Title: The Journey of a Hero
Eventual Parings: Clark/Oliver, Harry/Draco
Minor Future Parings: Chloe/Bruce Wayne, Warren Peace/Will Stronghold
Warnings: Slash, AU
Spoilers: This is DH compliant with no Epilogue.
Credits: SVgurl, and Jayson
Betas: Dawn

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Author Note: Sorry this has taken so long. Hopefully, you will find it worth the wait.

Canon Note: Subterranean, the episode that this farm was taken from was originally to be aired with the date of summer 2006. Apparently, they decided to change the air date. This is already an AU anyway, so the farm information in this chapter happened in the summer of 2006.

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Chapter 1 Recap:

Oliver and the Justice League, destroy another one of Lex’s 33.1 labs. Oliver decides to head back to Metropolis to see Clark. Clark and Oliver have slowly become friends, and Oliver finds himself attracted to Clark, but doesn’t think that he feels the same way.

Harry moves from England to America, re-naming himself, Bradley Matthews. He didn’t even tell any of his friends where he is relocating to. He is in Kansas, and is trying to find a farm that he can call his own.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Chapter 2

Two weeks after the initial meeting with the realtor at his office, Harry, arrived at the town of Smallville.  Harry, had for the most part, spent some of the time researching the small town, and its colourful residents. He also spent quite a bit of time sightseeing, and being a general tourist, which was a first for Harry as he had never really been anywhere but the British Isles before.

As they drove toward the property, Harry had to agree with Mr Wallace, his realtor, that the name definitely fit the small but quaint town. As Mr Wallace drove them towards the farm, they discussed a few of the particulars of the farm, but he didn’t seem to want to talk in depth about the farm until Harry saw it in person. He seemed to be of the opinion that seeing was believing, and it was better show some things, than try to explain them.

When they arrived, Harry noticed that it did indeed look to him that the production just stopped in the middle of the season. The crops, mostly dead by now, were half harvested, and the ground looked dry and in need of some care. There was also a rather extensive hole in the middle of the field, which seemed to stretch a good thirty feet and covered the majority of the main field.

As they pulled up to the farmhouse, they both got out of the car, and Harry opened the folder of research that he had gotten from the owners and other residents of the town.

“Well, as we discussed on the way over, as far as the contents of the farm go, everything for sale has been checked to make sure that it is in good working order and, apparently the farm has a caretaker taking care of the animals, which is included in the price. He is willing to help you if you need it for the first several weeks, but he has decided to retire after that.”

While Harry was thinking, Mr Wallace continued his long sales pitch, “The current owners have done several repairs recently in anticipation of a sale, so some of the work I mentioned earlier has been completed already. It is, according to LuthorCorp, ready to move in now. The only thing he didn’t fix was the giant hole in the field, but that’s nothing that a bulldozer couldn’t fix, and there is one on the property.”

“Well, that will certainly save me some time and money; let’s look around while I make up my mind. How far away is the nearest neighbour again?”

“It’s several miles away, on the edge of your property. Mr Kent apparently has lived here for most of his life. He might be able to tell you some of the crops which were previously grown here. There is also a natural spring on the property as well. At the moment, it’s mainly used for your drinking water.”

Harry nodded, already realizing the possibilities of being miles from anyone. He could continue to practice magic and no one would know. He would need to put up several wards to make sure that he was alerted to anyone that entered his property in order to prepare himself to look like a Muggle, but he knew he could do that fairly easily.

“Mr Wallace?” Harry interrupted, “I’ll take it. I really like what I see. Sure it needs some care, and fixing up, but it’s all doable. As far as the other stuff, well, I don’t care too much about the general history of the property. I just wanted to make sure that the land hadn’t become barren. It would make it very hard to produce a harvest with the land unable to sustain crop growth for several years, even allowing for chemical and organic fertilization programs.” Harry advised him.

“True, I already have the paperwork ready in anticipation that you may have been interested in taking it. The current owners agreed to your offer and everything from your bank has been approved. So as soon as you sign the documents, I can give you the title. LuthorCorp just wants to get it off their hands, so you are getting a steal.”

