Hi everyone, I'm back. My passion for writing seems to have returned, so expect to start seeing activity pick up more and more soon. I haven't been totally absent, as I have been overhauling some of my older chapters and stories. Now that I have another year or so of experience under my belt, I can see a lot of the mistakes that I made, which will hopefully be fixed in short order. Between this new story and revising and re-updating my old stories, I find myself in the market for a beta. Please let me know if you are interested.
While this is a crossover between Harry Potter and X-Men nominally, there will be elements from other fandoms that make an appearance. I can only put two fandoms in the story tags, so I placed ones for the main characters, Harry and Blink. Others will appear that I will mention. For example, at the start of this chapter, Harry and Blink are assisting the Rescue Heroes in containing the natural disasters around the world from the Rescue Heroes movie (with slight changes). Much of the story will be set during the backdrop of the movie San Andreas. You may notice I have a thing for natural disasters/search and rescue operations going on in this story. That is by design. This won't be a super long fic. Without further ado, here is In the "Blink" of an eye.
A young man sat in a corner, a guitar siting on his lap as he quietly strummed the strings, humming along to the tune he was picking out. After a minute or two, he hit a wrong chord and paused, frowning, his eyes still shut tight. He adjusted the pins at the top before he relaxed, sighing deeply as he prepared to try again. He slowly plucked first one string, and then another, picking up speed as he went. He was rudely interrupted by a loud clatter of footsteps outside the room, before a girl's head poked into his room, followed by an arm. His eyes snapped open as he stared at the grim face of the intruder, before his attention was drawn to the flashing red beacon she was holding. "Harry, we have a problem." The girl said, indicating the blinking object she was holding.
"Let's go!" Harry yelled, waving his arm towards a couple of trapped hikers. They looked back at him, smudged faces lighting up with hope as they realized they were being rescued. To them, their savior had ran through the flames surrounding them before blasting the ground with a water cannon and clearing a path to safety. As they ran past him, Harry sighed, wiping his arm across his forehead tiredly. Keeping up an illusion spell to deceive the hikers into thinking he wasn't a wizard was hard. He had been offered a backpack and suit just like the rest of the Rescue Heroes team, but had politely declined, thinking it wasn't his style. He was regretting that decision now. The best he could do now was cast an illusion to make himself appear to be a member of the Rescue Heroes. Glancing at his cinder covered glove, he realized that all he had done was spread the ash that had fallen on his face and smudged it even more. With an irritated growl, he activated the radio on his comlink. "Wendy, Blink, how many more are out there? It's getting uncomfortably hot down here."
Even for a wizard of his caliber, in the face of the raging forest fire he was standing in the middle of, his flame freezing charm could only do so much. Even so, something about this fire was resisting his magic. When the Rescue Heroes has contacted him and Blink, asking for help in stopping the natural disasters that even now were raging across the globe, the two of them had jumped in with both feet. Along with reaching out to him, the Heroes has also called the Thunderbirds as well as Air Zermatt. This wasn't the standard courtesy call informing them of an earthquake or flood being taken care of. No, this was a global emergency, an all hands on deck style affair. Somehow, Harry had ended up dealing with the forest fires raging across Canada. He hated Canada. Last time he was here, a crazy lumberjack had stabbed him with some cool looking claws that came out of his hands.
His mic beeped. "A few more." Wendy Waters replied back. "There should be a little kid about half a mile to the east of you. There is one other group of hikers that got trapped, but Blink is taking care of it. Get to that boy, and hurry. I'm bringing the chopper your way now, get to the kid, buy some time, and wait for me to give you evac."
"Alright. On my way. Meet you there." Harry flipped his radio off, refreshing the flame freezing charms on him. They seemed to be wearing off faster and faster every time he used them. He hadn't followed the exact explanation for whatever was causing the disasters worldwide, but he had been warned that the lightning storms were spreading unusually rapidly, and were acting unusual. Something in it must be affecting his magic. That just meant he had to hurry, get the kid, and get out. Simple enough. Of course, he forgot one important thing. Harry Potter doesn't do simple.
Harry vaulted over a downed tree that was starting to smolder, looking around desperately. "Hello? Is anyone out here?" Hearing no response, he cursed, picking up the pace as he sprinted in the general direction he had been given. Part of the problem was he was getting scattered feedback from his locator spells, forcing him to manually search for the boy. He couldn't apparate farther ahead, both because blind apparating in a burning forest was a bad idea, but also because he was afraid of missing the person he was searching for. That reduced it to old fashioned line of sight hide and seek. Luckily for him, Harry was very good at hide and seek. He had to be, given how he had grown up.
