Disclaimer: The X-Men were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and belong to Marvel Comics. Harry Potter was created by and belongs to J.K. Rowling
FOREWORD: This is a crossover between Harry Potter and The Uncanny X-Men. Specifically it uses the original X-Men from the first issues of the 1963 comic. I've seen lots of stories where Harry is a mutant / joins the X-Men / is related to one of the X-Men, etc., but I've yet to find any others that use only the original team from when the X-Men first appeared. I had the strange thought of "what if Harry was one of the founding X-Men?" and it wouldn't leave me alone so I had to start writing it. No, this isn't a time travel story. Since this is fan-fiction, and therefore alternate universe I've simply moved the Marvel Universe forward 30 years, hence the X-Men (and the Avengers) formed in 1993 rather than 1963. In the Harry Potter universe this story takes place in the spring of what would be Harry's third year at Hogwarts.
This story does reference issue #1 of the X-Men. If you've never read it (and you don't have about $40,000 or so to buy a copy) it's available to read online in several places. If you're an X-Men fan and you've never read it you should. It's really cool to see how this huge franchise originally started. Also this story takes place some time after X-Men #6 but before X-Men #11.
This story uses the first comic series and only the first comic series. Please do not send me corrections based on what the movies or later comics say as they will be ignored. Also, while constructive feedback is nice please don't flame or troll me.
Lastly, as I was writing this story I realized that a lot of it reads like a summary of a longer story and I've started to write that story but I wanted to post this to give you all an idea of what it'll be about.
So how is Harry a founding member of the X-Men? Read on and see:
Hermione Granger was sitting on the grass by the edge of the lake watching repairs being made to the outer walls of Hogwarts Castle. Her friend and classmate Ron Weasley sat next to her. It was the end of April of their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For the most part it had been a normal year however the last day or two had been anything but normal.
"How long do you think it'll be before they start classes again?" Ron said.
"The damage wasn't too bad" said Hermione, "most of the fighting was out on the lawn. They might not cancel classes at all."
"Oh great" said Ron, "I was hoping for an extra rest."
"Me too" said Hermione, surprising Ron as his friend was usually eager to get back to class, "don't be so startled. That fight was bad. Even I need a rest after seeing that."
It was true. Without warning the infamous supervillain Magneto, mutant master of magnetism, had invaded Hogwarts with a whole bunch of followers that Hermione thought were called the Brotherhood of – something or other. She wasn't quite sure what they called themselves. No one knew just why Magneto wanted to seize control of a magic school of all things. When he arrived and demanded that the school surrender to him Headmaster Dumbledore had confronted him and asked him why he wanted the school. Magneto had simply said that it wasn't any of his concern before attacking.
Dumbledore and the staff had fought back but it was a hard fight and the castle was taking damage. It looked like Magneto and his allies would win until the X-Men had arrived on the scene and, after a nasty battle, had driven them away.
Hermione knew about the X-Men of course, everyone did. Even the magical world knew about them and since magical Britain often shut itself off from the rest of the world that was saying a good deal. They'd only been around for a few months but they were already famous and formidable. They'd shown up not long after the Avengers had but unlike the Avengers, who were all established heroes before becoming a team, the X-Men had started out as a team of unknowns. They were really young too, most of them seemed to be in their upper teens though one was clearly younger.
Although their individual identities were secret it was known that they were all mutants whose mutations had taken the forms of various super powers. They'd first appeared the previous fall when they had stopped Magneto (of all people, it seemed he was their arch-enemy) from taking over a military base in the U. S. Since then they'd made quite a name for themselves, usually fighting to protect the world from the actions of evil mutants. Now they were here at Hogwarts and she had seen all six of them in action against Magneto and his followers.
The first one, and the team leader, was Cyclops. He shot energy beams from his eyes and anything that got hit by them was either knocked far away, blown to smithereens, or both.
Second was Iceman who had control of ice in all forms and who, on first glance, appeared to be a walking, talking ice statue. Hermione wondered what he looked like when he wasn't in icy form.
Third was Angel who was so named because of the huge feathery wings he had on his back which enabled him to fly.
Fourth was Beast who had super strength and agility that was aided by his overly large hands and feet and longer legs and arms (his build looked a bit like a gorilla's).
Fifth was Marvel Girl, the only female on the team. She was both telekinetic and telepathic and Hermione would never forget seeing her overcome one of Magneto's lackeys simply by looking at him until he fell unconscious.
It was the sixth one, though, that Hermione was the most interested in. He was called Lightning and he had both complete control over electricity and was telekinetic like Marvel Girl. He could also fly. Hermione didn't know if that was because of his telekinetic powers or his electrical ones, both, or something completely different. He was the youngest member, 13 or 14 at a guess, and the shortest but that didn't stop him from being very dangerous in a fight. He had faced Magneto himself at one point that day and zapped him with several bolts of lightning. Since lightning strikes can create magnetic fields of their own the magnetization that the lightning produced when it hit Magneto's own magnetic field repelled Magneto quite violently in the opposite direction. Magneto was not happy about that.
