The Journey of a Hero - Chapter 3

By Dream Howler

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Author Notes: This story is obviously not following known canon for either Harry Potter or Smallville. I just want to let you know again due to the content of this chapter.

If you follow my story Bane of My Existence you may have noticed that one of my favourite straight pairings is Blaise/Hermione. As you are also aware Blaise isn’t black in my stories. I started my character history for him long before it was revealed that he wasn’t Italian and white, and I decided not to change it.

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Chapter 2 Recap:

Harry finally purchased his new home next to local hero, Clark Kent. Harry suspects that Clark isn’t exactly as he appears since he has what could qualify as a confusing aura surrounding him. Harry has moved into his house, and has begun to plan his greenhouse for magical plants.

Clark and Oliver had a friendly dinner that ended up with Clark using Oliver for a pillow after a movie. The next week, Clark came out of the closet to Chloe, and told her that he was having feelings for Oliver.

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Draco Malfoy didn’t appreciate being left behind. It was inconsequential that Potter hadn’t done it on purpose since he had no idea that Draco felt the way he did. Potter had always been blind to such things, even when they were flashed right in front of his face. When the Wizarding World found out that Harry had disappeared, they were understandably upset.  However, no one felt the loss like one Draco Malfoy.

Harry had been the one person he could count on to not do things like disappear on him, and when Granger-Zabini and Weasley, the remaining members of the Golden Trio appeared on his doorstep trying to see if he knew where Harry was, Draco had no option but to respond that he had no idea that Harry had even decided to leave. He did tell them, though, that if Harry didn’t want to be found, there was no way that he would be.

After the duo left, Draco looked through every book in his family libraries for any glimpse of a spell that would help him find Harry, or at least give him a general direction in which to look. After days of intense research, he went to his family vault to check through some of his more obscure books, as well some of dubious legality.  After what seemed like an eternity, he finally came across a spell which looked like it had a distinct possibility of working.  Turning the book over in his hands, he noted that although this particular book had been bound for publishing, it had obviously never reached the shelves.  Studying it more carefully, he saw the author was one Severus Snape.

As Draco read through the spell closely, he was thankful for the first time in years for his old professor’s obsessive need to be thorough. He was ecstatic to find a capable spell of for the job, but learned that even though the spell would locate someone who was untraceable, it could only give a general area or country until the tracker got close to the target.  When this happened the spell became more and more accurate, until said target was close enough to be pinpointed precisely.   He was a little disappointed that the solution wasn’t going to be straightforward, but as the spell didn’t seem to be very difficult to perform, he felt reasonably confident that his innate magic would be able to help him get past the obstacles he was sure lay ahead. 

It took longer than he thought it would to cast the actual spell, because it called for something personal of Harry’s: something that would have his magical signature on it: something he had owned, or a piece of his clothing. 

Trying to work out what he would say in advance, he approached the one person he felt might be able to help him out.

Taking a deep breath, Draco reached up and knocked on the large door in front of him.  As the door opened he smiled as openly as he was able, and greeted the person he had come to see.

“Hello, Hermione.  Do you have a moment?” he enquired politely.

“Draco,” Hermione answered as she ushered him in. “It’s not like you to come around on a weekday.  What can I do for you? Blaise isn’t here right now; he’s taken the children to visit his mother.”

“Oh, no, that’s okay.  I came to see you, actually.  I just, well, I just wanted to talk to you about Harry.”

“Oh, okay,” she answered somewhat sceptically. “Well, come on in; have a seat.”

Once the two were settled, Draco gathered his thoughts and tried to follow through on his plan.  He knew Hermione fairly well, considering she’d been married to his childhood friend Blaise for the last ten years, and was fully aware of how clever and quick witted she was.  He also had ample knowledge of how protective she was towards those she considered family; Blaise, her children, Rose and Gideon, her parents, and her two best friends, Weasley and Harry. 

As he continued to ponder what to say, Hermione cleared her throat.  Draco looked up at her, uncomfortable at the realisation that he had allowed his posture to slip.  He was sitting on the front of his seat with his head in his hands, raking his fingers clutching at his hair.

