Visiting the Anomalies of America

Harry Potter x X-Men (Crossover Fanfiction). After farewelling the last of his friends, Harry decides to take some time off Britain and travel the world - search for a new purpose. He starts off in America and is soon bored. Being known internationally for all its "abnormalities", Harry decides to seek them out, hoping to make some new friends. Immortal Master of Death AU; Slash

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13. Chapter 12

It was last period and Harry knew there weren’t any more Defence classes for the day so he decided to find Emi and Kathy and hopefully manage to coerce them into going out into the gardens with him. He found the women loitering around casually in one of the living rooms, having set themselves comfortably in one of the sofas and quietly speaking to one another. Harry smiled as he approached them. No doubt hearing his footsteps, they turned curiously to see Harry. Both smiled and greeted him, neither mentioning a word about the earlier situation with Xavier.

 

                “I’m going outside for some air,” he said, “would either of you like to join me?” Harry watched as they silently turned to one another before Kathy shrugged and leapt up, hooking her arm around Harry’s and Emi pushing herself off the sofa fluidly.

 

                “Lead the way,” Kathy said sunnily, a bright smile on her face as usual.

 

They strode outside into the gardens at a leisurely pace, simply enjoying nature in companionable silence. “So…” Harry began slowly after a moment, sneaking a peek at the women by his side. They both gave soft noises to indicate that he had their attentions. “What do you think?”

 

                “Harry,” Emi scoffed somewhat, “don’t you think it’s a little late to be asking about first impressions now?” Kathy too was holding in a giggle, shaking her head by her mother’s side. Harry merely shrugged.

 

                “Never too late, I say,” he countered playfully. Emi rolled her eyes. It was Kathy who answered him, however.

 

                “I think it’s fantastic,” she piped in good-naturedly.

 

                “The kids are all very cute,” Emi smirked slightly. Katy nudged her mother for the remark but they were all smiling anyway. “I think that Xavier is doing a good thing for these kids,” Emi finally answered seriously. Harry nodded in agreement to her statement.

 

                “So Harry,” Kathy drawled in what sounded like quite a seedy tone this time, leering at him mischievously as she hooked an arm around his – probably to ensure he didn’t escape whatever it was that she had planned.

 

                “Yeah?” he asked, trying to keep calm and figure out what might be going on in Kathy’s head.

 

                “What do you think about Logan?” she asked straight out. To her side, Emi face-palmed dramatically; although neither Kathy nor Harry were paying much attention to her.

 

Harry’s brows furrowed in confusion. “What do you mean?” he asked. He had a feeling this wasn’t merely about what he ‘thought about Logan’, by the look Kathy was giving him. Not to mention the sadistic glint of glee in her eyes. She, however, merely shrugged in a convincingly nonchalant way.

 

                “What do you think?” she repeated unhelpfully. “It’s a simple question, Harry,” she added, baiting him.

 

Harry’s eyes narrowed suspiciously but he answered nonetheless, albeit a little guardedly. “He’s a good guy, you can tell that pretty easily. The guarded appearance he puts on is… understandable,” he commented. “He told you of his inability to age, did he not?” the women nodded silently. “Sometimes I wonder if I would’ve ended up like him if it weren’t for Hermione and all of you guys knocking me over the head every now and then and supporting me this whole time,” he admitted softly.

 

                “So you’re trying to do to him what we’ve done for you?” asked Emi simply.

 

                “Well, that too,” he smiled somewhat ruefully. “And maybe…”

 

                “Good to know you’re not alone, right?” Kathy guessed, with a sneaky glance at her mother; the two sharing a silent secret between one another.

 

Harry was staring thoughtfully at the forest before them, not catching the scheming interaction. He nodded absentmindedly instead. “Yes, that too,” he breathed softly.

 

Kathy smiled knowingly. She, as with many of the other women close to Harry, was a very smart individual. Even though the main ‘reason’ for Hermione and their persistence in getting Harry out of his little safety bubble and into the world was to explore, one of the other reasons that it was suggested was because that, knowing their crazy world, there was bound to be someone out there to whom Harry could relate to. Well, obviously it didn’t even take all that long to find it either. Also, it definitely didn’t hurt to see that Harry was getting on quite well with said person.