Harry grinned. “That’s great. I am glad to know that.” Harry bent over the hood of the car and signed the paperwork. He was now the proud owner of a farm.

*~*~*~*~*

Clark had been kind of worried that someone had decided to buy the next farm over; he knew a new owner would mean he couldn't use his powers openly anymore. He had tried to discourage Mr Wallace from letting anyone buy it, but he was a businessman in real estate, and couldn't be deterred even by the number of bodies that Clark mentioned finding on the property.

The agent had indicated that he was bringing the potential owner over to the house today, and Clark decided that if he was going to get a new neighbour, he should probably go over and be helpful. He could, of course, try to get over to the farm before the neighbour signed and try and get him not to buy the property, but to be honest, after the tragedy, the place needed a new owner.

Climbing into his truck, he started driving toward the other farm, wondering if Mr Jenkins would be staying on at the farm for a while, or if he was finally going to retire. Clark figured he could ask once he got there.

Turning down the long driveway, Clark arrived at the farmhouse to find Mr Wallace and another guy talking by the car. The younger man was signing some paperwork, and Clark realized that the man had already bought the farm. Sighing softly, he got out of the truck, and walked towards them, keenly anticipating meeting his new neighbour.

As he walked up to the car, Clark was stunned by the young man's good looks. If he hadn't been mooning over Oliver, he would have definitely tried to find out if the man was interested. As Clark came to a stop near the car, Mr Wallace looked up, noticed him and smiled.

“Hello, Mr Kent. I'd like you to meet your new neighbour, this is Mr Matthews.”

Harry smiled at the gorgeous young man before him. He definitely looked like he had been living on a farm all of his life. The man was wearing a worn pair of blue jeans that had seen better days, but were still presentable. He was sporting a blue tee shirt that hugged his chest, showing off his well-earned muscles. He appeared to be around his own age, which probably a good thing in the long run if life on the farm got to be too lonely. 

As Harry observed Clark, he noticed that he didn’t seem to be a normal Muggle. He didn’t sense a magical aura around him, but he seemed to radiate with power. Perhaps Clark was some sort of magical being that had a different kind of magic that Harry wasn’t sensitive to.  He didn’t; however, appear to be any immediate threat to him so Harry relaxed his vigilance slightly.

Clark reached out his hand to shake, "It's nice to meet you, Mr Matthews, but please, call me Clark.”

“Pleased to meet you as well, and please, call me Brad.” Harry said with a smile. “So, what brings you to my new farm, Clark?”

“Well, Mr Wallace mentioned that you would be by today, and I wanted to make sure that if you had any questions about the property, I could see about answering them.”

“That's really nice of you. I do have a couple of questions, but I think most of them could be answered just by looking at the fields. This was mainly a corn and potato farm wasn't it?”

Clark nodded, “Yes, it was mainly. Before the end, he was starting to raise other goods because the corn plant was turned into a fertilizer plant.” 

"He who?" Harry asked, "Do you mean the previous owner, I thought that was a corporation?"

“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you knew. I was talking about Mr. McNally. The farm was bought out by LuthorCorp after some financial trouble, but he still ran the property.”

“Of course, I can understand that. We spoke about the fertilizer plant on the way here. It looked closed actually.”

“Yeah, it's been open and closed off and on for awhile. Every time something happens, it gets closed for a moment, and then reopens. It’s also owned by LuthorCorp, like a lot of properties round here.”

“Ahh, yes, that makes sense. I understand why some people would worry about the farms past owners, but I am not really worried about things like that.”

Clark smiled, assuming Wallace had told Brad about the effects of the meteor shower on the local inhabitants and the subsequent massacre on the farm. This Brad fellow seemed to be an interesting man. Clark decided to make it a point to talk to him often. “So, I take it from the accent that you're British? What made you decide to come all the way over here to start a farm?”