“Draco, is everything, okay?  You seem… um… distracted.” Hermione enquired gently.

“Yes, yes, fine.”

“Draco,” she drawled, reminding him clearly of how his own mother “encouraged” him to speak out when she knew he wasn’t telling the whole truth.

“Well, maybe not fine.  I was, er, wondering if you had anything of Harry’s I could have?  Something he maybe left here?”  He asked hesitantly.

“Harry’s.  You want something of Harry’s.”

“Um, yes.”

“Why?”

“Well, I, er...”

“Draco, please.  This isn’t like you.  What’s really the matter?”

“I miss him, okay?  I miss him.”  he confessed painfully.

“Oh.”

“Yes, oh.”

“Why, Draco? Why do you miss him?  I know you were friends: well, casual acquaintances, really.   I didn’t know you were close,” she said as she pried him for more information.

“We weren’t, exactly.  It’s just that now he’s not here, I feel empty: without direction.  Does that make sense?”

“I think it’s rather sweet, actually.  I’m sure I’ve something here that you can have.  I won’t be long.  Have some tea,” she offered as she bustled off.  Hermione returned a short while later with a black tee shirt in her hand with the logo “Seekers do it on the fly!” on it, and handed it to Draco.

Turning it over in his hand and reading the wording, Draco couldn’t help but snort in amusement as Hermione grinned at him.

“It was a present from the twins, I believe,” she enlightened him. “He wore it for the rest of that summer: left it here when he stayed over one night.”

“Thank you, Hermione; I really appreciate this,” Draco responded with a smile: a genuine one, this time.

“Would you like to stay for dinner, Draco?”  she offered.  “Blaise and the children will be back soon.”

“Oh, no.  Thank you, though.  I’d best be off.  Erm... Could you not mention this to Harry if you do manage to contact him?  I feel a bit foolish, and a little embarrassed, too.”

“That’s okay, Draco. I won’t tell him you have a crush on him,” Hermione assured him as she followed him out to the door.

“Hermione!” he exclaimed. “Since when do you tease me?”

“Since I married your best friend?” She said with a grin. “Take care, Draco.  Come ’round anytime, yes?”

“Yes, I will.  Give the kids a hug from me, okay?”

“Bye,” she said quietly as she shut the door and leaned against it.  “Who would have thought?” she said to herself before wandering off to return to her reading, completely missing his triumphant grin before he Apparated back home.

Standing in the inner courtyard of the Manor, Draco took several deep breaths, trying to calm himself to ensure he could concentrate in order to cast the spell, and then hold himself and his wand still for the length of time he knew it would take for the spell to search for its target.  As he started to cast the spell, the sun was high in the sky, but by the time his wand stopped spinning and pointed towards the west, the sun had started to set.  Draco moved gingerly, stretching out sore muscles slowly before working out where Harry could be, given that he only had a general direction of West, and nothing other than that. He almost made the mistaken assumption that Harry was still in the country west of his location, but  when he made his way to Ireland, and then all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and the spell was still pointing west, he finally understood that Harry was probably in America.

Considering the size of America, Draco was dreading the long process of casting the spell every other day in order to locate Harry. Snape’s book suggested that if he had a large country to cover, he shouldn’t attempt to cast it every day, as it could diminish his innate magic, exhausting his magical reserves.  He was almost tempted not to follow the directions, but knowing of disasters which had occurred in the past when his old professor’s warnings were not heeded, he knew that it would be best to follow the directions to the letter.

Since Draco didn’t know what part of the country to start in, he flooed to the International Floo Station in the Ministry, and applied for travel to Salem in order to re-cast his spell. Luckily, because Salem was a well known Wizarding tourist area, he didn’t have to answer any questions regarding the reason for his visit. Draco had packed a small bag of essentials, because he figured it wouldn’t take too long to track Harry down. Of course for Draco, a small bag of essentials meant that he had half his wardrobe with him shrunk down to the size of a matchbook. Considering how unusual it was to find Draco without his entire wardrobe, his friends would be proud of him if they knew of his plans.