 

                “Well,” Emi cut in abruptly. “I say he’s a pretty good catch,” nodding to herself proudly. Harry coloured uncomfortably as Kathy giggled.

 

                “Uh…” he stuttered speechlessly. He felt a little uncomfortable as he usually did whenever listening to women gossip about men – or other women too, sometimes. He had no idea why everyone seemed to think he would ever be good company to have when speaking about these sorts of things. On the contrary, he was absolutely useless at these sorts of topics. It was as if he had some neon sign above his head that pointed at him saying; tell me all your problems, secrets and interests.

 

“Anyway,” he said, the obvious subject change a tad bit unnecessarily loud. “I was actually wondering…” he snuck a peek to the side to make sure they were even listening to him at all, which they were. “If either of you would maybe like to help me with this… duel?” He ended with a questioning lilt. Harry was pleasantly surprised to see both women’s faces light up at his odd request.

 

                “Really?” asked Kathy, tone somewhat reverent; to Harry’s confusion.

 

                “Um yes,” he answered, “of course. If you don’t mind,” he added hastily, not wanting to make them feel obligated.

 

                “Oh I would love to Harry,” Kathy almost squealed in her excitement. Then she proceeded to mutter to herself. Harry caught disconnected words like chance, test, famous, and first-hand.

 

                “Sure you haven’t gone all senile and hopeless on us yet, Potter?” Emi commented with an arrogant Malfoy smirk plastered on. Harry merely took the insult in stride and smiled crookedly at her in turn.

 

                “Well you’re just going to have to wait and see, won’t you?” he remarked light-heartedly. As the two exchanged easy banter, Kathy’s sharp gaze caught an approaching student that she’d recognized earlier as curiously named Rogue. She noticed the girl had eyes on Harry and Kathy smiled at the girl as she came up to them.

 

                “Hello,” she greeted politely, catching said girl’s attention.

 

                “Oh, hi,” said Rogue, surprised. “You’re um… Harry’s friend, right?”

 

Kathy’s lips curved in amusement as she eyed an oblivious Harry, knowing since their first day that nobody aside from Xavier and Logan were thus far aware of Harry’s true nature. “Yes, that’s right; I’m Katherine, although Kathy’s fine.” She offered her hand and nodded appraisingly as Rogue took it.

 

                “I’m Rogue,” the girl confirmed Kathy’s guess, “I’m in Harry’s Defence class.”

 

                “Ah yes,” Kathy smiled at the mention that it was Harry’s class. “I saw you duelling today. It was a spectacular job.”

 

                “Thanks!” beamed Rogue, blushing slightly at the praise.

 

                “Rogue!” Harry called out, noticing her then. He strode forward to greet her jovially. “Congratulations on your win today! You were absolutely brilliant,” he smiled widely, clapping a hand on her shoulder without hesitation, to Rogue’s surprise, jerking somewhat.

 

                “Thank you Harry,” she blushed further, ducking her head in embarrassment and smiling to herself. Harry watched this with an affectionate smile.

 

                “You did good,” he nodded once more. “Although as always, I’m sure you could do even better for your next match,” he added, already thinking of all the things he could teach her. This time Rogue looked up with a smile, although for a completely different reason.

 

                “Actually,” she said, “I heard about Professor Ororo requesting a duel between you and Logan,” she talked, biting her lip to stifle a grin as she watched Harry’s own smile disappear in minor shock. “Really though; I think the whole school already knows about that.” This time she really did smile and giggle at the blank, lost look Harry was sporting. “I was thinking that maybe if you’d like some help yourself this time, I could maybe… help you,” she offered shyly.

 

                “Oh,” Harry noted, surprised once more. “Well that’s very considerate of you, Rogue. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Although, I did just ask Kathy to help me with that too.”

 

                “Really?” asked Rogue, turning to eye Kathy in astonishment; clearly not having thought that either Malfoy women had any fighting capabilities whatsoever. “Well… okay. That’s—that’s cool,” she stumbled for the right words. “Oh right,” her face lit up as she remembered something quite vital. “Professor Ororo also asked me to tell you that she’s ‘extending the timeframe of the duel’,” she recited dutifully.

 

                “How long?” asked Harry, brows raised in interest.