Harry was quiet for several moments before answering. “I used to help with several large community gardens back home, but it wasn't the same. I wanted to have a place of my own. So, when I started looking around for a place to call home I did consider moving to a farm in England, but as I am sure you are aware that England isn't a very large country.  I looked into the farmland that had yet to be allotted by the government and realized that there wasn't much space to do anything. Most of the farms were either too small or more suited for animal husbandry only. I looked into some other countries nearby, but I just didn’t find anything suitable. I was told by an American co-worker, that America would probably be a better place to go, and after a lot of research, I decided that a state that was mainly farming land would be a good place for me.”

Mr Wallace, who was quietly listening to the exchange, cleared his throat. “Mr Matthews, I hate to interrupt, but I really do have to get back to the office.”

“Well, Brad, if you need a lift back into town, I can take you.” Clark offered, “I could give you a tour of the place if you would like? Show you around town, and the local hang outs.”

Harry smiled. “You know, that would be great, Clark. I would really love a guided tour by someone local. I have yet to acquire a car, so I had to have Mr Wallace drive me out here.”

“It's no problem, honestly... I already have my chores done for the morning, so don't have much to do at the moment anyway.”

“Wow, you must be really fast. Hopefully, I will have the same luck once I get settled. I will need to learn to operate the machines around here. We didn't have them back on our little farm.”

“It's not that hard once you get used to it. I would be glad to teach you.” Turning to Mr Wallace, he reached out to shake his hand. “It was great seeing you again, Mr Wallace. Hope the rest of your day goes well.”

Mr Wallace shook Harry's hand as well before nodding. “You as well, Mr Kent, Mr Matthews.”  He turned, got into his car and left the two alone on Harry's new farm.

After showing Brad around the property, and explaining the types of crops that were grown, Clark asked Brad about his future business.

“Well, I will grow some crops, and keep a few animals, but I think I will mainly be building a big greenhouse for specialized plants. I have a real way with plants; have since I was a kid. My aunt used to make me do all the gardening, so I worked with plants from a very early age. I think I might grow some flowers that are hard to find here. I am sure that I can get some local florists in the bigger towns to buy them. I am good at crossbreeding plants too, so I have been toying with this cross between a rose and an orchid.”

“Wow that sounds really interesting. I know the perfect spot for a greenhouse too; the old owner was talking about building one and set aside some property out back where he was going to build it. It has a natural spring flowing over it, so it gives the perfect heat and cold that most plants need. We have a little bit of it on our property, but we never did much with it except plant corn on it.”

“Mr Wallace did mention a spring, though he didn’t mention it was big enough to fund a greenhouse. He told me that it was used for drinking water on the farm. I haven’t yet had time to study the survey, so that helps out with some knowledge at least for the moment. I am glad that you came over, Clark. You probably saved me tedious reading at the very least.”

“No problem, we are neighbours after all.”

“That we are. Well, I am getting a little tired. If you could take me back to my hotel, I’ll get my stuff and come back here to see what I can do with getting the place habitable. The power has already been turned on by the caretaker, so I was told I could stay here tonight. It will definitely make me happy, I have been living out of a hotel for two weeks now, and it’s just not as fun as people like to claim. ”

“All right, let’s get you to Metropolis and back here. At least the hole in the roof was fully repaired before you bought the place. I would imagine a new roof must cost a lot.” Clark said as they both got in Clark’s car and began to drive towards the city.

“True, I was looking into prices the other day, it was rather expensive. Mr. Wallace said the original damage was fixed with only a patch job. I assume the former owner couldn’t afford to fix it. I still have to get used to using American money, but it looked like a lot of money when I checked it against the sterling rate.”

“Yeah, it is. After the last meteor shower, we had to replace most of our house, which was pretty expensive. So, are you all official now, or do you have to wait to get a greencard and stuff?”

“Naturally, I am all official. I got all my residency papers completed and just moved to the States this month.”

“So you could say that you decided on Kansas because of your plants?”

“Yes, that’s it exactly. I just lucked out that this farm was available. The only other one was more of a horse farm.”