Carefully placing Harry’s shirt in his secure inside pocket, Draco ducked into a deserted alleyway and recast the spell, which now pointed southwest. This time the spell only took 20 minutes to cast as it was a “touch up” of the direction spell rather than the full casting necessary the first time. Draco was happy that he was finally getting a direction other than just plain west, but it was a little discouraging that he still had no specific destination to go to.  At least he was getting a reading, because he knew that Harry had disguised himself well if he only got just general directions instead of a city on the parchment like Severus stated in his book.

It took several weeks longer than he first anticipated; he had actually gone through most of the wardrobe that he had brought with him, and several more outfits which he had purchased along the way. Harry seemed to be very thoroughly hidden, with very complicated wards around his location. Draco would be led one direction; to only be led in a completely opposite direction the next time he cast the spell. He, however, kept at it, not giving up.

In all, it took Draco almost six weeks to finally nail down the proper state after he arrived in America. After that, the problem seemed to become even more complicated; the spell stopped working completely for several weeks. Draco thought he was just exhausted, and took a week off to recuperate. It didn’t help, though, as he found himself in Metropolis and decided that since the spell often pointed to this city, he would stay here for a while and see if he could track Harry down.

Draco was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city, having never seen such a place before. He had no idea what Harry even looked like anymore. He was pretty sure that Harry would have altered his appearance in order to blend in; he just hoped that his minor talent of reading the energy and powers around people would help him.

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Harry had increasingly felt uneasy for the last two months.  Although the feeling came and went, there was no particular pattern to it. Every fibre of Harry’s being told him that someone was trying to find him, although he had been extremely careful how he laid his wards around his home to prevent discovery from any except the most determined searchers. He had also created a special spell to send untraceable letters to Hermione and Ron so they would know he was okay.

He knew that Hermione would try everything possible to puzzle out how the spell was created. However, Harry was lucky that Hermione hadn’t been trained in spell manipulation. That training came courtesy of Severus Snape, who had disappeared after the war. No one knew if the man was alive or dead: not even Harry himself.

Harry asked Hermione in a letter if she knew of anyone trying to find him beside herself, and wasn’t really surprised when he received her reply.

Dear Harry,

Hope this finds you okay.  It still seems strange that I can’t just pop over and talk to you, but no, I’m not going to nag.

In answer to your questions, I can’t think of anyone who might be trying to find you.  No one has asked me about your whereabouts, or Ron, either.  You have been mentioned in the Prophet as having disappeared, but they’re following the line of you taking a romantic break in an undisclosed location, at the moment.

Speaking of people wanting to see you, Draco called around the other day.  Said he missed you being around, and could he borrow something of yours to keep.  Very sentimental.  It looks as though someone has a little crush.

Don’t tell him I told you, will you?  He’d hate me all over again.  It just occurred to me: do you think it’s okay to have let him have a t-shirt of yours?  You know how close he and Blaise are; I can’t believe he’d do anything awful to you, or I’d have refused him.  Hope you’re okay with that.

Let me know how you are as soon as you can.

Take care of yourself.

Love,

Hermione.

Shaking his head at her lack of ‘Constant Vigilance’, he smiled wryly to himself: typical Hermione.

It was several weeks later, when he remembered an old tracking spell of Severus’, that Harry realized who was tracking him. He seriously doubted that it was Severus looking for him; he would use other means of communication. The only other person he could think of would be Draco, because of the recent acquisition of Harry’s old shirt.

The question was, “Why would Draco care enough to do so?” The fact that Draco had been a subconscious reason that Harry had left England didn’t matter. He supposed he could make it easier for Draco to find him, but decided that he should pretend to be surprised, since Hermione had said that Draco had begged her to not tell Harry he acquired his shirt.