 

                “Um,” Rogue pursed his lips in thought, eyes drifting off into the distance for a moment. “‘Seven days from Logan’s return’,” she recalled.

 

                “Alright,” Harry nodded. “Sounds good. Thanks, Rogue.”

 

                “No problem, Harry,” she smiled. She then excused herself and headed over to her other friends.

 

Over the span of the following couple of days, aside from his duties of watching over the Defence classes, Harry found himself spending the majority of his time in the forest bordering the Mansion’s territory. He was surprised to find it quite a challenge to slip back into his old and more rigorous routine that he had maintained during his Auror-career years. He woke early, made himself a simple yet healthy breakfast, then walked into the forest for the following couple of hours; emerging only for his classes and occasionally for meals.

 

To say that the Mansion residents were surprised at his determination, serious attitude and discipline towards this upcoming ‘duel’ would be an understatement. They took to his disappearances without comment but there were certainly some worries raised when he began missing meals – although in his defence he did make himself his own food when he returned each night though.

 

What exactly he was doing in the forest, however, was clearly overdramatized by the speculation going around. Some of the things that Harry had heard from Emi and Kathy were so out-there that he had had quite a good laugh out of it. When in reality, most of his time was spent doing simple exercises to get his strength, stamina and fitness up again. Once more, he was shocked to find that he was severely out of practice. Harry berated himself often for letting himself become so slack in his laziness of having ‘eternity’.

 

Whilst he was on his increasingly-long jogs after completing some early morning stretches, Harry would often recall in his mind all of the spells that he had learnt over the course of his lifetime. He shook his head every now and then when he forgot or confused the incantation of a spell. Once he achieved a ‘for now’ satisfactory level of endurance, he spent time casting spells verbally whilst in rapid and constant movement.

 

Kathy, when she managed to get herself there, would duel him harshly with Emi standing off on the side-lines. Sometimes Emi liked to ‘spice things up’ by sneakily shooting some underhanded spells his way as he was too distracted. Harry had shot her various looks at it but let it slide because it successfully kept him on his toes, which was exactly what he needed.

 

Other times, he would look from side to side and, sure that he was alone, sneak off to wander around. Kathy happened to find him missing whenever she showed up while he was on one of his ‘exploration adventures’ but merely shrugged and sat idly on the ground until a sufficiently satisfied and ruffled-looking Harry – sometimes Emi liked to tell her daughter that the look Harry would have on was very similar to that of her ‘grand-aunty Luna’s’ famed dazed-look – stumbled back into their rendezvous point, smiling sheepishly at her knowing look but neither saying a word.

 

Once or twice, Emi had swatted his bum in a joking manner on his return – which had him yelping indignantly in surprise – an amused brow raised. Kathy, with much more tact than her mother, had merely ran her fingers through his hair once each time after his return, her fingers brushing just behind his ear softly before moving on with their own duels.

 

This day, Harry was once again spending his free time between classes in the midst of the trees. He knew from the day before that Emi and Kathy had both planned to go off to spend the better part of their day in town, shopping; as usual. They’d left in the morning, just after catching breakfast with Harry and making sure that he had actually woken up in time to see them off before he retreated into his first class.

 

He’d begun his routine as usual; simple running, stretching and other warm-ups. Then he’d conjured up some metal pseudo-robots as good moving-target practice. Harry had attempted trying to charm them to reflect his own spells off their surfaces so as to force him to defend himself, but he’d had no luck. When he got bored, he even had a few rounds with his snitch to try and better his reaction speed and overall agility.

 

At that moment, however, he was temporarily out of ideas and was also taking a breather. He’d walked off to a small area that he’d altered himself – where it was a small open space with no trees and some rocks scattered around, including even a miniature lake that he’d carved out and filled himself. It was odd, but he enjoyed lingering around the area during his short breaks and, at times, during one of his lazier ‘exploration’ times.

 

All Harry wanted to do then was to let himself fall by the water and just do nothing. So, he decided to do just that. Well, maybe not exactly that.

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Somewhere deep within the Mansion, the loud roar of jet engines was dying down and several uniformed individuals stepped out of said jet plane. Most walked at a leisurely pace; one or two were also stretching their bodies languidly, producing sighs of satisfaction at the sound of bones popping. One individual, however, was stalking off towards the door in undisguised irritation.