“Oh, I know that place. It’s on the other side of me in fact. I must say that I am surprised LuthorCorp sold it actually. The owner and LuthorCorp were making quite the profit margin, but after the tragedy, I thought he would write it off, but he kept it for some reason. ”

“Tragedy, what tragedy? Wallace didn't mention anything."

“Oh, hell, I don't really know how to tell you, but you should really know about this, although it’s too late to stop the transfer of ownership now. Once you signed the papers you were tied into the land deal." Clark hesitated, "Okay, well, the meteor showers that have happened over the last several decades have had some side effects on some of the town’s residents. Mr McNally, hired a group of illegal aliens, and it seems that he had an ability that allowed him to travel underground quickly and pull anyone that tried to leave into the ground, killing them instantly.”

Harry blinked in confusion. It almost sounded like a wizard or witch was responsible, but he supposed it was possible that someone could develop powers like this. It was then that Harry decided to try and further investigate the background of the town, in addition to his failed research on his farm, it may be an interesting read.

“The large hole out in the field was where most of the bodies were found, by me actually. It was pretty horrific. All bodies were removed and buried properly, and the original grave site was to be planted over with grass to try to make it blend back into the landscape. However, from the looks of things, it’s still just a giant hole. Its all okay now - nothing was left on the farm but its just such an awful thing to have happened. Mr McNally disappeared and LuthorCorp took over the land, it’s been lying fallow ever since."

Harry smiled softly. “Yes, that is horrific; it must have been awful for you to discover those people.  I’m sorry.”

“Will you be all right with it? Wallace should really have told you.”

Harry hmmmed and laughed softly, “Well, he is a real estate agent, so you can’t expect them to be totally honest. He did mention that the previous owner disappeared suddenly. I am sure I will be fine, the land can’t hurt me.”

Harry sat silently, considering the possibility that there might be ghosts haunting the field which scared off the previous owners and made them leave in a hurry, but when he was looking around, he didn’t see any. Normally, ghosts didn’t haunt outside the magical world these days. Too many of them had caused Muggles to become suspicious, so a department was developed to help the ghosts move to a magical community. However, the department couldn’t always get some of them to leave their haunts which was why so many Muggles believed in ghosts. The Ministry had decided that the ghosts weren’t a threat to the secrecy laws, and they left the Muggle’s memories intact. Luckily, most Muggles thought that people who saw ghosts were crazy and that was the line of thinking the Magic Ministries encouraged worldwide.

“As far as the property being sold, perhaps it was just waiting for me to come along and buy it. The company didn’t mention any other offers and seemed eager to get it off their hands.”

“Perhaps you are right. LuthorCorp wouldn’t want a property around that had that kind of history anyway.”

“True. Oh well, his loss, my gain.”

*~*~*~*~*

Two weeks later, near Thanksgiving, Clark was piling hay in the barn when Chloe walked in. Normally, Clark heard her approach, but this time Clark seemed totally absorbed in his task. As she watched Clark she knew something was bothering her friend. Clearing her throat, Chloe smiled and began to laugh as Clark almost launched the bale of hay into orbit.

“You know, Clark, if I was anyone else, say Lois for example, I would have quite a story on my hands.”

“Sorry, Chloe. I was a bit preoccupied, thinking about a problem. Luckily, she’s not here at the moment. She and mom are off to Washington to take a tour of mom’s new office. Anyway, it’s not really a problem, but it could be to some people.”

“What’s wrong, Clark?

Clark placed the bale of hay back down and sighed as he sat on it. “How do you know if you are gay or bisexual?”

Chloe looked at Clark and for the first time in her life, she didn’t know what to say. “Gay? Clark are you trying to tell me something, or are you fishing for answers for ”a friend!”?”

“Well, I could say a friend, but it’s really for me.  I’ve been hanging out with Ollie a lot lately, and I feel kinda funny inside when he’s around. Not funny in a bad way, just different. It almost feels like what I felt for Lana for all those years, but stronger, deeper, I think.”

