Steve slides into a seat on the Gryffindor table, trying his best to remain as unobtrusive as possible. He’s not quite used to his height and muscle - courtesy to a much belated and unexpected growth spurt - and accidentally knocks into two of his new housemates and smacks his shin against a table leg before he manages to sit.
It’s the start of a new school year in a school that’s on a completely different continent. Steve wants to make a good impression. And that all starts with blending in. He finds that it’s a rather difficult task when a blonde giant, who towers over him even, throws himself into a chair right next to him.
“Good evening! I have not seen you about here before!” The voice booms and carries around the hall like a trumpet. All the heads around the dining hall start turning his way, curiously and Steve tries his best not to wince.
He’s not quite successful, but the owner of the booming voice doesn’t seem to notice, or care. “I am Thor Odinson, prefect of Gryffindor. What is your name, my friend?”
Thor beams cheerfully at Steve, who’s ingrained manners forces him to reciprocate, even when what he really wants to do is to hide in a corner. “I’m Steve Rogers.”
One of Thor’s mighty eyebrows rise at the decidedly American accent. “You are one of the new transfer students then! How lucky you are to be sorted into Gryffindor!” One huge hand claps Steve on the back. “I am looking forward to getting to know you quite well, my friend.”
Steve smiles, a little weakly, back. “Same here.”
Steve hears about Tony Stark before he ever meets him.
It’s hard not to as an American wizard. The Stark name has been plastered over newspapers for decades, usually accompanied by pictures of Maria and Howard who smiled and waved politely. Several years back, you were more likely to find pictures of Tony Stark, heir to the billion dollar fortune, a mischievous, laughing child who’s intelligence shone from his brilliant blue eyes.
Then there had been an accident about five years ago that no one knew anything about and Howard Stark had pulled some strings and sent his only child across the Atlantic to Hogwarts.
Steve had just begun his own magical education at the Salem Institute.
Tony Stark had been all of nine years of age.
Steve and Tony’s first conversation goes something like this.
It’s been two months since classes have started and Steve realizes fairly quickly that no matter what continent he’s on, his best subject is never going to be potions. And it shows as he furrows his brow, frustrated at how today's potions work is not turning quite the right color despite following each instruction to the letter.
He’s consulting his textbook for the fifth time in ten minutes, trying to figure out what he’s done wrong, when something drops into his potion. It fizzles alarmingly.
Steve’s head jerks up and he finds himself staring directly at Tony Stark, who’s spent the entire school year so far ignoring him despite sharing a table, now looking a little too innocent.
Stark blinks long, dark lashes at him and tries to look contrite. “I’m sorry, my hand slipped when I was chopping my mandrake root.” He waves his knife in emphasis and fails to look anything approaching sorry.
Steve shoots a look down to his book and then back up at the other boy again. “Mandrake’s not even on the ingredient list, Stark.”
“I’m just improving things a little.” Stark smirks back at him, apparently unsurprised at being spoken to by name, and then turns around, focusing his attention on the three cauldrons bubbling away next to him. None of them look anything like the one they’re actually supposed to be making.
Steve’s noticed that the professors tend to turn a blind eye to whatever Tony Stark gets up to in their class as long as he turns in his homework, passes the exams and isn’t being overtly disruptive. The upside of being a genius, billionaire wizard, Steve had always thought to himself a bit wistfully whenever he and his fellow Gryffindors shared classes with the Ravenclaws.
Right now, however, what Steve feels comes a little closer to having him hit that arrogantly pleased face with his fist. He closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose, forcing that feeling to the bottom and focuses on finding a way to salvage a passing grade from today’s work. He supposes he has to start from scratch now, except the bell for end of class is about to sound any minute now and if only...
“Good work, Rogers.”
Steve blinks his eyes open to find his Potions Professor, Erskine, standing before him beaming. Or more correctly, Erskine is standing before his potion beaming at it, since it was now somehow the correct shade and bubbling just the right amount. Steve hears himself manage a befuddled ‘bwah’ sound in response as he stares at his cauldron.
“Glad to see someone has found the key ingredient to balancing the toxicity of the snakeroot so that it doesn’t ruin the potion.” Erskine raises his voice as he notes down a mark is definitely more than passing next to Steve’s name. “The rest of you should take note. Not all your answers are to be found written down, ready for you.”
There’s a discordant mumbled affirmative from the rest of Steve’s Fifth Year potions class.
The Ravenclaws are wearing almost identical looks of puzzlement, as if being shown up by a Gryffindor wasn’t in their study plan for today.