He heard a faint cry for help, causing him to take his eyes off of the ground for just long enough for Harry to trip on a branch and go sprawling in the blackened ashes that covered the ground from the forest fires. Forcing himself to his feet, Harry sputtered for a minute, spitting out the ashes and cinders that had gotten into his mouth before clearing his throat. "Kid? Where are you?"
"Over here! Hurry!" Harry spun in the direction of the voice, running about fifty feet in the direction of the voice before pulling up in a small clearing, not seeing anyone.
"Keep talking!" Harry yelled, straining his ears to hear any response over the crackling of the flames and the constant thunder peals from the ever-present lightning storm.
"Help!" This time, the voice was much stronger, and Harry quickly found the owner of the voice. The small boy was cuddled up in a small hollow beneath a log that had somehow not caught fire yet.
"My name is Harry, and I'm here to get you to safety." Harry said as he reached out, pulling the kid out into the open. The boy looked at him with awestruck eyes.
"My name is Brent. You saved me. Your a hero."
Harry snorted, pulling his wand and casting spells to try to hold back the flames, which were approaching the area around them with startling speed. "Kid, save your thanks for later, we aren't out of the woods yet. And I'm no hero." He added, looking to the sky, hoping to see Wendy's helicopter. "I'm just a guy that helped when he could."
The boy looked at him with a wise gaze that didn't belong on someone so young. "Of course. My mistake." He said in a knowing tone of voice. Another awkward moment passed before Harry groaned, opening up his radio again.
"Wendy, where are you?"
Her voice crackled back into his ear piece. "I'm trying to get close, but the chopper can't get too close to the fire. You are going to either have to get somewhere with less flames or hope that the fire changes course long enough for me to swoop down."
"Wendy, I'm rapidly running out of options down here." Harry said, looking around to gauge the situation. "The fire is getting closer, and my flame freezers are having almost no effect." He paused in his talking to cast a shield around himself and the boy, hunkering closer to the log that offered some modicum of protection. "I estimate I've got about a minute before really bad things will start to happen. And I would really rather not blind apparate in the middle of the burning woods. Scratch that-" He said, wincing as a massive burning pine collapsed nearby. He raised his hand to protect his face, feeling the swirling heat beat down on him. "I've got about thirty seconds. Is Blink there?"
A moment passed before he heard Wendy again. "Yep. Just ported in with some company, they are getting first aid now."
Harry reinforced his shield, grimacing as flames licked greedily at the magical barrier keeping them back. "Can you put her on the line? And please hurry!"
Blink answered a moment later. "I can't port you out from here if that's what you are thinking, you are just out of my reach."
"I know. Are you ready?" Harry asked. He pulled Brent closer to him before throwing him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry.
"Ready for what?" Blink sounded confused.
"Good. Catch me."
"Harry-" Harry didn't wait to hear the rest, focusing hard as he twisted in place and apparated almost two hundred feet straight up, almost into the storm clouds that continued to send lightning bursts in all directions. Gravity took hold immediately, dragging Harry and the boy back to earth. Harry had a moment to worry if he had miscalculated as they free fell before a multi colored rip in space opened up beneath them, sucking them in and spitting them out inside the helicopter. They slid across the floor in front of several surprised people before slamming into the far wall, jerking the helicopter slightly.
"I'm somewhat surprised that worked." Harry commented, pushing the small boy off of himself as he tried and failed rise to an upright position and rubbing his shoulder from where it had impacted the wall.
"Really?" A girl with braided black and purple hair with green eyes sparking in irritation strode into the room, heading straight for them. She paused in front of the tangled up duo, tapping her foot on the floor. "That was the best plan that you could come up with? Apparate up and hope I caught you?"
"You are in so much trouble." Brent whispered in Harry's ear before standing up and darting off to rejoin his family, who were watching the confrontation with amused looks.
Harry slowly stood up as well, meeting the eyes of the girl in front of him. "Sorry Blink." He said quietly. "I didn't have any better ideas."
She sighed in exasperation, the look in her eyes softening as she stepped forward and drew him into a hug. "Don't do it again okay? It took me ages to train you into a half-decent boyfriend, and I would hate to waste all that effort."
Harry pouted. "That's how you evaluate me? Just half-decent?"
She rolled her eyes, breaking the embrace and backing up a step before cuffing him lightly on the shoulder. "You were at average at one point, but we will have to see after this whole mess is over. Wendy is taking us all back to the M.A.C.C, she-" Blink staggered as the whole helicopter shook as something crashed into it before regaining her balance as the helicopter continued to shudder, ugly sounds of grinding and crunching audible inside the flying machine. "Wendy? What was that?" She yelled as she took off for the cockpit of the chopper, Harry hot on her heels.
Blink burst into the front compartment of the helicopter, rapidly assessing the scene as she clung to the door frame to stay upright. In front of her, a tall woman sat in the pilot's chair, her red ponytail whipping through the air as her hands flew over the controls. "What happened Wendy?"