Chloe was stunned, Clark and Oliver together? Now that she thought about it, they would make a rather cute couple. “Well, does he return these feelings?”

“I think so. We were on the couch watching a movie, and I fell asleep on him. Woke up because I felt someone petting my hair, and found him watching me sleep.”

Chloe laughed softly, and smiled at Clark. “Evidently, he must like you or your hair, perhaps both.”

Clark burst out laughing and grinned from ear to ear. “Well, hopefully he likes both. I wouldn’t want someone to just like me for my hair. I know he wasn’t just petting it because he was asleep, he was looking right at me.”

“That’s sweet, Clark. I had no idea that Oliver was bisexual at all. I mean he did try and date Lois for a little while. Of course, that might be another reason why it wasn’t working out. Maybe he was dating her for his image or something. I hope not, but I guess it doesn’t matter now.”

“No, I think he genuinely liked her, I think it just got uncomfortable with her not knowing who he was. She did pursue his alter ego for quite awhile trying to figure out who he was, so he probably didn’t like that part either. I think it was a number of things.”

“Well, I know it is hard on you, so I would assume that Oliver would feel the same pressure. I remember you said it was that way with Lana. I am actually surprised that she still doesn’t know yet.”

“True, anyway, Oliver invited me out to a play in Metropolis. I don’t know whether or not to go. I mean Oliver said he would buy me a good suit to wear, but I don’t know how I would fit in with that crowd. I was raised on a farm, not high society with a golden spoon in my mouth.”

“Clark, listen to me a minute, and hear me out before you interrupt. Okay?” At Clark’s nod, she smiled and continued. “Clark, just let him do what he wants. If he wants to buy you a suit and take you to a play, think of it as a new learning experience. You expressed an interest in becoming a journalist. Well, Oliver can teach you how to act around the high society crowd. He’s lived the life since he was born, so he would know things that most don’t. That, and you will have fun just being with him anyway.”

“Yeah, maybe you are right. I mean I haven’t ever been to one before, and my mom used to drag my dad to them. He said he sometimes enjoyed them.”

Chloe laughed softly and smiled. “Go on inside and call Ollie and tell him you’ll go. The worst case scenario is that you hate the play; the dinner before it and anything after will be fun regardless.”

“Yeah, I think I will go do that. Thanks for your help, Chloe.” Clark leaned over and hugged her softly, got up and began walking to the house.

Chloe stayed in the barn for a few more minutes before exiting herself. She was rather deep in thought. She was lucky that she no longer had a crush on Clark, because finding out he could be gay would have not done her any good. Luckily for Chloe, she had a pretty major crush on Jimmy Olsen.

*~*~*~*~*

The weeks after Harry bought the house, Harry would have been rather stressful if it hadn’t been for his magic. He had put in a phone, put the utilities in his name, when he decided that perhaps he should finally get that computer he always wanted. During his years as an Auror, Harry had learned that magic and technology could work together if he used the right spells. After the final battle, he had this feeling that he could now do more than he could before. He decided not to tell anyone though; he didn’t want to be accused of being the next Voldemort.

Harry had found out that he could actually craft new spells. He was casting a protection ward on his apartment, and accidentally moved his other hand, which changed the ward he was casting. Several minutes later, Harry looked down to notice that his watch, which only worked outside the apartment, had suddenly started working.

Needless to say, Harry had repeated the ward at Hermione’s house, and she was so excited that she nearly fell over with joy. He then taught her the spell, and she helped him publish a small book of spells he’d created himself, including that particular one, and a good number that his mother Lily had created as well. Hermione marketed it almost exclusively to Muggle-borns, and Half-Bloods, though Harry was sure that several purebloods had bought the book as well. Harry learned that in the journals from his mother’s childhood that his Mum was really good at inventing spells, and it seemed that he had inherited that ability. Harry published the book under the name, Juno Verain, and it was an instant best seller. Harry was actually happy that he had become known for something other than defeating Voldemort.