Of course Lightning hadn't beaten Magneto by himself. It had taken all of the X-Men to defeat Magneto and his followers. Professor Dumbledore had also helped out and after seeing what he could do with magic Hermione truly understood why people said he was the only wizard that Voldemort was ever afraid of. The rest of the staff had mostly done their best to protect the students with the exception of Professor Flitwick who had fought in the battle by the headmaster's side and who had put his dueling skills to good use.
Now it was over. Magneto and his followers were gone and the staff had started to magically repair the damage to the castle. The X-Men were still around and some of them were helping the staff.
Hermione wondered to herself exactly what the super team's full background was. Except for Iceman they all wore identical blue and yellow uniforms along with masks that covered their whole heads except for the lower parts of their faces below the eyes. The young witch was curious about that. Was it a team uniform? Or maybe a school uniform? She giggled a little to herself thinking about a possible school that taught superheroes. But then again she went to a magic school, so why not?
"What's so funny?" asked Ron.
"Nothing" said Hermione. They sat in silence for a little longer before Ron snorted.
"What?" asked Hermione.
"I was just thinking about Harry" said Ron, "and what he would have made of all this. Knowing his luck he would have wound up in the middle of everything, as usual."
"He probably would" agreed Hermione.
Hermione and Ron were friends with Harry Potter, better known in the wizarding world as the 'Boy-Who-Lived' because when he was a baby the Dark Lord Voldemort had attacked his family. Voldemort had killed Harry's parents but when he tried to kill Harry he had failed and then he had disappeared, much to the joy of the British magical world. Harry was celebrated as the one who had defeated Voldemort and everyone in Britain knew his name.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron had been close friends during their first two years at Hogwarts, sharing some very strange and even dangerous adventures. By the end of second year all three of them knew that, without question, Harry Potter was a trouble magnet. He didn't go looking for trouble but it invariably seemed to find him anyway.
In first year Harry had faced what was left of Voldemort and survived. Second year he had faced a tangible memory of Voldemort in the form of his teenage self, Tom Riddle, who was using Ron's little sister Ginny to open the infamous Chamber of Secrets and release a basilisk into the school. The monster terrorized Hogwarts for months before being killed.
The three friends went their separate ways at the end of second year at Hogwarts and they all looked forward to meeting up again for their third year the following fall. But when the day came to return to school Harry wasn't on the train. When Hermione and Ron got to Hogwarts Harry wasn't there either. He didn't come back to Hogwarts at all and they hadn't seen him since.
They had heard from him though. At the end of July they had both received letters from him telling them that he wasn't coming back to Hogwarts for third year. For security reasons (whatever that meant) he couldn't tell them why but he did promise to keep in touch with them and he did. They received letters from Harry each month. He always told them he was well and not to worry. Beyond that the letters were frustratingly vague as to what he was doing. The one definite piece of information they did get was that he was somewhere in America.
The only thing that stopped both of Harry's friends from fearing he had been kidnapped was that the letters were all delivered by Hedwig, Harry's owl. Hedwig was an unusually smart owl. If she thought anything was wrong with Harry she would have been able to let his friends know by her own body language. Whenever they saw her, however, she was completely relaxed and gave no indication that Harry was in any danger. Both of Harry's friend sent letters back to him with Hedwig but they hadn't had any more contact with him beyond that and they didn't know of anyone else who had. Even the headmaster was no help although Hermione was sure he knew more than he was letting on. He always said he was sure Harry was fine but wouldn't elaborate any further.
"What are you thinking?" Hermione asked Ron who was staring at the castle.
"Just going over the fight" he said, "those X-Men are something else. I wish I could be like that."
"It was good they were here" said Hermione, "but it's dangerous what they do. They might have been hurt, or even killed."
"I know" said Ron, "but still, they were amazing. That guy Cyclops, firing beams out of his eyes for Merlin's sake. And Iceman freezing everything, and Beast knocking everyone silly."
"I watched Lightning the most" said Hermione.
"Yeah, what is it with that guy?" said Ron, "he controls electricity and he can fly! How cool is that?"
"Boys" muttered Hermione to herself but Ron didn't seem to hear her. He was looking straight ahead in thought.
"How old is he?" Ron asked, "it looks like he's our age."
"He is" said Hermione, "everything I've seen or read about the X-Men says so."
"And he's doing all that?" said Ron, "Bloody hell!"
"Language!" said Hermione, "why does he bother you?"
