A/N: Joan of Arcadia Crossover.
"The Lone Traveler: Young man who tried to change the past and save those he loved… plan failed and became the Lone Traveler, wandering through time and reality, making a difference wherever he went… very powerful… defeated a powerful Dark Lord… swept along the path he walked by a spectacular aura of blue light."
'Legends & Myths of the Wizarding World' by Gertrude Yolanda
FF St ID 2673584 – Chap 9 – The Professional
(HEREIN LIES THE ORIGINAL.)
Joan listened to Ryan with a sense of deep foreboding – and some confusion.
Here was a man who, like herself, knew personally that God existed, knew that there was a divine hand behind creation, and yet – the man filled her with a sense of dread like nothing else she had ever experienced. She tried to bring her mind back to the now.
"…know what his philosophy was?" She looked up. Ryan was looking away as he continued. "Life must be some kind of terrible mistake." He half turned toward her. "But the beautiful thing, Joan?" She looked up into his eyes as he said with some intensity, "It's not my mistake."
She began getting angry. She didn't know why. She felt her hackles rise as this man tried to be charming.
"Don't look at me like that," Ryan said with a smirk, sounding mildly aggrieved. "I'm a good guy! I saved Adam's life." His smirk got bigger as Joan looked at him with something very akin to loathing. He turned and walked out. The wind picked up even as he walked out.
Joan shook her head as she attempted to put it out of her mind.
(HERE BEGINS THE NEW)
She started to move back towards the desk. She had a finals coming up and she needed to study.
She suddenly heard the door chimes again and she turned to see who was coming in. It was a man who appeared to be around the same age as Ryan Hunter. He, however, was dressed much more casually. He wore jeans, t-shirt, and – surprising in late spring – a worn leather jacket.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
He looked over to her and smiled. "I hope so. Do you have anything on recent history?" Joan decided that his accent was beautiful. Although he looked a bit more scruffy than the man who had just been there, he gave off a far different feeling.
"Sure. This way." She pointed to a set of shelves. "What exactly are you looking for?"
The man hesitated for a moment. "Er. I'm visiting – not here that long of course – but wanted to get an idea of the culture and recent events. Maybe even an historical timeline."
Joan cocked her head with some confusion. "So history or culture?"
The man thought about it for a moment. "A bit of both?"
Joan said, "Well, that aisle is recent non-fiction. And that section has both American and World History." She paused and then smiled. "If you're willing to explain things when I need them, I'd even let you use my History text from school."
The man looked at her with some interest. "Actually, that would suit what I need."
Something about the man was calming in almost exactly the opposite way that Ryan Hunter was annoying. And, unlike when God showed up, his appearance didn't engender any sense of anxiety.
Don't get her wrong, she appreciated and respected God; she just wished that she had a slightly less personal relationship sometimes.
He followed her up to the counter as she moved to sit behind it. "So, where's the book?"
She reached into her backpack and pulled out her text. "Here it is. I don't really know exactly what the test will be on, but … maybe you can quiz me?"
The man nodded. "By the way, my name is Harry. What's yours?"
The man grinned. "So instead of Joan of Arc, it's Joan of Arcadia?"
Joan paused. "Sure. Let's go with that."
The man sat down and opened the book. "What chapters? You have to give me a few minutes to review."
"The whole second half. It's the final examination for the term. You look it over while I work on my physics class."
The man shrugged. "Okay."
Joan started reviewing her physics book, only occasionally looking over and seeing Harry quickly looking through the book. Sometimes, he'd have an interested look and sometimes he looked surprised.
Finally, she heard him clear his throat. "Okay. Done." Joan looked over and saw Harry looking at her with some amusement. "So, how do you want to do this?"
Joan replied, "Just a second." She made final note from the physics chapter she was reviewing and then closed the book and her notebook. She then looked up. "Just ask random questions from the book."
He nodded. The questions came hard and fast. Joan flubbed a few and Harry would work through those areas in more detail until she was more confident and then would move on. He seemed particularly amused when reviewing the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials.
Finally she had to ask, "Why are you smiling? Those are true tragedies we're talking about!" She was a bit annoyed.
He looked apologetic. "Sorry. I was just thinking how silly they were. I mean … " he paused and then continued. "Well, think about it. If these people were really witches, do you think they'd let themselves get killed that way?"
Joan was slightly mollified. She acknowledged the point and then told him to carry on.
There were disturbed by the door. Joan looked to see who came in and was surprised. God (the old lady version) was coming in the door but she wasn't alone. There was a small, exotic looking girl with her.
They approached the counter. Before she could say anything, she heard Harry gasp. "Flute?"
The exotic little girl didn't look surprised at all as she crowed, "Harry!" and then proceeded to jump on the man and kiss his face repeatedly.
