scraping metal, before he twisted it out over the bay to rest the far end at the edge of Alcatraz Island.
Logan didn't notice until the bridge had been set down that the wizards and witches had made a protective circle around the mutants, doing something with their wands to fortify the barrier.
Harry was joined in with them, lending his own immense power to the spell.
The Brotherhood marched the hostages right past without apparently noticing the large group of X-Men, even though Logan could swear Sabertooth almost smelled them but Harry seemed to focus more energy into the barrier. Eventually, Sabertooth shrugged and continued on his way with the others.
When the Brotherhood was all past and on the bridge, Harry turned to the others while the witches and wizards continued to support the barrier.
"This is our chance. We follow them over. Stick close to us and they won't know you are there. Right now my friends are supporting the barrier but we can prepare a powerful Notice-Me-Not spell that will hide us as long as you avoid all contact with whoever we might encounter. Once you touch someone, the spell will be broken. We must make sure to hold off until the most opportune time. Will you trust us with your protection?" Harry said softly. His voice carrying no further than the people who had crowded close to listen.
Silent nods accompanied Harry's words. With a smile, he turned to Nightcrawler and Shadowcat. "You two would be your people's best hope in finding the source of the Cure. My people will hide and protect you for as long as we can. But our focus must be on the hostages. The world cannot know what we can do. Not yet. I can pass for a mutant. My people cannot. We must get them out of there before they use their powers." Harry turned to Logan with a look of apology, "Then I will help as much as I can with the Dark Phoenix."
Logan shrugged, "I can manage 'til ya' show up."
Harry nodded acknowledgement before turning to his own people. "I'll start the Notice-Me-Not spell. When it takes effect, end the barrier spell and cast your own. We'll surround the mutants until the time comes that we must act."
His people never broke focus but nodded their understanding. Harry took a calming breath and cast his spell. His eyes burned a vibrant green and shadows lengthened on his features, the now familiar ethereal aura taking over his appearance. Once his spell was in place, one by one the witches and wizards ended the barrier spell and cast their own incantations over the gathered group to hide them from prying eyes.
Without losing his concentration, Harry nodded to Xavier, indicating that all was ready. Xavier motioned to his team and as one they began to cross the bridge with the witches and wizards surrounding them.
Slowly they made their way across, avoiding large chunks of cement and broken cabling. Reaching the other side without incident, they took stock in what lay before them.
The Brotherhood was facing down a very large armed force. Magneto and the Dark Phoenix stood on a pile of rubble watching the ensuing battle. Magneto seemed to be saying something to the Dark Phoenix but Harry and Logan could not make out his words. Whatever he was saying seemed to just annoy her.
Harry searched for the hostages while still holding his Notice-Me-Not spell at full force.
"A group of soldiers are surrounding 'em," Logan murmured, pointing to the group of people that a small group of soldiers had taken into protection, "How'd they do that?"
"Not going to last," Harry replied shortly, indicating how the soldiers were dropping like flies at the hands of the mutants.
"Harry, go to them and offer help. We'll continue to hold the spell," Ginny said watching the ensuing chaos.
Harry nodded and turned to Xavier, "Open your mind. Take a glance in mine and then pass that onto Nightcrawler and Shadowcat. Death gave me a general layout of the building while I slept."
Xavier immediately complied. Once the transfer of information was complete, Harry apparated out from the protective barriers.
"Bloody hell. He works even while sleeping," Ron mumbled shaking his head as his friend disappeared.
"Never mind that. We need to go help," Iceman said watching as people, mutant and nonmutant alike, were being killed.
"Kid, we need to wait until a good time," Neville said quietly, speaking for the first time. He scanned the battlefield, reminding Ginny of the last battle of Hogwarts, when Neville led them all in Harry's absence. "We come in too soon, and we could look like enemies to the soldiers, too."
"Well, I'm not waiting while people get killed," Iceman said running out from the boundaries of the protective spell and into the chaos of battle. Wolverine slumped his head back and cursed at the sky.
Magneto immediately turned towards them and spotted Xavier. His eyes widened before narrowing in confusion. "How did-" The moment passed, and he stood taller, looking down at their group with determination. "This changes nothing."