Harry’s suspicions were confirmed not more than three weeks later, when he finally spotted Draco on the borderline of his property. Harry tried not to drool as Draco strode towards the edge of the wards, and stood quietly awaiting Harry’s acknowledgement. Draco now had a fine body that anyone would be envious of. He had grown several inches in height since the war, and his hair was now hanging just below his shoulders, pulled back in an elegant ponytail. His face had filled out, making his once pointy chin appear to have become a bit more rounded, which made him appear much more attractive and manly. Luckily, he no longer looked like a carbon copy of his father; he now seemed to have his mother’s more delicate features and body, which suited Harry just fine.

As Harry created an opening in the wards to allow Draco to enter, he quickly used a gesture to clean the house and straighten the furniture and books that were lying around. He knew if he didn’t, Draco would most likely complain about less than satisfactory living conditions. Of course it wasn’t like he really knew the real Draco these days, anyway. Who knew if he actually cared about those sorts of things anymore?

As Draco leisurely approached the front of the house, he was shocked by Harry’s altered appearance. If he hadn’t wanted to be with Harry before, he definitely would now. Harry stood about 5’10 inches tall, with a well-muscled torso, lean, sexy abs, and a long set of legs with muscular thighs. He was shirtless, his tight blue shorts barely reaching his well-defined thighs which bulged as he shifted his weight to lean casually against the door frame. Harry’s hair was now a rich chocolate brown that fell carelessly around his forehead, the famous scar nowhere to be seen. The unexpectedly startling blue eyes glittered with amusement at Draco’s appearance on his doorstep. Gulping slightly as he tried to hide his reaction to Harry, Draco reached the front porch and spoke up.

“Hello, Harry.”

“I’m sorry, my name’s not Harry. It’s Bradley Matthews.”

“Bradley.  An interesting name, indeed. It’s much nicer than ‘Harry,’ really, though you will have to forgive me if I forget that you changed your name. I have been calling you by a different name for most of my life, after all.”

“I told you, my name is Bradley, not Harry. I think you might have confused my home with someone else’s.”

“Not a chance. I know it’s you, Harry, so cut the act.”

“How would you know who I am, exactly?”

“Well, it could be the fact that you radiate with his power and aura? I bet you didn’t know I could read that, did you, Harry?”

“Well, since I don’t know who you are, how would I know what your abilities are?” Harry replied, amused with the ‘cat and mouse’ game.

“Funny, Harry. Let’s cut the crap, okay? There is only one other person that could have created a defence ward like the one that surrounds this property, and he’s dead. Therefore, even if I was unable to see your power levels and aura, I would still know it’s you.”

“If we are going to continue this conversation, I suggest that we take it inside. You can tell me your name, and why you are looking for this ‘Harry’ fellow.”

Draco sighed, completely frustrated. Harry was acting like he didn’t even know who he was. Did he perhaps lose his memory at some point? Was that possibly why he left? No, he didn’t believe that. He had heard from Hermione that Harry had been writing her letters. If he remembered her, he should remember him. This must be a game, or maybe he was afraid someone was listening. As Draco moved forward into the house, he looked around the quaint little two-story farmhouse.

“You have a nice house, uh...  What did you say your name was, again? Oh, that’s right: Bradley. May I perhaps call you Brad?  It’s a little shorter.”

“Thank you. I have done my best with it. The place wasn’t in the best shape when I purchased the property.” Bradley paused for a moment, and appeared to be thinking. “I suppose you may call me Brad. What did you say your name was, again?”

“My name is Draco: Draco Malfoy,” Draco said as he stretched out his hand to shake Bradley’s.

Harry chuckled to himself as he reached out to shake Draco’s hand. This was the most fun he had in a long time. Egging Draco on probably wasn’t the best idea, but it was just so fun. One never knew who could be listening, outside. Inside, the house was completely soundproofed. Harry reached out with the hand that wasn’t holding Draco’s and quietly shut the door, activating the extra wards around his home.

Bradley gripped Draco’s hand tighter and pulled the startled blond into an awkward hug. “Well, Draco, what brings you to my humble abode? Did you miss me so much that you had to spend several months tracking me down with Severus’ spell?”

