Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter or Avengers...
I've had a few questions on this fic so I thought I'd clear it up here.
First of all, Harry has to move every five years or so since he doesn't age. He could use glamours, etc but that would have a constant drain on his core for, literally, years. Also, if he actually stuck around and used charms to make himself look like he's growing older, the friends he makes will grow old around him and he'd have to watch all of them die again and again. Not something anyone would want to go through.
Second, dunno if it was clear at the end but Harry can't keep up with the jet which is why he used the tracking charm. Also, he didn't actually board the jet with them just in case he gets caught. I mean, yeah, they're technically Muggles, but being superheroes with actual training, at least one of them would probably at least sense Harry's presence.
Finally, like I said before, at the moment, I haven't really decided to pair Harry with anyone, but if I do, it will be slash.
Chapter 5 – To Friends, Enemies, and In-Betweens
When Harry finally arrived in Stuttgart, panicked screams wrenched the air, Death was flitting around gathering wayward souls, and a full-blown battle was taking place right there in the square between Iron Man, Captain America, and a man cloaked in green and black that distinctly reminded Harry of a Slytherin. He was holding a strange-looking staff and, judging by the way Death was circling him warily, never getting too close, Harry guessed that this was the Asgardian.
Ducking when a large chunk of concrete flew into the air, Harry quickly casted several subtle shield charms over the fleeing crowd, waving at Death in a dismissive gesture. Death bowed, features taking on a half-relieved, half-frustrated expression for a moment before disappearing without delay.
He winced when Captain America was tossed into a nearby window. It didn't seem like he was hurt though so Harry turned his attention on Tony as the Asgardian did the same. He frowned when they clashed again. The blasts he was shooting off dealt damage but nowhere near the level of destruction Harry could sense from the staff. Why was the Asgardian holding back?
He arched his eyebrows when a heavy blast from Tony's palm repulsors knocked the man onto the ground, the staff skittering away across the ground. A moment later, Tony had every piece of weaponry built into his suit out and pointed at the Asgardian.
"Make your move, Reindeer Games," Harry could practically see the smugness dripping off the billionaire's words.
"Alright, bring him in," A woman's voice echoed from the jet hanging in the sky as Loki fazed back into simpler black clothes. "And keep the staff away from him. We're not taking any chances."
Harry remained a distance away as the two Avengers returned to the jet. He waited until the door closed behind them before settling on top of the jet instead. He wasn't looking forward to another long flight back; hitching a ride with the risk of being noticed was probably better. So, huddled against the metal of the jet, he placed a sticking charm against the aircraft and kept a firm grip on his cloak as they took off back to the States.
The crack of lightning that lit up the night sky was what stirred Harry from his frozen stupor. At least when he was flying, he still had to concentrate on staying in the jet's sensory blind spots. Stuck on top of the jet, he was surprised he hadn't started growing icicles by this point.
Peering up at the sky, Harry frowned when he couldn't spot any storm clouds. Where was the lightning coming from? The door at the end of the jet suddenly slid open and Harry stiffened as he spotted the red and gold of Tony's suit. What was going-
Harry jumped back as someone landed heavily a few feet away from him. He stilled, careful to keep his cloak around him, but that didn't seem to matter as the man – Harry was going to guess another Asgardian, judging by the way he was dressed – rose to his feet and took in his surroundings, gaze settling on Harry with perfect accuracy. There was no doubt in Harry's mind that the Asgardian could see him.
But the man made no move towards him after seemingly deciding that Harry wasn't an immediate threat, turning on his heel towards the back of the jet instead. Still reeling from the shock that Asgardians could see through his cloak, he had no time to act as the blond grabbed the black-haired Asgardian and leapt from the aircraft. Judging by the rough angry grip one had on the other, Harry doubted they were on the same side. A moment later, Tony had also leapt out, shouting something about plans and attack. With a roll of his eyes and a muttered curse, Harry hurtled off after him, letting himself fall about halfway before pulling out his broom again.
It was lucky, he mused, slowing as he approached the ground. If the black-haired Asgardian had seen him earlier, he probably would've had to reveal himself, and letting the enemy know about magic was the last thing he wanted at the moment.
Harry hovered in a nearby tree, not close enough to hear what the two Asgardians were arguing about, but almost face-palmed when Tony crashed headlong into the blond one, sending both of them into a crop of trees.
"-don't take my stuff," Harry arrived in time to hear.
"You have no idea what you are dealing with," The Asgardian shot back, voice low with warning.
"Uh, Shakespeare in The Park? Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?"
Harry stamped down the urge to whack Tony for that remark as the Asgardian's eyes narrowed. Wonderful. Tony was going to literally talk himself to death. Then again, Harry had been convinced from the first day he had met Tony Stark that if the billionaire ever met an early end, it would be because he had mouthed off one word too many to the wrong person.