"Not sure." Wendy Waters answered tersely, keeping her eyes and attention on the dashboard. "I can tell you that we got hit by something that injured the rotor on the tail, and whatever it was wasn't a lightning strike." She flipped a clear plastic cover up and slammed her palm onto the button underneath. The shuddering of the helicopter stopped, and the flight seemed to stabilize. Wendy sank back into her chair. "That should buy us some time, I shut off the rotor on the tail and activated the spare propeller. As long as nothing happens to that one, we should be fi-" The helicopter pitched sideways, dumping Wendy onto the floor from her chair and sending Harry and Blink sprawling into a heap. Wendy growled, gripping the back of the chair and pulling herself to her feet. "Now what is it?" She surveyed the dashboard before groaning. "And that was the spare. Of course it was."
"Now what?" Harry asked, sliding neatly into one of the copilot seats as Blink took the other, buckling himself in tightly as the chopper continued to spin in circles, slowly falling from the sky.
"Now?" Wendy raised an eyebrow at him. "Now, I try to make a semi-controlled landing with only the main rotor and try to avoid killing us all." She got back to handling the controls, trying to keep the helicopter from falling too quickly as Harry looked at Blink.
She shook her head before he said anything. "Too many people, too far, not enough time." She said laconically.
"No, no, you misunderstand me, can you port me outside and prevent me from becoming a smear on the ground?"
Her brow furrowed, before she gasped in understanding. "You got lucky once, and you want me to try it again?"
Harry shrugged, pulling his wand as he unbuckled himself. "It's either that, or we go splat. Personally, I like the idea of trying to stave off Death for as long as possible. Whenever you are ready." One second he was there, the next, he was gone, as Blink ported him outside, back into free fall. He managed to twist himself around so he could see the chopper well above him just before he entered a rainbow portal, sending him back up to the height of the helicopter, which was falling at a slower pace. "It's times like this that make me really wish that I had Stephen's cloak." He muttered falling through another portal before focusing on the helicopter and saying one of his oldest and most faithful spells. "Wingardium Leviosa."
The falling helicopter slowed instantly, changing from a fast drop to a more manageable stately descent. Harry kept the spell going, sweat beading on his forehead as he poured more and more power into his charm as he intermittently fell through more multicolored rips in reality. Finally, he set the helicopter down gently on the ground before falling the last ten feet or so to the earth, landing with a noticeable impact.
He stowed his wand and he picked himself up, wincing at the twinge of pain in his left shoulder, thankfully not his wand arm. He started to brush himself off, sighing in satisfaction, then he stiffened. Harry felt the prickly feeling that only happened when anti-apparition and portkey wards had gone up. "Not now." Harry cursed. "I don't have time to deal with this." Running over to the downed chopper, he wrenched the door open and poked his head in. "There are some people here for me. I need you all to stay quiet and hopefully they will ignore you and focus on me."
Wendy shook her head emphatically. "No way. No one-"
"Gets left behind, I know Wendy." Harry groused. "Just... trust me on this one, alright? This isn't the sort of problem where you can help, at least not right now."
Wendy was about to respond before Blink put a hand on her arm, shaking her head slightly. Blink looked at Harry. "I will let you try this yourself. But if anything goes wrong, I'm coming out there after you." She unhooked a small beacon from her belt and tossed it to him. "When the red light flashes, I'm ready. Just give me the signal."
He chuckled for a minute, before closing the door and taking a moment to gather himself. "I wouldn't expect anything less."
Walking away from the downed helicopter, he stood in the middle of the clearing, holding his wand inconspicuously close to his side, waiting for his pursuers to draw near. After a minute, he cast a sonorus charm on himself, clearing his throat before starting to talk. "I know you are out there. In case you haven't noticed, we are in the middle of a forest fire, and I suspect that your fire suppressants are having the same struggles as mine. What would you say to coming out of hiding so that we can deal with this before someone gets some serious injuries from the fire?"
After a brief hesitation, figures started to separate themselves from the burning forest. Some dropped invisibility cloaks, others dispelled disillusionment charms, while still more stepped out from behind trees and rocks. Leading them was a familiar brown haired figure.
Harry nodded sarcastically in her direction. "Granger."
Hermione Granger, who was leading the group of aurors, checked her stride at the impersonal mention of her last name. "We have been looking for you Harry." She said, almost pleadingly.
"For once, I agree with you." Harry said angrily. "You keep trying to interfere with my work in assisting rescue personal after various disasters. May I ask why?"
"You know why Potter." One of the other aurors growled, stepping forward. "You are coming back with us, and then you are going to fight You-Know-Who."
"I am?" Harry asked, looking down at himself before looking back at him. "Why would I do that?"