 

                “Logan!” came Scott’s voice, echoing in the hangar. “Where do you think you’re going? We’re supposed to report in to the Professor!”

 

                “Fuck off, Cyclops,” Logan retaliated in a snarl.

 

                “Wh—Logan!” Scott continued to chastise him disapprovingly.

 

                “Scott,” Jean’s soft voice cut in as she lightly placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned his head to look at her and she merely shook her head in silent answer. His eyes seemed ready to say otherwise, but with another firm shake of her head, Scott shut his mouth and stayed silent compliantly.

 

Logan was tearing away at his trademark X-Men gear whilst roughly pushing open doors and trailing through the Mansion. Truth be told, there wasn’t really all that much of a reason to his frustration at that moment. In fact, he was only frustrated because he’d just wasted a few days following an empty lead and coming home with nothing to show for it. If it was one thing Logan couldn’t stand; it was unsuccessfully completing something he’d set his eyes on.

 

He, Scott and Jean had set out just a few days short of a week ago to check out the rumours of Mystique having shown up in town. Shortly after they’d arrived, it was clear that regardless of whether or not she did pass through the area, she definitely wasn’t there anymore. They’d then spent the following days trying to discover any sort of trail left by the woman in their own ways, and each came back with nothing. Of the extremely few points that they did manage to get witnessed sightings of Mystique’s familiar ‘human’ form of ‘Raven Darkholme’, they didn’t stand out or offer any help to their search in any way. Most of them had been from drunken men at bars to clerks at convenience stores.

 

Although, this did nothing to put off any suspicion on their part because there were practically whispers of her association and interests in several unique individuals. Not necessarily successful people, but someone who wasn’t entirely innocent in their own rights either.

 

Back at the present time, Logan was striding determinedly through the empty halls of the Mansion to a place where he could vent in the middle of a day, where all of the students were no doubt in class. Sometimes, Logan enjoyed taking out his frustrations on the Professor – who’d usually take the verbal rant in stride. Other times, he’d just barricade himself in his quarters until he’d cooled down. And on some occasions, he would head out to the gardens – only if it was during times when nobody else would be around – and physically let off some steam. In other words, he’d damage some undeserving foliage.

 

He was making his way deeper and deeper into the forest when his sensitive hearing picked up a rustle of movement. Instinctively, he whirled his body toward the direction of the sound, his claws sliding out from between his knuckles fluidly as he crouched his body low and eyed the darkening area with attentive, alert senses. Logan thought he may have been seeing things when he thought he saw a pair of deep green eyes that were unmistakeably the eyes of an animal before they blinked out and disappeared.

 

He snapped out of his musings at the odd pair of eyes when there were more sounds and even the tell-tale snapping of twigs, increasing and heading towards him. A low rumble was emanating from his throat in warning but it immediately died down when a familiar figure emerged into his direct line-of-sight. “Harry?” he said incredulously, relaxing his stance and straightening his back. The figure, Harry, had his head down and was shaking it in an endearingly dog-like manner; some dirt and even a few leaves in his hair.

 

Harry lifted his head, hand still sifting through his messy locks in an effort to make it a little bit tidier, and immediately smiled at Logan; seemingly not at all surprised by Logan’s presence. “Hey Logan,” he said in his usual laid-back manner. “You’re back already?”

 

                “Just got in,” Logan said simply, amused at the scene before him and also somewhat confused as well. “What’ve you been up to?” he asked soon after, still taking in Harry’s dishevelled appearance with a smile curling his lips. “You look like you’ve been rolling around the forest.” This earned a laugh from Harry, to his pleasure.

 

                “Well, you could say that,” Harry answered cheekily, smiling a small, sheepish smile and looking up at Logan. “Actually…” Harry started to say, seriously considering the situation. “I’ve been spending some time here preparing, really.”

 

                “Preparing?” Logan repeated, not yet understanding.

 

                “For our duel,” Harry answered straight-out, a corner of his lips twisting into a confident smirk that was an unusually new – and definitely appreciated – surprise to Logan.

 

                “Oh really?” said Logan, plastering on a smirk of his own, now drawing himself up further and looking down at Harry from his height advantage. “Well, let’s hope you can make it at least a little exciting, huh?” He commented cockily.