"This is beyond you, metal man," The blond's voice was tight with restrained anger. "Loki will face Asgardian justice."
The joking tone Tony had been using levied off somewhat as his expression sharpened. "He gives up the cube and he's all yours. Until then," His visor snapped back down. "Stay out of the way. Tourist!"
He turned to leave and in the span of a heartbeat, Harry knew the blond's temper would snap. Without thinking, he flung out a hand and sent a wave of magic tearing through the air, crashing into the hammer as it was flung at Tony's unprotected back.
The hammer was sent off-course, missing the billionaire by a mere few inches as the billionaire wheeled around again. Both of them stared at the weapon with an air of perplexity.
"You missed," Tony said lightly, though there was more puzzlement in his voice than mockery.
The blond glared hard at him before switching his gaze to Harry standing at the edge of the small clearing. "I would not have had it not been for your sentinel's intervention."
"My what?" Tony's visor flipped up again as he turned to follow the Asgardian's gaze. "Did you knock a few screws loose when we hit the ground?"
Cursing his own stupidity, Harry instinctively took a few steps back. It didn't really matter at this point; the Asgardian could see him and Tony could not. He glanced back at the blond, body tensing even as the man looked back and forth between the two of them. Tony was his top priority; if the Asgardian attacked again, Harry wouldn't hold back.
For the first time since he arrived, the anger ebbed from the Asgardian's face, leaving confusion in its wake. "Your..." The blond trailed off as he seemed to catch some of the warning in Harry's stance. He looked to be considering the situation now that this new turn of events had cleared his head a little. His next words were measured, spoken just as much to Harry as it was to Tony.
"I shall accompany you back to your base of command," The blond finally announced, holding out a hand for his hammer. "Loki is my brother and I wish to see this matter through to the end."
Tony looked taken aback by the abrupt temperament change but he didn't have time to open his mouth before Captain America came jogging into the clearing, looking more than a little surprised at the lack of carnage.
"Stark, I thought your plan was attack," He eyed the two people facing each other. "I thought diplomacy was beyond your level of understanding."
"What are you talking about? I'm the epitome of diplomatic," Tony scoffed, though he looked distracted as his gaze returned to the general area Harry was standing in.
"Right," Steve nodded, clearly not believing a word of it as he stepped cautiously towards the Asgardian. "I'm Steve Rogers. Or Captain America."
"Thor Odinson," The Asgardian shook Steve's offered hand. "Lead the way, Steve."
Harry breathed a sigh of relief as Thor only gave him one last curious look before heading back to the cliff face Loki had been left on with Captain America. At Steve' impatient shout, Tony also turned away, expression still shrewd as he scanned the clearing one last time before taking off into the air.
Harry waited until the jet took off before following on his broom once more. He didn't know why Thor had kept silent, but it wasn't up until this point that he realized just how nervous he was about other people finding out about his magic. Thor was alright; the man wasn't exactly human himself. But Tony was, not to mention he was one of the few people Harry had allowed himself to befriend. He knew it would hurt more than he cared to admit if Tony rejected his friendship altogether once he found out.
"Jarvis, do a scan of the area around the jet," Tony murmured. "A one-mile radius will do."
"Initiating scan," Jarvis responded. "What am I looking for, sir?"
"Anything out of the ordinary," Tony frowned as the search came up without any blips. "Extend the radius to maximum. Anything?"
"No sir," Jarvis replied smoothly. "Is this about Mr. Odinson's remark?"
"Yeah," Tony continued reading the results. "We were five feet away from each other. There is no way he could've just missed. I mean he could just be a really bad shot, but seriously, it would be an insult to demigods everywhere if he couldn't hit me from that distance, not to mention we're all doomed if that's the skill-level of our supposed heroes."
"Oh? And what of yourself, sir? You are included in this team, after all."
"I'm the hero of heroes of course," Tony quipped back. "Naturally, the public can count on me."
"Of course, sir," Jarvis' voice was dry as it stored away the scanner system. "Now if only you could deflate that head of yours in proportion to all that hot air you blow and you would be perfect."
Tony rolled his eyes and leaned back with a sigh. The scans hadn't picked up anything yet he was sure Thor had implied that someone else had... what? Protected him? Why would anyone go out of their way to protect him, especially smack in the middle of nowhere, Germany?
"Try not to think too hard, sir; you might short-circuit your brain."
Tony released an irritated sound. "I swear, J, you're worse than usual today."
His A.I. didn't reply this time and Tony turned his attention back to their demigod prisoner instead. Bored within seconds, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes behind his visor to catch up on much-missed sleep. No one would know, so not even Captain sleeping-on-a-mission-is-not-per-regulations America could get on his case.