"What?" said Ron, "no, no, he doesn't bother me, it's just compared to him I'm – "
"Ron" said Hermione cutting him off, "don't be silly. He's a special case. Think how hard he must train to be as good as he is. You can't compare yourself to him." Hermione thought for a second. "Did you want to be helping during the fight?" she asked.
"I guess I did" said Ron, "I know I couldn't have done much but watching him, the other X-Men, even Dumbledore and Flitwick fighting those people, well, it makes me feel so, so useless."
"You shouldn't feel that way" said a new voice. Hermione and Ron both looked up to see Lightning himself standing near them. They hadn't seen him approaching and only became aware of his presence when they heard him speak. He motioned for them to stay seated when Hermione and Ron both started to stand up.
"Everyone is special and useful in their own way" said the youngest X-Man, "whether they have super powers or not. You both have magic and you're learning how to use it. I'd say that's special and useful."
"Thank you" said Ron in a low voice a little dazed at seeing Lightning standing there. Most of the school had wanted to meet the X-Men after the fight including Ron but he had been too nervous to approach any of them. Now one of them was right here talking to him.
"May I join you?" Lightning asked them. Both of them nodded so he sat down on the ground next to Hermione.
"Lightning" he said holding out his hand.
"Ron" said Ron reaching over Hermione to shake his hand.
"Hermione" said Hermione shaking it after Ron, "are you British? You sound like it."
"Yes" said Lightning, "I was born here but I live in the States now. I've come back here once or twice since moving there though." His voice seemed to alternate between high and low. 'He must be going through puberty and his voice is changing' Hermione thought to herself. She also thought there was something familiar about him but she couldn't place it.
Lightning looked at them for a long moment.
"Are you both all right?" he asked, "I saw you caught outside near the fight. You didn't get hit by anything, did you?"
"No" said Hermione, "though I'm not likely to forget it any time soon. If you X-Men hadn't shown up when you did who knows what might have happened. But aren't you worried about getting hurt?"
"Yes" said Lightning, "I'd be an idiot otherwise. But you can't let fear stop you from doing what you have to do in the moment. You just have do the best you can to make sure that doesn't happen."
"You were great" said Ron, "thank you so much for saving us from those other people."
"It's what we do" said Lightning, "Magneto is – we've fought him before more than once. He's pretty bad."
"No kidding" said Ron, "and those others with him – I'm really glad you guys beat them."
"Thank you Ron" said Lightning, "I appreciate you saying that."
There was a silence as the three of them sat together. Ron was looking at Lightning with some awe while Hermione was trying to figure out why, out of everyone at Hogwarts, he had come over to sit with them and why he seemed so familiar. Lightning looked around at everything.
"Hogwarts" he said, "it doesn't look any different from last time, even with the damage it took in the fight.
"You've been here before?" asked Ron in surprise.
"Well" said Lightning with a grin, "considering that you and I shared a dorm room for two years you could say that I've been here before – close your mouth Hermione before something flies into it or you get caught by a hook."
Hermione's jaw had dropped open and Ron looked at him with unusually wide eyes as everything clicked.
"Ha – " Hermione began to say when Lightning covered her mouth with one hand and held the forefinger of his other hand to his lips.
"Shh" he said, "yes Hermione it's me, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't shout it out so loudly." When he saw Hermione get herself under control he took his hand away from her mouth.
"Harry?" she asked in a low voice, "is that really you?"
"You're Lightning?" Ron asked in just as low a voice but sounding as if he couldn't believe it, "is this what you've been doing for the last ten months?"
Lightning nodded before glancing around and seeing that nobody else was nearby and no one was watching them. He reached up with both hands and pulled his mask up past his eyes showing them his full face, scar included, for a few seconds before lowering it back down again. There was no doubt about it. Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, Hero of the Wizarding World, was Lightning of the X-Men.
"Dumbledore said it was okay to tell you now" said Harry, "but I'm only telling you two, no one else. And I expect you to keep it to yourselves."
"The Headmaster knows?" asked Hermione.
"Yes" said Harry, "he's known the whole time" Hermione slapped her forehead at this.
"It figures" she said with some exasperation, "whenever Ron or I or anyone else would ask him if he had any idea where you were he would just smile and twinkle his eyes in that way of his and say that he was sure that wherever you were you were just fine."
"That sounds like him" said Harry.
"How did he know?" asked Ron. Harry got up.
"Let's take a walk around the lake" he said, "once we have more privacy I'll tell you everything I couldn't tell you in my letters."