Draco pulled back and blinked at the complete one-eighty that Harry just pulled. A puzzled look flashed across his face, before he started getting upset. Luckily Harry knew this was coming, and put a hand over Draco’s mouth.

“The outside world has ears, Draco. My neighbour is a little different than an ordinary Muggle. In fact, one morning I was out flying and I saw him zipping around the property doing chores like he had a magic spell to make him be able to run faster. It was extraordinary. I also watched him take a large bale of hay and throw it into the hayloft, which was at least twelve feet up. I don’t know if he has any other heightened senses or abilities, so it’s best if we don’t talk about my former life - or magic - in his presence.”

Draco nodded in understanding, and Harry took down his hand. He was still agitated, though. “If you suspect he has super hearing, why in Merlin’s name did we play that little game outside? You could have pretended to know me and just invited me inside and talked there.”

Harry laughed, “Well, it has been a long time since I was able to ruffle your feathers, so I couldn’t resist.”

Draco grumbled and smacked Harry on the arm for his insolence.

Harry began to laugh harder and grinned at Draco for several moments before stopping to catch his breath. After that, his face turned serious. “So, you didn’t say why you were trying to find me.”

Draco flushed brightly, looking up at the ceiling, not answering Harry for several minutes. “Well, Hermione was worried, of course. You did just disappear, after all. Ron was upset that you didn’t tell him, as well. They, oddly enough, asked me if I knew where you were. After that it seemed logical, since I didn’t have the same obligations as your friends that I look for you.”

Harry looked at Draco intensely for several minutes, “So telling Hermione that you missed me and wanted a little part of me to keep was just a lie?”

Draco blushed and looked away; he wasn’t used to being with this new Harry, who was bolder than he remembered. “I did miss you as well, of course. Though if you know of the spell, you do know that I needed something that was yours to make it work.”

“Why not just tell Hermione that you found a spell to track me with, and were willing to use it to find me. She would have been happy to give you something. She thinks you are in love with me.”

Draco coughed and turned away, flushing brightly as he walked into the living room and took a seat on a plush green and black couch that occupied the space in front of a large fireplace.

“Is she right, Draco? You are blushing brighter than Ron’s hair, and you’re avoiding looking at me.”

Draco sputtered; his mouth opening and closing several times, no words escaping him. Disgusted with himself, he buried his face in his hands. He had imagined what would happen when he found Harry, but he had no idea that he would end up having to blurt out his feelings on day one, due to Harry’s incessant badgering.

Harry sat down next to Draco softly, causing him to look up into Harry’s eyes. It wasn’t the recognizable green with which he was so familiar, but the intensity was the same. The look gave him the courage to confess something he had never told another living soul. Ghosts didn’t count, after all.

Finally pulling himself together, he spoke calmly. “I don’t really know this new you very well. As for the old Harry, well, I have had a crush on him since I was eleven.”

Draco was expecting Harry to be upset. After all, he had never seen Harry with a male partner, so he figured he was straight. However, several seconds later, Draco felt a hand on his upper thigh, caressing it softly. Draco trembled and sighed softly. Apparently Harry wasn’t angry with him.  He felt relieved.

Harry smiled. “Well, I didn’t realize anything was different about our encounters until we both returned to Hogwarts after the war. We weren’t fighting anymore, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I took up my sixth year hobby: ‘Draco watching’.”

“Draco watching? Couldn’t you have found a more inventive name? It sounds so plebeian! Which, clearly, I am not.”

Harry chuckled softly. “That you aren’t. You are definitely a unique man, Draco. I look forward to getting to know the man you have become, though you will have to do me one favour; don’t tell Hermione and Ron you found me. They know I am safe, and will come to them when I am ready. I need some time apart from being a third leg of an unbalanced threesome.”

“All right, I won’t tell them:  not that they know I am looking for you, anyway. I look forward to getting to know you, as well.” Draco’s cheeks were still tinted pink; Harry was still gently stroking his leg.

Once Harry realized that he was still caressing Draco’s leg, he abruptly stopped, and flushed himself. “Sorry. I guess I forgot I was doing that.”