Humans were curious beings. Thor had found that out the first time he had arrived on Earth and met Jane Foster.
Sitting neatly on top of the winged vessel, he could just catch the flap of a cloak and hair the colour of a raven's feathers hovering in the corner of his eye. Even with his eyesight, he could barely see the figure. The man was obviously hanging back as far as possible.
His first impression of Tony Stark had been that of an arrogant fool who had no place in dealing with such important matters. But if an arrogant fool was all the man of iron was, then why would someone stand guard for him with such ferocity? Thor had quickly realized that Tony had no idea he had a shadow and that the man under the cloak was invisible to the humans. The anxiety he had caught on said shadow's face was also enough to tell him that the unknown man didn't want Tony to know either.
Thor had wanted to point him out, of course, if only to call the man out on his intervention, but the blazing look of almost devoted protectiveness that turned the human's eyes a haunted jade set off all of Thor's instincts to retreat. He almost felt sorry for whoever truly threatened the man of iron; they wouldn't be coming out of the encounter unscathed, if at all.
So he would give this dysfunctional band of humans a chance, though from what he had seen of the interactions between Tony and Steve, the war looming on the horizon was going to be difficult. But Jane had taught him a little of humility and learning not to judge so quickly the first time around, and it had taken the silent warning of a man in the shadows to remind him of that again. Besides, this was their planet in the end. Perhaps they would know best how to protect it.
Hovering outside the Helicarrier once again, Harry stared in bemusement at the demigod standing by an open door, looking for all the world as if he was scanning the skies for danger but was really doing nothing at all. Harry had circled around the giant aircraft several times now yet Thor had yet to go back inside. Was the Asgardian trying to give him a way in?
Hesitantly, Harry flew around the Helicarrier once more before landing silently on the deck and making his way over to the demigod, strengthening his disillusionment charm as much as possible. Caution in every step, Harry didn't stop until he was standing only a few feet away from Thor, eyeing the blond with suspicion.
"Go on then," The demigod muttered, finally glancing down at him.
Harry tilted his head. "I could be an enemy. You'd be endangering everyone inside if I were."
Thor inclined his head. "That would be so if you were working with Loki, but I do not believe your loyalties lie with anyone save Tony Stark. It would be remiss of me not to let you in as you would be a powerful ally for the man of iron and, by extension, the rest of us as well."
Harry arched an eyebrow before finally stepping inside. "Are all you Asgardians this trusting?"
"I would consider 'this' to be insightful rather than trusting, and only the best of us are," Thor replied with a faint smile as he turned to follow Harry inside.
Harry smothered a smile of his own before stepping to the side to let the demigod lead him through the base. For someone who had hurled a hammer at Tony mere hours ago, he supposed Thor wasn't so bad.
"Thor, what's Loki's play?" Steve asked as soon as Thor stepped into the meeting room. Harry quietly stepped over to one side of the door, perking up when he realized this information would be important.
"He has an army, called the Chitauri," Thor revealed. "They're not of Asgard or any world known. He means to lead them against your people. They will win him the Earth," His features darkened. "In return, I suspect, for the Tesseract."
"An army. From outer space," Steve said, sounding resigned as he glanced around the room.
"So he's building another portal. That's what he needs Erik Selvig for," Harry recognized this person as Dr. Bruce Banner and he straightened with interest. Tony had shown him some of this man's works and Harry had found it all to be high interesting. Since learning, also from Tony, of the doctor's problems with his alter ego, Harry had been working on a new calming draught in case it was ever needed. Tony had mentioned more than once that he would one day track down Bruce Banner and invite him to Stark Industries for a few discussions. Both he and Tony could take care of themselves against brute strength like the Hulk's, at least long enough to get out of range, so Harry had had no problem with the billionaire's future schemes either.
"Selvig?" Thor's voice was alarmed as he turned sharply to face Bruce.
"He's an astrophysicist," Bruce offered.
"He's a friend," Thor divulged grimly.
"Loki has them under some kind of spell," A red-haired woman from across the room cut in. "Along with one of ours."
"I wanna know why Loki let us take him," Steve said. "He's not leading an army from here."
"I don't think we should be focusing on Loki," Bruce spoke up, and Harry noted the contrast between the doctor's speech and demeanour. While his words were confident, the man didn't seem to be able to fully look at any one of them as if he was afraid they would attack him or, worse, he would attack them. Harry found he could relate well to that as one of his hands absently reached up to touch his scar. "That guy's brain is a bag full of cats. You can smell crazy on him."
"Have a care how you speak," Thor snapped, looking annoyed. "Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother."
"He killed eighty people in two days," The redhead countered bluntly. Harry grimaced. Because Loki had taken those lives with that soul-staff, he had felt every one of those deaths.