Ron and Hermione both got up and followed Harry as they began walking toward the far side of the lake. They walked in silence for a few minutes as both Ron and Hermione noticed the changes that they could see in Harry since they had last seen him ten months ago. He walked with more confidence than before, that was clear. He was taller by several inches although not as tall as Ron. He had also bulked up somewhat and his muscles were visible under his uniform. Hermione wondered a little to herself what he would look like without his uniform on before blushing a little and wondering why he wasn't wearing his glasses. Maybe he had gotten contact lenses? That made a lot of sense since glasses could be a hindrance if they were knocked off of your face in the middle of a fight
"I want to start" Harry said as they walked "by apologizing to you for leaving in the way I did and not telling you that I was going before I left. The headmaster and my mentor asked me to keep it all to myself back then. I started writing letters to you two once I knew I wasn't coming back here for third year for two reasons. First, I really missed you guys and I wanted to stay in touch. Second, I remembered how concerned you were that summer after first year when Dobby was stopping my mail. I knew you'd worry if I just disappeared and I thought that if you at least heard from me regularly, even if the letters were brief and there were a lot of things I couldn't tell you, that you wouldn't worry so much." Harry stopped and turned to look at his friends.
"Even so" he said, "I know it can't have been easy and I'm sure you worried anyway. I apologize for that too. Hermione, you may slap me once if you wish, and Ron, you may punch me once." He looked at them in an expectant manner as if waiting. After a moment Hermione did slap him, not too hard but with enough force to mean it before she grabbed him and hugged him fiercely. Ron punched him lightly on one of his arms
"Oh Harry" Hermione said, "we did worry even though we got your letters. They never said much and neither of us knew if you were really all right even though it was Hedwig who was delivering them. Please don't ever do that again."
"Yeah mate" said Ron, "especially having to put up with everyone asking us where you were and Malfoy crowing that you must have been too cowardly to come back and were gone for good."
"Oh the heck with Malfoy" said Harry with some exasperation in his voice as he started walking again, "what does he know? He's just a spoiled brat who's been handed everything in life on a golden dish and yet he still thinks he's better than everyone else and that the world owes him something just because he was born. It wouldn't surprise me if right now he's trying to pull his snobby superior act on Beast, or Cyclops, or, God help him if he tries, Marvel Girl. Can't say I'd be sorry for him afterwards." Harry held out a hand and his friends watched as tiny bolts of electricity danced around his fingers. "You know I could vaporize him with one bolt – I won't, but I could – and he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. He just doesn't have the sense not to tempt fate. I'm glad I haven't seen him today." He let the electricity dance on his fingers for a little longer before letting it fade away.
"I'll remember" said Ron as he and Hermione walked alongside Harry, "by the way, why do you call yourself 'Lightning?' Is it because of your scar?"
"Oh God no" said Harry grimacing a bit, "I know, it seems much too contrived to possibly be a coincidence, right? I have a lightning bolt scar therefore I'm called 'Lightning.' Actually my mentor gave me the code name 'Lightning' because of my electrical powers and he didn't think at all about my scar when he did so. When I pointed that out he was surprised but wouldn't change it. It really was just a coincidence. Besides my mask covers my forehead so you can't see my scar anyway."
"And who would associate a British wizard" said Hermione, "with a masked superhero in America?"
"I guess that makes sense" said Ron, "it's still one hell of a coincidence mate. If our world ever finds out about you they'll never believe it's a coincidence."
"I'm well aware of that" said Harry.
"Then we'll have to make sure they don't find out" said Hermione, "right Ron?"
"Right" said Ron.
"Who's your mentor?" Hermione asked Harry, "and how did you meet him?"
"Let's go a little further and I'll tell you" said Harry. The three of them continued walking.
"What's with the uniform?" asked Hermione.
"It's my school uniform" said Harry, "didn't you see that we all wear one? Well Iceman doesn't but he's the exception. It's also the team uniform obviously." Hermione nodded her head, 'so there is a superhero school' she thought to herself, 'I guess I shouldn't be surprised.' Ron, however was.
"Wait" he said, "the X-Men go to school?"
"Doesn't everyone our age?" said Harry, "our school is just a little different and what we wear reflects that, just like with you at Hogwarts."
"Interesting look" said Ron eying Harry up and down.
"I like it" said Harry, "it's easy to move in and that helps in a fight. No disrespect to Hogwarts but wizarding robes wouldn't work nearly as well."
Not long after that they reached the far side of the lake from Hogwarts Castle. There they stopped and Harry turned to face his friends.
"Now then" he said, "I'll tell you what I couldn't say in my letters but you must keep this stuff to yourselves. There's a reason we hide our identities when we're in the field and if one of our enemies found out you knew any of our identities they might try to get to us through you. Do you still want to hear the story?"
"Mate, it's not like that's any different with You Know Who and his followers" said Ron.
"He's right" said Hermione, "if You Know Who comes back we'll have the same problem since we're known to be your friends."
"That's true" Harry admitted with a nod before he stood for a moment in silence, thinking about what to say.