Joan watched in fascination as Harry began laughing. "It's good to see you again." He looked at the girl who was sitting in his lap looking smug and up to the woman with her. "Who's this?"
The little girl looked at Harry and then at Joan. With her biggest smirk she replied, "This is my great-grandma."
Harry looked at her with some intensity. "Truly?" She saw that Harry looked as surprised as she felt.
The old woman smiled as she said, "Yes. She's visiting from her home country." She looked at Joan and said, "When I was younger I traveled quite a bit. You know, putting roots in different places. One of my children returned to one of the places I visited and decided to have children of his own. They're a bit more active than I am – but I was never one to tell anyone what they should do."
Joan looked confused. God had kids? Harry looked at Flute, who was still in his lap, and then at the old woman. "Why do I feel like I'm missing something?" He glanced at Joan and then back at Flute. "How are Sparhawk and your mum?"
Flute said happily, "Well, we had an adventure in another country. Politics, you know. But everything was taken care of. One of my cousins was causing problems, but Daddy took care of it."
The old woman sighed. "It's always sad to see one of my descendants go so far off-track. With my family … well, they tend to create more problems than most."
Joan, who was having a small crisis of faith and confusion finally interjected, "I didn't know you had kids. Have I heard of them?"
The old woman smiled as she looked off. "Maybe. One branch of the family live on a mountain in Greece and watched over the area he lived in. My grandson liked playing with electricity. They moved to Italy and changed their names at one point for the sake of politics. Another branch lived in Scandinavia." She paused and frowned for a moment. "Come to think of it, most of my children liked playing with electricity." She looked back at Joan. "You've heard of some of them."
She considered this even as she noticed Harry stiffen. He held the little girl as he stood. "Can I assume that little Aphrael here is truly your great-granddaughter and not by adoption?"
The old woman smiled. "Oh, yes."
Joan looked at the girl, who still had that small smirk.
Harry said, "And did you have something to do with my recent Travels?" Joan wondered if she was imagining the capital letter at the beginning of Travels.
The old woman sighed. "No. That would be another one of my many grandchildren. As I said, I don't interfere much beyond a few suggestions and advise here and there. I'm a great believer in free will." She smiled then. "However, from everything that I have heard and seen, you've been doing a wonderful job."
Harry paused. "Does she," he nodded his heard toward Joan, "know who you are?"
The old woman just smiled knowingly. Joan was a little freaked out.
Harry considered that for a moment. "Can you tell me how long I'll be Traveling?"
The old woman smiled. "I think as long as you have things to learn and people you can help, I wouldn't make any permanent residency plans. But I will say that you will be allowed to settle down happily."
Harry looked suddenly like a weight he had been carrying was lifted from his shoulders. Joan was really curious.
"And I'm here because …"
The old woman sighed again. "Unfortunately, another one of my grandchildren has sent one of your brothers on a similar trip to yours. Only he hasn't done quite the same job as you. Unfortunately, you'll have to clean up some of his messes. One of them is here in Arcadia. You might be a while."
The little girl piped up, "When I heard you'd be here I volunteered to bring you something you left behind. It will help keep you out of trouble." She reached into the pocket of her dress. "You didn't bring your wallet or ID. And around here, you'll probably need it." Her smirk became bigger. "And some of my cousins and I convinced the one who sent you on the trip to provide. It's in the wallet."
Harry took the wallet and stuffed it in his pocket. He sighed. "Any directions from my travel agent?"
The old woman smiled at him. "I think you'll figure it out." She looked at the little girl. "Come, Aphrael. I still have a few places to show you while you're here."
Flute said, "Okay!" Harry let her down but before he could stand, she proceeded to give him several kisses again until he was laughing.
She turned and said to Joan, "It's nice to meet you, Joan. Grandma has told me some wonderful things about you." She paused. "Can I get a hug?"
The old woman rolled her eyes even as Joan smiled and said, "Sure."
The little girl crowed and ran around the desk as Joan dropped down. Joan was surprised at how enthusiastically she was hugged. The girl didn't kiss her as much as she did Harry, but Joan definitely received a few.
Aphrael ran around and grabbed the hand of the old woman and yelled, "I want to see the playground."
Both waved back even as they exited.
Harry turned to Joan and said, "I take it we'll probably need to have a talk."
Joan nodded. "I think so."
A/N: A number of reviewers have brought up the possibility of an Evil Traveler as an opposite for the Lone Traveler. Because Joan of Arcadia dealt with good and evil so deeply, I thought it was a good vehicle. And I was always a bit sad that JoA ended before the situation with the antagonist was resolved.
It will join the list of stories I update irregularly but consistently. It's a plot bunny that wouldn't be short enough for the main Traveler thread.