Thor looked first at the woman before glancing at Harry with a slight frown when he caught the strained expression surfacing briefly on his face.
"...He's adopted," Thor offered, and Harry fought down a chuckle.
"I think it's about the mechanics," Bruce brought them back on track. "Iridium; what do they need the iridium for-?"
"It's a stabilizing agent," Tony's voice sounded as the billionaire strode in with Phil Coulson at his side. Tony had warned him to run the opposite direction if this agent ever came at you with a stack of folders and a smile. At the moment, Tony seemed to be trying to coax Coulson into something or other, and Harry wondered if it wasn't the agent who needed to run when Tony came at him with a scheme and a smirk.
"Means," Tony continued as he circled around to the front of the room. "The portal won't collapse on itself, like it did at S.H.I.E.L.D.. Also, it means the portal can open as wide, and stay open as long, as Loki wants."
He paused to glance at the bridge below. "Raise the monitors," He called, and Harry closed his eyes and waited for the quips.
"That man is playing Galaga!" Tony revealed cheerfully as Steve frowned in confusion. "Thought we wouldn't notice, but we did."
He turned to look at the monitors in front of him before covering his left eye with one hand. "How does Fury even see these?"
Harry heaved a sigh as the black-haired woman by the table indulged him. "He turns."
"Sounds exhausting," Tony decided dramatically. Harry glared at the man from under his cloak and, as if sensing his ire, the billionaire miraculously continued on the problem at hand.
"The rest of the raw materials, Agent Barton can get his hands on pretty easily. Only major component he still needs is a power source," Harry's eyes narrowed when he caught the subtle sleight of hand Tony pulled to plant a chip on one of the computers. He knew a Stark decryption system when he saw it. "A high energy density, something to kick-start the cube."
"When did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics?" The black-haired woman asked, looking half-amused, half reluctantly impressed.
"Last night," Tony scanned the room. "The packet, Selvig's notes, the Extraction Theory papers. Am I the only one who did the reading?"
"Does Loki need any particular kind of power source?" Steve cut him off pointedly.
"He'd have to heat the cube to a hundred and twenty million Kelvin just to break through the Coulomb barrier," Bruce interrupted before another fight could break out.
"Unless, Selvig has figured out how to stabilize the quantum tunnelling effect," Tony countered, and Harry recognized the beginnings of the childish excitement the billionaire always got when talking about science.
"Well, if he could do that, he could achieve Heavy Ion Fusion at any reactor on the planet," Bruce replied, finally looking up completely.
"Finally, someone who speaks English," Tony grinned at Bruce, glancing pointedly at everyone else. "Honestly, I know one of the only living people I could talk about all this to and I had to leave him behind. Thank god there's one here."
Harry chuckled, feeling a glow of warmth in his chest as Steve rolled his eyes and muttered, "Is that what just happened?"
"If you know what we're up against, I want you two to start tracking the cube."
Harry immediately recognized the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the man strode in.
"Let's start with that stick of his," Steve suggested. "It may be magical, but it works an awful lot like a Hydra weapon."
Harry frowned at that. There was no way a simple Hydra weapon could hamper Death.
"I don't know about that, but it is powered by the cube," Fury said, looking disgruntled. "And I'd like to know how Loki used it to turn two of the sharpest men I know into his personal flying monkeys."
"Monkeys?" Thor enquired, looking puzzled. "I do not understand."
"I do!" Steve straightened in his chair, looking proud."I understood that reference."
Harry had to fight down the urge to jab an elbow into Tony's ribs as the billionaire rolled his eyes.
"Well, let's get to it then," Tony said as he waved a hand at the door. "Should we play, doc-"
Tony halted mid-word just as he stepped past Harry's location, less than a foot away. Heart pounding, Harry stopped breathing entirely as the billionaire's head turned sharply to the side, gaze running over the place Harry was standing in twice.
"Something wrong, Stark?" Fury questioned sharply.
A confused look briefly surfaced on Tony's face before his expression smoothed over again and he shrugged. "Nope. Just thought I smelled... lilies."
Without another word, he continued out of the room, Bruce a step behind him as the room stared after him with differing degrees of puzzlement.
Harry ignored the questioning look Thor threw at him and cursed himself again. Damn, he was really losing his edge after a decade off the battlefield.
He had forgotten; his home was filled with small pots of lilies lining the windowsills and Tony, having been over to his home so many times and had even bought Harry some of the flowers after finding out he liked them, would obviously know the scent anywhere. While the lilies probably clung only faintly on his cloak, Tony's first thought on the scent would be Harry and not, say, one of the women's perfumes.
Finished! I'll end it there. How were all the interactions?