"You're probably wondering" he began, "that if I have these powers why I never used them when I was at Hogwarts."
Hermione and Ron both nodded.
"I didn't have them back then" said Harry, "I found out later that for most mutants their powers don't show up until puberty."
"Which is happening to you now if your voice is any indication" said Hermione. Harry nodded.
"However," he continued, "sometimes they can be awakened early, especially if the person undergoes some really traumatic event." Ron snapped his fingers.
"The Chamber of Secrets" he said, "but we all thought that was accidental magic."
"So did I" said Harry, "even Dumbledore said it was at first. We were all wrong. Remember how I said that when I was facing the basilisk with the sword in my hands as it was lunging at me that I felt power rush out of me and stop the basilisk mid-lunge? That was my telekinesis waking up."
"And the lightning bolts that struck the basilisk right after that was your electrical powers waking up" said Hermione. Harry nodded.
"Unfortunately that so stunned the basilisk that it fell on top of me" said Harry, "it's mouth had been right over me and you know what happened after that."
"Yeah" said Ron as he remembered hearing about how the sword had gone through the basilisk's mouth into its brain, killing it but also causing Harry to get stabbed in the arm by one of its fangs, "if Fawkes hadn't healed you from that you would have died down there."
"Ginny too" said Hermione.
"Right" said Harry, "and I don't know want to know what would have happened with Tom Riddle if that had happened" he shook his head at the memory.
"Anyway," Harry started up again, "three days later Dumbledore called me up to his office. When I got there I saw a bald man in a wheelchair in the room with Dumbledore. He introduced him to me as his old friend Professor Charles Xavier."
"I've heard of him" said Hermione, "he's one of the top authorities on genetics in the world!"
"Yeah" said Harry, "he's also the man who founded the X-Men."
"Genetics?" said Ron, "what's that?"
"I'll tell you later" said Hermione, "if I start explaining now it'll take too long."
"Anyway" said Harry "Professor Xavier, or Professor X as we call him, well he was the one who told me I was a mutant and explained to me about my powers and that they had woken up early because of what had happened in the Chamber. When my powers manifested themselves he sensed it happen."
"Sensed?" asked Hermione, "how? Wait, is he a mutant too?"
"Yes" said Harry, "he's an incredibly powerful telepath, maybe the most powerful one on Earth. He was able to sense my powers waking up and once he'd found where I was he contacted Dumbledore. When Dumbledore heard what the professor had to say he arranged for him to come to Hogwarts so we could meet. After he explained everything to me he offered me a chance to come to America for the summer to a very special school he was creating specifically to help mutants learn to control their powers. He already had two other students and I would be the third.
"Naturally I said yes and we made the arrangements that he or someone from the school would pick up me at Kings Cross and bring me to the U. S. However he also told me, and Dumbledore backed him up on this, that I had to keep this all to myself for the moment. There are a lot of people out there who are afraid of mutants."
"You mean like muggles might be afraid of magic?" asked Hermione.
"Exactly like," said Harry, "though mutants are known to exist in the world, they're part of evolution, but the professor wanted to keep his school a secret for the moment. I didn't like that because I wanted to tell you what was going on but both he and Dumbledore wouldn't let me. They said it was too risky, although Xavier did say that later on, when everything was safely up and running, I might be able to tell you about it.
"So after we got off the train and said our goodbyes at Kings Cross I found the professor waiting for me on the other side of the barrier. There were two boys with him who were both older than me. That's how I first met Cyclops and Iceman, the two students he already had. Cyclops was his first student, Iceman was the second.
"We flew out of Heathrow to the U. S. where I was taken to Xavier's school. Once I was settled in my training started. I won't bore you with what that all consisted of. It was intense but very worth it. Angel joined us not long after I did, then later on Beast came to the school and finally Marvel Girl arrived to complete the class.
"I learned pretty quickly after getting there that the professor was also going to be creating the X-Men and why he was doing it. I wasn't originally going be part of the team. I was a couple of years younger than the others and I was only supposed to be there for the summer. I would learn to control my powers and then I would come back. So what happened you ask? Very simple: Voldemort happened."
"What? How? asked Hermione, "he couldn't have been in America, surely?"
"No, no, it was nothing like that" said Harry, "You remember that the professor is old friends with Dumbledore? He knew all about magic and the magical world. I didn't have to keep it a secret from him. And my classmates knew about magic too. America is not as secretive about magic as Britain is. People there know it exists. Everyone knows about Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Thor of the Avengers is an actual Norse god. The American Ministry doesn't encourage witches and wizards from using their powers in public but they also don't flip out if someone does.