 

                “You’d be surprised,” Harry said after rolling his eyes. “Then again, you do kind of have an advantage already since you know what I can do,” he drawled in a bored-act, his eyes lidding slightly and a barely noticeable mischievous glint in his green gems.

 

                “So do I have to show you mine, then?” Logan shot back with a completely inappropriate manner that had Harry blushing involuntarily at the unmistakeable innuendo.

 

                “Um, have you heard about the time extension?” asked Harry, clearly going for a change of subject to something safer. He suspected that Logan would merely turn back the direction of the conversation, but was surprised to see Logan merely raise a brow before Harry received the answer to his subject-change-question in the form of the silence that followed and a slight furrowing of Logan’s brows. “Well, Storm said she’d give the duel a time extension of seven days from your return,” he elaborated with a small, cheeky smile. “So you know what that means for me?”

 

                “You got more time to prepare that I will,” Logan finished, conceding, in his low voice with a slight narrowing of his eyes as he took in the situation before him once more. “So you’ve not merely been rolling around in dirt, then?” he asked cheekily, adding the comment even though they’d already clarified Harry’s actions. He felt an almost unnoticeable rush of fondness and his smirk unconsciously softened at Harry’s childish scowl in response to the quip.

 

                “Of course not,” Harry argued half-heartedly, brushing past Logan to gather his things.

 

                “Leaving already?” asked Logan, his tone an odd mix of soft taunting, worry and regret that he may have offended Harry more than he thought. He watched Harry pause – his back to Logan – before turning around to face him.

 

                “I think I’ve had enough for today,” Harry answered slowly, thinking to himself; and I’ll probably be too lazy to go on anyway, if what I’d been doing the entire time is any indication of my enthusiasm today. Harry, in his wisdom and knowledge that he had accumulated from years of experience, had by no means missed the tone of Logan’s voice. Although he was rather confused as to why Logan would feel apologetic for a silly remark at all – even if deep somewhere in his subconscious where he was not so oblivious, his mind recognized the tiny hints of Logan’s seeking for Harry’s approval and happiness – Harry decided not to make Logan feel any worse. With an unconscious tilt of his head towards the direction of the Mansion, Harry asked; “do you want to go get some food?”

 

He watched as Logan’s expression contorted into a look of surprise, then apprehension, and settling for slight suspicion for ulterior motives. “Um, I mean – you just got back right? So you’ve got to be at least a little hungry.” No answer. Then, more quietly, “well, I know I’m starving,” he finished off with a sheepish smile and bright green eyes peeking out from under dark lashes at Logan.

 

Logan’s body went rigid and he completely froze at the innocently-pleading image that Harry was directing at him. He didn’t even breathe, until he caught himself and promptly shook himself out of it mentally. He imagined he looked quite dumbstruck at the moment but if he did, it certainly wasn’t what Harry saw; since the man was still merely gazing up at him expectantly as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

 

                “Uh,” Logan cleared his throat when his voice came out unnaturally gravelly and high. “Right. Sure, why not.” He felt his chest contracting when Harry threw him a pleased smile and gathered up the remaining of his things before heading off toward the Mansion. Logan managed to get his body to fall in step with Harry and they strode back together, him feeling unnaturally at ease from the moment he fell back into Harry’s companionable presence. “Y’do know dinner ain’t ready yet, right?” he noted just in case as they neared the large glass doors.

 

                “Oh of course I do,” Harry answered without a hitch, smiling to himself a little. “I had actually been thinking about making up something for all three of you when you came back anyway. Sort of…” he trailed off, thinking for the word, “like a ‘welcome home’ meal,” he settled on, pleased.

 

Logan’s brows went up and he turned to look questioningly at Harry, who glanced once in his direction but did not turn his head, instead settling for an easy shrug.

 

                “Call me sentimental, sappy, foolish, silly, whatever. I’ve just always enjoyed doing this sort of little things.” His eyes lowered as his lips settled on a small smile. He thought of something he’d forged under Hermione’s watchful eye. “Even if I’m stuck here whilst time is fleeting for everyone else; I will always treasure everyone I love, and treat them as deservingly for as long as I can – because love touches you, no matter how brief.”

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