Draco smiled brightly. “It’s okay. I didn’t mind. I am a little surprised that you are...  Well, are you bisexual or gay? I figured you would kick me out and tell me to go away.”

Harry shrugged. “I guess I could say bisexual, though only in a roundabout way. I slept with a girl or two, and it was okay. I fooled around with a couple of guys, and it was better, and felt more natural. However, I am still working it out, really. With my status as a celebrity, it was hard to pursue relationships. Since I got here, I have been too busy setting up my business. Though my neighbour is really attractive, I have a feeling he’s taken.”

“Yeah, I can imagine that it was hard. Too bad I was afraid to approach you. We might have had this conversation years ago,” he chuckled.

“Well, you know what they say about hindsight: it’s twenty-twenty.”

“True. Nothing we can do about it now, but to go forward. Would you like to go out somewhere tonight and have some fun? I found the Wizarding area of Metropolis several weeks ago. It’s really nice: much better than Diagon Ally. There is this little place that actually serves real English food! It’s not quite as good as I got back home, though.”

“You know what? That sounds like fun. I have been meaning to check it out for several weeks to find out if they had any horticultural needs.”

“Horticultural needs? What kind of business are you running?”

“You mean you didn’t see the giant field planted up front, and the enormous greenhouse out back?”

“No, I guess I was too busy looking at you practically naked to notice.”

Harry blushed. “Oh. I forgot I wasn’t wearing much. I was upstairs using some gym equipment.”

“Gym equipment? You mean you were exercising? Oh, that would explain the recently pumped up muscles.” After realizing what he just said out loud, Draco blushed again. “Man, I need to learn to keep my mouth shut,” he mumbled.

“Nahh, don’t do that. I like hearing what you think. This is my own body, by the way. I just changed my hair and face. You would be amazed how many people look right past you with just minor changes in appearance.”

Draco nodded. “Is it a permanent change, or is it some sort of spell?”

“It’s as permanent as I want it to be. Go ahead and try to take it off,” Harry said with a grin.

“All right, if you really want me to try.”

Draco pulled out his wand and cast the standard removal spell, expecting the spell to fade away. When it didn’t, Draco looked at Harry, completely puzzled.

“It’s a spell and a potion. Snape developed it for me right before the end of the war after much persuasion. I told him how I wanted to be someone else after the war. Luckily, the potion is easy for me to brew. I have actually become rather adept at potions these days.”

Draco’s eyes widened in surprise for several seconds as his mind raced with this new information before returning to his previous expression. “I know you had to be at least semi-decent to get in the Auror program, but I am glad that you have got better. It’s a useful skill, especially in the Muggle world.”

“Yes, it is very useful. I am not a Potions Master by any means, but I am learning. Snape left several of his mastery Potions books in my possession. He wasn’t sure he would make it, and wanted me to have them. I was rather surprised.”

“Well, he did tell me once that your mother was great in Potions, maybe he hoped with his help; you could be a Potions Master.”

“He talked to you about my mum? What did he say? He would never tell me anything. Near the end of the war, he showed me a few memories; they had been friends since early childhood.” Harry asked in rapid succession.

Draco swallowed and tried to concentrate on one question at a time, which considering the large number of them that had just flew out Harry's mouth, it took a moment to process which ones were asked first. “Yeah, he mentioned her a few times, but nothing that you probably don’t already know.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Do you think he’s still alive? They never did find his body after the battle.”

“He may very well be alive. Severus did have a knack of surviving, though if he is, he hasn’t contacted me.”

“That’s too bad; I had hoped he was alive. I owe him a few debts that I am sure he would love to call in if he could.”

“Well, we could always use the spell to see if we can get anything. Or do you think he doesn’t want to be found?”

“I don’t know. It is possible if he is alive that he just wants to be left alone, like me. I made sure he was cleared of Dumbledore’s murder and all other charges, but I think he just wanted to go somewhere and be himself.”

“Yeah, you are probably right. I do hope he is alive, though. He deserves some happiness.”