"So around my birthday the story of Voldemort came out, including all the times I faced him. The others (Angel was with us by then) decided that if I was going to have to face Voldemort again then I was going to learn how to really fight, whether I liked it or not. They went to Professor X and talked to him and he agreed. Then he contacted Dumbledore about it. Dumbledore actually came to the school to speak with him and Xavier convinced him! I don't know what they said to each other but whatever it was, it worked.
"They left the final choice to me and after thinking about it for a bit I said yes."
"Why did it take you so long" asked Ron, "I would have said yes at once."
"I wanted to say yes immediately too" said Harry, "but that would mean not going back to Hogwarts and, well, it meant leaving all my friends behind, especially you two. Considering that, thanks to dear cousin Dudley, until I came to Hogwarts I never had any friends that was hard."
"That's why you kept writing to so regularly" said Hermione, Harry nodded.
"It was the only way I had to keep in touch with you" he said, "and I have missed you, and everyone else – well not Snape or Malfoy but you get the idea."
"So that's where I've been ever since" said Harry, "I became one of the X-Men. I learned to control my powers and how to use them effectively. I discovered I could fly – "
"Yes, how do you do that?" interrupted Ron eagerly.
"Advanced telekinesis" said Harry simply, "eventually I was skilled enough to use both of my powers while I was flying. That came in very handy today."
"We saw" said Hermione.
"I've also been learning hand to hand combat and even street fighting" said Harry, "when we started doing missions it was very helpful stuff to know. You may have noticed that I also switched to wearing contact lenses instead of glasses?"
"I noticed" said Hermione, "less risky in a fight?"
"Less risky period" said Harry, "the same goes for my wand. It's too risky to use in a physical battle because it might break. If I want to use magic against one of our enemies I have to do it without a wand."
"Wow" said Hermione, "that's very impressive Harry. Wandless magic is really hard. Even very powerful wizards like Dumbledore can't use it all that much."
"So they say but needs must" said Harry, "and it's not as hard as you've been told. Any magical can do it. Both of you can do it if you really want to."
"I can?" asked Ron.
"Sure" said Harry, "when you did accidental magic as a little kid did you have a wand then?"
"But that was accidental magic" said Hermione.
"My point stands" said Harry, "why can't you do wandless magic? It's much easier to do with a wand, I grant you that, but you can do it. It takes a lot of concentration and will to do it and no, not everybody has that kind of commitment to get it, but it can be done and it gets easier over time." Harry held up a finger.
"Lumos" he said and the tip of his finger lit up brightly, "nox" he said and it went out. Harry held out his hands as if to say "see?"
"Now you try" said Harry, "concentrate really hard, as hard as you can."
"Uh, okay" said Ron who held up his right hand.
"Lumos" he said. Nothing happened.
"Try harder" said Harry, "you can do it."
Ron tried again. This time he tried to put everything he had into the spell.
"Lumos" he said again. This time a small light appeared at the end of his finger, it held for a few seconds before going out.
"You see?" said Harry.
"I did it" said Ron, "I really did it!" He was grinning a large goofy grin.
"Never doubted you for a second" said Harry before looking at Hermione, "now you try."
It went quicker for Hermione who got a brighter light on her first try. She still seemed very surprised that she could do it.
"There you go" said Harry, "just keep working at it and it will come. A wand's good for learning a spell but once you really have it down you can learn to do it without a wand."
"That must really help in a fight" said Ron.
"It does" said Harry, "or it would if I used it a lot. I don't use magic in a fight very often. I keep it held back as a sort of secret weapon."
"That makes sense" said Hermione.
"So that's how I became one of the X-Men" said Harry, "today you saw us in action. I'm sorry it was here though. I still don't know why Magneto wanted to take over Hogwarts."
"Wow" said Ron, "what's it like being an X-Man?"
"I love it" said Harry, "yeah, it can be dangerous at times and I won't say it's fun but I think we really help people. Stopping someone like Magneto, or the Vanisher, or Blob, or any other bad guys before they can really hurt people is, well it's a good thing, you know?"
"Kind of like stopping You Know Who" said Ron.
"Or the basilisk" said Hermione.
"Yes" said Harry.
"What are they like?" asked Ron.
"They're great people" said Harry with a smile, ""Professor Xavier is very wise and he really care about us all. Cyclops is really serious almost all of the time and very focused on what we do. Iceman is more fun. He's the second youngest. He's 16. The others are all 17 or 18. Angel is from a rich family but he's nothing like Malfoy. Beast is a lot like you, Hermione, he's brilliant, studious, loves learning and uses a lot of really big words. Marvel Girl is like the big sister I never knew I wanted. And they're all kind, loyal, very supportive, and really great friends. A lot like you are." Harry's face then got more serious.
"Also" he said, "if Voldemort ever does come back, the X-Men will be there to help fight him."
"Really?" said Hermione, "that's great but why? He's not an evil mutant."