"People are dying Harry." Hermione pleaded, hoping to play on his saving people trait. "Even now, Death Eaters are leading attacks across England, and we can't stop them."
"Yes, I can see that." He said agreeably, nodding his head. "Considering that you sent a bunch of aurors after little old me instead of using them to stop the Death Eaters, or, God forbid, go after Voldemort." He shook his head in disappointment. "Which begs the question, why are you here searching for me instead of doing anything yourself?"
Sensing she was losing control of the conversation, Hermione decided to play her next to last card. "There is a prophecy-"
"Oh, a prophecy. Give me a break." Harry interrupted, rolling his eyes. "This coming from the girl who walked out of her divination class and said it was all a fraud. What happened to suddenly change your mind on that?"
"But You-Know-Who killed your parents." A different auror asked, confused. "Don't you want revenge?"
"And I killed Voldemort twice. By my reckoning the score is even between us, he killed two people, I took out two of his lives. While I am sure that my parents were great people, I didn't know them personally, so it's not like I have much of an emotional connection." Harry shrugged. "Considering the odds are high that at least one of your aurors here is at the very least a Death Eater sympathizer, please, whoever you are, relay that to Voldemort. I don't have a problem with him taking England. Far be it from me to interfere in the life of a foreign citizen."
"But he is killing innocent people!" Hermione yelled at him. "You go gallivanting around the world to save muggles, why can't you help those who really need it?"
Harry snapped his fingers, pointing at her. "And that right there is why I don't think the English wizards are worth my effort to save. Even now, emergencies rage around the world, and I have to waste precious minutes talking to you lot instead of actually saving people. The "muggles"" he said, putting air quotes around the words. "in danger I want to help haven't done anything wrong, they are just at the mercies of the natural elements. On the other hand, you lazy, self entitled lot can't even bring yourself to try to fix your own problems."
"Why would you want to help them?" The same auror who had asked about Harry's parents queried. "They are broken, flawed. They can't use magic."
"Damn right their flawed." Harry agreed. "But a lot of them try. To do better. To help others. That is all the justification I need to help them when they need me. I will not becoming back with you, so you lot can stuff it and go home. I have people to save." He turned his back on them, walking back to the helicopter before he paused mid-stride, not turning to face them. "Oh, and next time you all interfere in one of my missions, I am coming after you, so for your own sake, don't follow me." A ruby-red spell flew by his head, missing by about a foot. Harry slowly turned around, raising an eyebrow.
Hermione was pointing her wand at him, her arm rock steady. "I'm sorry it came to this." She said sadly. "I have here a warrant for your arrest for obstructing the war effort. You will be brought back to England for your trial."
Harry glanced down at his left hand, still holding the small device Blink had given him. It was slowly pulsing red. "Not happening. I have people to help and things to save. I refuse to recognize your authority, and will not be coming with you."
She snorted. "And how do you propose to leave? We have apparition and portkey wards up."
"Quite simply. With only one word." He smiled, still not facing his antagonists. "Blink." A rainbow portal opened up in front of him, and he strode into it, not looking back. It winked out behind him, leaving only the helicopter and the aurors.
Inside the helicopter, Harry walked into the cockpit, sitting down in the copilots chair and looked at Blink, who had her eyes screwed shut in concentration. "Do you have enough power to get us there?"
Blink nodded, still not opening her eyes. "Yes. But I will probably need to sleep for the rest of the day. Brace yourself." With that, she flung her right arm out, as a massive multi-colored portal opened around the helicopter, sucking it and its occupants inside and safely away.
Jake Justice was still manning the control center of the M.A.C.C after calling in all the Rescue Heroes in the field. They were showing up one by one, as they were widespread across the globe. He heard a loud crash from the main hanger, and bolted out of his seat, running down the hallway to the hanger. He burst through the sliding doors only to pull up short at the sight before him. The main chopper for the Rescue Heroes was against one wall, tipped onto its side and part of the tail was missing, as Wendy Waters and two other people he recognized were helping a pair of civilians out of the back. "Well, well, well. Look who showed up." Jake said happily, walking up and shaking hands with Harry and Blink. "Good to have you helping us again. It looks like you had a tiring day." He said, eyeing Blink, who was swaying on her feet.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, she used up most of her energy porting us all the way here from the middle of that Northern Canada forest fire. Is there a place she could rest and recover before we decide what to do next?"
Jake smiled. "Of course, the infirmary is this way. Come on, I'll introduce you to the rest of the team. We have some new people who haven't met you yet, but they know of you. I listed you in the archives and membership book as honorary Rescue Heroes. Anyway, after that." He sobered, his smile fading. "I know what we have to do to stop these storms. We are going to build the world's tallest lightning rod. And I know exactly what we are going to put on top." He said, looking up at the towering lightning rod atop the Mountain Action Command Center. "Let's go. We have a job to do."