“He certainly does. He might not have been a nice man most of the time, but his heart was in the right place. He did everything he could to prepare me for the battle. Of course, I didn’t realize most of the extent of it until it was all over.”

“Well, maybe one day we will know. Until then, let’s go get dressed and get going. If we hurry, we should get there just in time for them to begin serving dinner. It’s really good.”

Harry nodded and stood, showing Draco to the guest bedroom. Draco promptly unshrunk his wardrobe and tried to pick something to wear. Harry left him to it, proceeded to his own room, and began looking at his clothing. He wanted to look nice enough to impress Draco.

Harry couldn’t believe that Draco felt the same way about him as he did. If he had known, he probably would have never left England to begin with. However, he was glad that Draco had taken the time to come find him. It warmed him and made him feel wanted. It was an amazing feeling.

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


Clark had been worried about how different his new neighbour was since he first met him. He wasn’t sure why, but the speed that the property had changed in the last several months, with no work crew in sight, was suspicious. He, however, didn’t sense anything was particularly wrong with him. He knew that he was not a ‘meteor freak’, mainly because the man was from England and the meteor shower was here in his home town of Smallville.

Deciding to do a little investigative reporting of his own, he often listened to what was happening on the other man’s property. However, he never heard anything going on in the man’s house. It was like there was a protective bubble around it. Today, however, Clark lucked out and heard an odd comment from a visitor who had shown up on Bradley’s property:  one who talked about Bradley radiating power, auras, having defence wards, etcetera.

Clark was definitely confused, as he didn’t know what they were talking about. It sounded like they were talking about magic, but magic wasn’t real, was it? Regardless of what he felt was real or not, Clark decided it might be high time to use some of his other powers to check up on his neighbour.

Clark decided he couldn’t let himself get taken by surprise by Bradley. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but there was no way to tell if he was on the level or not. Clark just hoped that his neighbour didn’t see him speeding around the farm, or his life might change drastically.

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Harry and Draco Apparated into the Metropolis wizarding section and arrived shortly at the London Cafe, a quaint little English style cottage that served authentic food from England. It was a nice little place with a cheery, happy glow about it. The place was well warded, which made Harry quite happy.

As they grabbed a table and sat down, Harry had a strange feeling that someone was watching him. Looking around, he spotted a familiar face approaching. He was sure that she would keep his secret, but he wouldn’t let her know it was him unless she guessed the truth. Warily, he watched as she set down some hot tea, and then took out a wildly coloured pad with a brightly coloured quill.

“Hello, Draco and friend.  What can I get you, today?” she asked.

Draco nodded toward her and actually cracked a smile. “Hello, Luna.  This is Brad. Brad, this is Luna Lovegood; we went to school together, although she was a year behind me. We have recently become friends, oddly enough.”

“Hello, Brad. It is good to see you again. Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me,” Luna said with her normal mysterious smile.

“Thanks, Luna, I appreciate that. What brings you here, of all places?”

“Oh, my father was out exploring the world since “He” is gone now, and we found this city rather fascinating with all the events that have happened here, so we decided to stay and gather information on the new species that have popped up here. It is just been so interesting that we haven’t left yet. I got a job here just to give me some extra pocket money. Dad still runs the Quibbler from here, although these days it’s more world news, not just England.”

Luna pulled out the latest edition of the Quibbler from her pocket and handed it to Harry. “Go ahead and read it. The new species is quite intriguing; I think you might have a particular interest in them.”

Harry looked down at the title, and almost gasped. The article was all about his new home town, and a race of people that seemed to have some sort of magical powers that were usually limited to one individual talent per person. It did state that some members of the race were able to do more than one thing, but it was extremely rare.

Harry suddenly wondered if his new neighbour was one of this new race of people. He had observed wondrous things about him.  Perhaps he should observe him more carefully. It seemed that most of these people ended up going crazy, or hurting other people. No matter that Harry was retired: if his neighbour started hurting others, then he was going to stop it if he could.

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

Author Note: Well, another chapter of Journey of a Hero has been completed. Sorry it took so long. I am working on the next chapter, but it’s going a little slow.

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