"Who says we only fight evil mutants?" replied Harry, "Cyclops was the one who put it best when he said 'Harry, you're an X-Man and we stick together. Your problems are our problems, your enemy is our enemy.' The magic world has some new allies against Voldemort and they don't even know it – well Dumbledore knows it, and you know it."
"Who's worse?" asked Ron, "Magneto or You Know Who?" Harry scoffed a bit.
"Apples and oranges" said Harry, "or maybe I should say 'Potions and Charms.' You can't really compare them, they're too different – and before you ask I have no idea which one of them would win in a fight." Ron laughed and admitted he was about to ask that. The three friends were silent for few minutes as Hermione and Ron took in everything Harry had told them.
"So when are you coming back to Hogwarts?" asked Hermione finally breaking the silence. Harry looked down.
"I'm sorry Hermione" he said in a low voice, "but I'm not coming back to Hogwarts."
"Why not?" demanded Ron.
"I don't belong here anymore" said Harry looking up at them again, "I'm an X-Man now and that's where I belong."
"But, but" said Hermione, "what about the rest of your magical education?"
"I'm a part-time day student at Ilvermorny" said Harry, "Dumbledore made the arrangements for me to transfer there when it was decided I'd stay in the States. I never told you that because you might have tried to come visit and at the time Professor Xavier couldn't risk that. I take a portkey there every time I go, and let me tell you I hate portkeys but there's no help for it. At least I've learned not fall down anymore when I land. I'm also getting my muggle education."
"But mate" said Ron, "we miss you so much. It's just not the same without you. Gryffindor hasn't won once at Quidditch since you've been gone." Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Don't ever change Ron," said Harry with a chuckle, "and I miss you too. Why do you think I've written you so much?"
He paused for a moment before going on.
"Do you know what happened on my first day at Ilvermorny?" he asked them. They both shook their heads.
"Nothing" Harry continued, "nothing at all. In America the whole 'Boy-Who-Lived' stuff doesn't really matter. They know about it of course but to them it's something that happened over a decade ago in a place that was thousands of miles away. The U. S. wasn't part of the war so it didn't impact them very much. My school friends there don't care that I'm 'Harry Potter, Boy-Who-Lived.' To them I'm just Harry and I can't tell you grateful I am for that and how glad I am not to have to deal with all of the fame that comes with it."
"But you're still famous" said Hermione, "in fact you're more famous as Lightning than you ever were as the Boy-Who-Lived."
"That's true" admitted Harry, "but there's a big difference. Who knows what really happened when Voldemort attacked me? Did I really defeat him? Who says it wasn't something that my mum did that protected me? I don't remember much from that night and no else was there so no one really knows? Why should I be famous for that? As Lightning I'm famous for things I've actually done and am freely choosing to do. Also when I take off my mask and uniform and go about as myself no one knows I'm Lightning. It's very nice that way."
Neither Hermione or Ron had an answer for that. Suddenly Harry chuckled.
"Speaking of fame" he said "I've got to tell you about this. You won't believe it. It's like fate winked at me."
"What happened?" asked Hermione.
"A couple of months ago" said Harry, "we were in London on a mission. The details don't matter but during the fight we had to stop a couple of buildings from toppling over and smashing up a crowded street. Normal stuff for superheroes, right? The Avengers do it all the time. After it was over, the bad guy was beaten and everyone was safe again people started thanking us for saving them and asking for autographs or pictures or just to shake our hands. And who do you think showed up right then and there literally fawning over us and telling us how wonderful we were?"
"Who?" asked Ron. Harry laughed.
"The Dursleys" he said. Both Hermione and Ron looked shocked.
"You're kidding" Hermione said.
"Oh no I'm not" said Harry, "I don't know why they were in London that day or why Dudley wasn't in school but all three of them were in the crowd that we saved. I've never seen Uncle Vernon so effusive. I thought he would have been so angry, all red faced and calling us freaks at the top of his lungs or something like he does with magic, but he wasn't. Maybe it was because we were already famous and our powers aren't magical. Who knows what goes on in that larded up head of his? Anyway, he and Aunt Petunia couldn't stop thanking us for saving their lives. Dudley wanted to have his picture taken with us and then – this is the best part – he shook my hand, told me he was my biggest fan and said he wanted to be just like me!"
"He didn't!" Hermione exclaimed, even more shocked while Ron's mouth was hanging open as wide as it could go.
"He did" said Harry, "thank God we wear masks. If he only knew! I don't know how I managed to keep it together until we were safely away from there but once we were back on the X-Jet heading home I completely lost it. I couldn't stop laughing hysterically for at least five minutes. My sides hurt and I fell down and pounded the floor with my fist because I was laughing so hard. My teammates were looking at me like I was crazy. It wasn't until I finally calmed down that I was able to tell them what had happened."