Neville sighed in frustration, "Actually it does." He turned to the group. "The spell is broken. We must act now." With that, Neville charged into the melee without another sound, beelining towards where they last saw the hostages. Storm wasted no time to rise into the air, eyes glowing and lightning crackling down on the Brotherhood.
"I'm going after my father," Angel said. He didn't wait for Wolverine's snarl to beat his wings and soar above the battle to the compound.
Wolverine glared at Magneto and the Dark Phoenix before turning to the remaining wizards. "Any of ya willin' to stay near the professor?"
"Ron and I will take care of Xavier. Luna, go help Neville. Ginny, do what you need to do," Hermione stated giving Ginny a look that only mothers bear.
Ginny nodded sharply before apparating away. Wolverine nodded, glancing at Charles again before jumping forward, claws ringing over rubble.
Xavier turned to Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. "I need the two of you to get the cure before-" The ground shook, and they looked up. A man-sized hole was blasted out of the wall of the compound, pieces of concrete falling around it. "Before Juggernaut gets there first," he finished sadly.
"Ja." Nightcrawler set a hand on Cat's shoulder, and they vanished with a pop of sulfur.
Xavier looked towards Magneto once again. "My old friend. We must end this madness. Will you not call off your people before it is too late?" Beyond Magneto, the Dark Phoenix watched them, dispassionate.
Magneto shook his head, a slight quirk lifting his lips. "No."
"Very well. I suppose you must be convinced," Xavier said, two fingers reaching for his temple. One of the members of the Brotherhood turned back and ran towards Magneto.
"Any idea what he is doing?" Ron asked Hermione as he fired off a spell at a charging mutant.
"Not a clue," Hermione answered subtly firing a petrificus totalus at another Brotherhood mutant who discovered enemies were behind the battle line.
Magneto lifted his hand, and metal bars floated around him. "So it has come to this…" His voice was soft, wistful, as he brought them down on his controlled follower.
Harry snuck past the wall of the building behind the soldiers protecting his children, hiding his presence until he could be certain that now was the time to go after the hostages. His features once again that of a blond, hazel-eyed man with a goatee. No use in alerting his captured children that he was indeed alive and about to save their lives.
He felt something appear behind him with a small pop. He quickly turned, Elder Wand in hand, to face the opponent.
Ginny only stared at him before nodding and focusing on the hostages before them.
"Who's there?" a deep male voice called.
Harry and Ginny stepped out with their hands in the air.
"We're here to help," Ginny said quietly.
"Mom!" a red-haired woman exclaimed while holding a young boy in her arms.
"Hello, Lily. Everyone. We're here to get you out of this mess," Ginny said as Harry stood mutely in alert, watching the battle, ready to take on any who approached with ill intentions.
"Ma'am, you really shouldn't be here," a soldier said calmly, his eyes warm but his stance on high alert.
"Actually, we are your best bet to get through this," Harry finally spoke, his voice lower than normal, glancing at the man.
"And why do you think that?" the same deep voice asked. Harry turned to a tall black man with piercing brown eyes.
Harry's eyes flashed before Ginny spoke up. "There are a lot of things that cannot be explained right now. You just have to know, we are here to get our people out and assist the X-Men in stopping this useless bloodshed."
That is when voices over the soldiers' radios could be heard.
"Well whatever you want to do, we are going to have to do it now. They are firing on the mutants," the calm voiced soldier said looking the bald one in the eye.
Harry spun to look only to see the Dark Phoenix stop a barrage of darts that Harry could only assume had the cure in them. He could see her eyes flare from there as the darts were disintegrated.
"Shite…" Harry said slowly, realizing what this meant.
"We need to go. NOW! She's losing control. Who can apparate with a side-along?" Harry asked quickly. Over half the hostages held their hands up including his daughter, Lily and his son, James who eyed him curiously.
"Those who can, grab someone who can't. Soldier or otherwise. We need to evacuate the island," Harry said grabbing both soldiers he had been speaking to, "Aim for the bridge. We'll deal with the other consequences later."
"What the…" the black soldier started before everyone disappeared with a 'pop' and reappearing with a similar 'pop' on the far end of the bridge. "...hell" the man finished as he looked around stunned.