Harry had set up several basic wards on his home and immediate property area the day of the sale; however he had yet to put any on the main border of his property. It was probably past time, but Harry had been so busy re-decorating his home to do so. Harry had found that the best way to place a property ward was to walk the property boundaries, so he set off for the nearest one, and started to walk along the fence line, muttering the incantations.

Harry had figured out how to get a ward set up that wouldn’t affect the person entering it. If a Muggle tripped on the ward, they wouldn’t realize that they went through it. Of course, for the greenhouse, he would have to put some Muggle repelling charms on it. It wouldn’t do for a Muggle to stumble upon magical plants.

*~*~*~*~*

Clark was walking out of his house, when his sensitive hearing picked up a slight noise near the property line. Using his enhanced vision, Clark noticed his new neighbour waving a stick around the property line. At first, Clark thought it was a divining rod, but it was too short and didn’t have a fork in it. Plus, he was carrying it wrong.

Shrugging, he walked down the steps and headed towards Brad. After years of investigating curious things, it was normal for Clark to stick his nose where it probably didn’t belong. As he walked closer, he realized that something was reflecting light around Brad. It was a pretty colour, almost a teal, but not quite.

When Clark was about 400 metres away, Brad suddenly looked up startled and the stick quickly disappeared, along with the pretty light. Clark blinked for a moment and shook his head. Perhaps he was imagining the light, but he was sure he saw a stick in his hand. Clark continued walking and stopped before Brad, quickly looking him over with his x-ray vision. The stick was in a holster up his sleeve, like it was some sort of weapon. Clark looked up at Brad, completely puzzled. ‘He doesn’t seem to be the violent type, and after all, what kind of damage could a stick make?’ he thought to himself.

“Hello, Brad. Whatcha doing? Did you need something?”

Brad shook his head. “No, I was just walking the property lines, I was reading the map, and was trying to find some things on it. Apparently, the survey wasn’t as extensive as I hoped. I hope I didn’t keep you from your work.”

“Nope, I was finished with most of it hours ago. I was in the house taking a break, when I decided to take a walk around the property to check the fences to see if any needed to be repaired, and I saw you over here.”

“Oh, well, that’s good. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I was just walking the property line, trying to find the beginning of that spring you mentioned actually. I didn’t want to bother you again so soon.”

Clark shook his head. “It’s not a problem. I would be happy to show it to you now. I am sure you want to get it started.”

“Yes, I do need to start preparation; there is a lot to do before I can arrange to bring my plants over, I'd be glad to have your help whilst I explore further."

*~*~*~*~*

Harry breathed a sigh of relief, as Clark seemed to have bought his story not that there was any reason for him not to do so. It was the truth after a fashion; he was checking the boundaries of his property, even if that wasn’t all he was doing. He knew that as an adult, he didn’t have to worry about having the magical law enforcement coming down on him if a Muggle noticed his magic but he did think he could convincingly say it was a trick of the light if Clark mentioned anything. However, he definitely didn’t want his new neighbour to think he was weird or that he was some sort of freak.

After walking for a while, Clark showed Harry the already laid out building. It wasn’t quite as large as Harry was thinking, and when he mentioned it to Clark, he was surprised that he wanted a greenhouse that spanned almost 400 feet in length. Harry was definitely relieved to have such a large natural spring on the property, as it was the best way to grow magical plants.

As Harry walked with Clark, he noticed again that Clark’s aura was very different to any he’d seen before. Perhaps Clark was one of those meteor people that Harry had seen mentioned in the public archive that he had been pointed to last week when he had been researching. He didn’t actually think so; since it seemed from the information he’d managed to find out that he and his friend Chloe seemed to do most of the battling against the ones infected.  Harry couldn’t find one instance of anyone that had been infected that turned out to be a good person in the end. It was rather sad because quite a few of the people had some rather nice powers.

As Harry waved to Clark as he left to go back home, Harry decided that he might want to set the rest of his wards on the other side of the property. He didn’t want Clark to find him using his wand very often. He might start to become suspicious and that just wouldn’t do. He would go back to this side of the property when he was sure Clark wasn’t around to catch him in the act.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*

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