"I bet they laughed too" said Ron now grinning widely.
"They did but they were also kind of mad" said Harry, "but not at me. Cyclops wanted to go back to try and find the Dursleys so he could pulverize them with his eye beams."
"They know about your relatives?" asked Hermione.
"They do" said Harry, "Beast wanted to beat them senseless. Iceman suggested freezing them solid while Angel wanted to toss them in the Thames. As for Marvel Girl, I'm not going to tell you what she suggested. It was scary! I talked them out of it. I told them that Uncle Vernon and Dudley were so fat that they probably wouldn't even feel the blows or they would just go bouncing away like huge balls."
All three of them laughed. It was almost as if Harry had never left Hogwarts.
"Lightning!" a voice called and the three friends turned to see Angel flying towards them from over the lake, "we're just about ready to go."
"Okay, I'll be right there" called Harry before turning back to his friends, "well I guess this is goodbye. It was really great to see you both again." He held out his arms and Hermione hugged him hard before letting go and letting Ron hug him too.
"Do you really have to leave?" asked Ron.
"I'm afraid so" said Harry, "but I'll keep in touch. Take care of yourselves." He took off and flew out over the lake. He circled back for a moment and waved to his friends before turning away. He and Angel flew back towards Hogwarts where the other X-Men were waiting.
Ron and Hermione watched in silence as Harry flew away from them. Finally Ron spoke.
"He looked... happy" Ron said.
"He did" said Hermione, "I can't remember ever seeing him look so happy when he was here. Not even when he was flying on a broom or playing Quidditch."
"You're right" said Ron, "do you think we'll ever see him again?" Before Hermione could answer both of them they heard a voice in their heads.
"Of course you'll see him again" said the voice, "didn't he just say he would keep in touch? The whole reason the X-Men stayed at Hogwarts for so long after the fight was so that Harry could reconnect with the two of you."
"Who is that?" Hermione said out loud, "where are you?"
"Please think your answers" was the reply, "we'll be able to talk more easily. Now, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Charles Xavier and I am Harry's teacher and the founder of the X-Men. I believe he told you about me?"
"He did" said Ron, "how are you in my head?"
"Harry did tell you I'm a telepath, did he not?" was the answer, "and as the X-Men's mentor I am always with them. I apologize for surprising you like this and I haven't been spying on you but I heard your last thoughts and I had to reassure you. Harry has missed you a lot. He has other friends now but he hasn't forgotten you. When I had to send the X-Men to Hogwarts to deal with Magneto Harry begged for a chance to see you two again afterwards. I wasn't about to say no. Do you really think that after he went out of his way to see you two again that he'll let you go from his life now? At the very least you can expect more visits from Hedwig. And who knows? Maybe over the summer he can visit you, or you can visit him."
"That would be wicked" said Ron, his eyes lighting up, "I've never been to America."
"Neither have I" seconded Hermione.
"I'm pleased to hear it" said Xavier, "just remember to keep what you've learned to yourselves. Harry showed a great deal of trust in you when he told you about the X-Men. That should tell you everything."
"I will" said Hermione.
"So will I" said Ron.
"Good" said Xavier, "then I look forward to meeting you both in person in the not too distant future. Goodbye for now." And with that he was gone from their heads.
Hermione and Ron stood where they were for a long moment before they roused themselves and began walking back around the lake to the castle. As they walked they saw the X-Jet take off. Both of them waved at it as it flew away.
Suddenly Hermione laughed. Ron looked at her with his eyebrows raised.
"You were right you know" she said to him, "Harry was here – and, as usual, he really was in the middle of everything!"
Ron laughed. They continued walking, their moods now considerably lighter. Harry was still their friend and they knew that they would see him again.
THE END (for now)
AFTERWORD: So there you go. As I said up top I have started work on the full version of this story but it's going to be a while before I start posting it. I want to have a lot of chapters written first so people won't have to wait too long between updates. I know how frustrating that can be. I have two other longer projects currently ongoing and I'm not the fastest writer in the world.
What you've just read probably summarizes the first half of the full story of Lightning. The second half will concern the Tri-Wizard Tournament which will bring Harry back to Hogwarts but with his fellow X-Men in tow. Yep, Voldemort isn't going to know what's about to hit him.
For anyone who didn't know the original X-Men are:
Cyclops – Scott Summers (called "Slim" in X-Men #1)
Iceman – Robert "Bobby" Drake
Angel – Warren Worthington III
Beast – Henry "Hank" McCoy (before he was blue and furry)
Marvel Girl – Jean Grey (long before she became Phoenix. In this story she already has her telepathic abilities.)
And Professer Xavier is, of course, their leader and mentor.
The X-Men are all teenagers at this time. Cyclops is the oldest, Iceman is the youngest.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you thought. Cheers!