"What's your names," Harry asked the two men quickly, already looking back towards the island.
"Nick Fury," the black man said slowly, still in shock as to what happened.
"Phil Coulson," the kind voiced one said as he also gathered his bearings.
"Well, Nick, Phil, if you don't mind, can you keep what you have seen a secret? If not, I'll have to come back and modify a few things. We aren't mutants, we are not a threat, we want to live in peace," Harry explained quickly, "If you want to know more, I'll be back after I help deal with the Phoenix."
"If you swear to tell us what the hell is going on," Nick said sternly, glaring at Harry, "And it better be a damn good explanation."
Harry grinned, "Oh it will be. Also, watch the mouth. There are kids present."
Harry turned to Ginny, "You know what to do if they don't keep their word. Take care of the kids. I need to help end this."
Ginny nodded just as Harry apparated with one last 'pop,' "Be careful…" she murmured under her breath before turning to the gathered people. "Grim will be back but we need to get as many people as we can off the island. Who is willing to go back with me? We have allies and foes alike who have no idea what they are up against."
The determined glances were all the answer she needed.
Harry appeared with a 'pop' near where he last left Xavier and the rest of the mutants.
Ron and Hermione quickly diverted their wands back to the battle when they saw who had joined them.
"You need to take Xavier and leave," Harry glanced around looking for the other members of their group.
Suddenly, Neville and Luna appeared with Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and a young bald boy.
"They can't use their powers around him," Luna explained, gesturing to the boy.
Harry nodded. "Take them to safety. Do not come back. Just keep going."
Harry saw a wave of energy heading their way just as the mutants and soldiers alike all made a mad dash towards the bridge. A few unlucky souls were swept up and disintegrated with screams.
Harry quickly placed a shield over the fleeing people.
"I can't hold this forever! Get as many as you can away from here," Harry said, teeth gritted with the strain.
He watched as his friends went to work. Unsurprisingly, he saw Ginny with several adult wizards apparating and disapparating in the crowd. Each time taking someone new to safety.
Harry couldn't pay anymore attention to them. Instead, he watched as Logan slowly made his way towards the Dark Phoenix. Each wave of energy peeling back skin and muscle only to heal in seconds.
Harry strengthened his shield as each wave hit, getting stronger and harder to hold back with each passing second.
Death appeared by his side adding its strength to his own, "I am with you, Master."
Harry nodded as the Logan fought his way closer. He's the only one who can stop her. Harry thought desperately. God help us if he fails.
Finally, Logan reached the Dark Phoenix. She watched him fighting against her. Her eyes burned with her anger and power, hair whipping in the flowing energy and heat she was unleashing on the man before her.
With a single heart wrenching yell, Logan ran his claws through her body, holding her up as her power faded.
Harry could hear her as she started to collapse, "Thank you." And then he knew she was gone. Death claimed Jean Grey's soul. Harry let his shields drop as he folded to the ground, completely exhausted. Logan's cry of loss sending chills into his body.
"I'm sorry. This is the way it must be," Harry whispered from where he lay.
How long he laid there in the dark ruins of an completed battle, he did not know.
He only noticed when Ginny appeared by his side and lifted his head to cradle in her lap.
"It will be alright," she murmured, stroking his face. His cheeks cooled as tears he didn't know he had begun to shed evaporated.
He laid there, held by Ginny, as he listened to a man's heart breaking in the darkness.
Nick Fury and Phil Coulson led the clean-up and organized the confused soldiers.
Angel had taken his father to parts unknown. Xavier had gathered Jean Grey's body and the devastated Logan to take back to the Institute.
Harry was grateful when Xavier offered to fly the witches and wizards back to England. This would be hard enough to explain without another potential hostage crisis.
Much later, Harry sat down tiredly with Nick and Phil in a nearly empty bar once everyone was dispersed.
"I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot of each other for some years to come," Harry began, eyeing the two young men before him.
Hello everyone! Sorry for the long wait between chapters. I started my Master's degree and it is eating up my time. This is the final Chapter of Grim Fate. I am posting the first Chapter of Grim Vengeance (part 2 of the Grim Series) as we speak. Thank you for waiting so patiently!