Steve chances a glance to his right just as the end class bell rings. Stark’s staring back at him, grin smug and completely unrepentant.
Steve empties his cauldron with a wave of his wand and packs his books, passing Stark on his way out. He doesn’t stop, but he does offer a small smile with what he hopes is the right amount of apology and gratefulness. “Thank you.”
Switching POVs and stuff. Mostly Tony being Tonyyyy.
Also introducing new people! And making stuff I have no ideaaaaa about up~ Orz
I don't have a beta. Can you tell?
Tony’s lying unnaturally still on his bed when one of his roommates returns that evening.
“Have you eaten yet?” Charles Xavier drops his bag onto the floor and then leans over him to prod at the arm hanging off the edge of his bed.
Tony grunts out something that doesn’t resemble any language that Charles knows.
“A better question to ask would be if he’s actually moved from that position since he came back from class.”
Charles looks up and over to the back corner of the room, unsurprised to find Bruce Wayne lounging in a chair, with what looked like a seventh year charms textbook open in his lap.
Charles raises one eyebrow and flops unerringly backwards onto his own bed, deftly missing the books and parchments scattered at his feet. “And how long have you been lurking there?”
Bruce shrugs one shoulder and stands, a smooth, lithe movement, snapping his book shut and tossing it onto his bunk, the one above Tony’s. “Long enough to know that he’s probably over thinking things. As usual.” His tone is vaguely mocking and his eyes are sharp, nothing like the soft playful tenor and limpid gaze he offers the rest of the world outside of this room.
Charles makes a soft humming noise, half in agreement, and withdraws his wand from his sleeve. He sits up, propping himself against the wall, and murmurs a soft spell, waving his wand in Tony’s direction. A shower of small sparkling stars erupt from his wand tip and spread unerringly over Tony’s prone form, fizzling happily whenever they touched.
Bruce snorts softly in amusement as Tony finally jerks upright in bed and glares at Charles. “Did you just try to electrocute me?” His hair is vaguely singed and standing on end.
“If I had wanted to electrocute you, you would be a roasted, smoking mess, heading towards the medical wing right now.” Charles tells him, tucking his wand away, smiling. He lets that thought sink in before leaning forward, blue eyes curious. “What exactly has you so unsettled?”
Tony scowls and flops back onto his bed, deliberately not looking Charles. “I’m not unsettled.”
“He’s not unsettled.” Bruce confirms, until Tony glances over, almost hopefully, and then he smirks. “He’s just confused.”
Tony snarls and turns his back on both of them, pulling his covers over his head childishly.
“I’m not confused either.” He tells his pillow an undetermined time later. “I just don’t understand.”
There’s a silence. Then Charles ventures out with a cautious, “I was under the impression that not understanding is actually the same as confusion in most cases?”
“You should leave him some of his delusions.” Bruce is amused. Very much so, Tony can tell simply from that particular tone of his. The downside of being childhood friends he supposes.
He sits back up and directs his best glare at them both. It’s really not that effective. “Don’t you two have something better to do?”
Bruce spreads his hands, a simperingly sweet smile - the one that makes people wonder at just how he managed to trick the hat into sorting him into Ravenclaw - sitting easily on his features. His tone matches. “And pass up on the chance to laugh at you, my friend? Never.”
Charles hastily jumps up and tries his best to turn a laugh into a cough just as their last roommate, Reed Richards, wanders in, nose deep in what looked like a combination of arithmancy and charms notes marked with his messy scrawl.
Tony seizes this opportunity for distraction with both hands. Figuratively. “How’s O.W.L. preparation going, Reed?”
Reed actually bothers to look up and pin Tony with an impatient glance at those words.
Tony holds up both hands, placating. “Ok fine, obviously I can’t forget that you’re past all that unlike the rest of us lesser geniuses. So, what’s the latest on that new number chart you were composing for that arithmancy thing then?”
Although Tony prefers the delicate and intricate precision of transfiguration, he has a passing interest in most of the remaining subjects, especially when it comes to whatever Reed Richards - one of the few people Tony admitted to probably having a higher IQ than himself - gets up to.
Reed utters a thoughtful ‘hmm’ in response to Tony and waves a handful of notes distractedly, still staring fixedly at the other bunch in his right hand. “I think I have something promising. I’m currently looking into the repetitive nature of a few numbers that I don’t think should be appearing so much, not on this sort of chart at any rate.”
Tony pulls the top few sheets from Reed’s grasp and squints at the handwriting. “Geez, Reed. Take some classes on quill writing would you? This is a disaster.” But his complaint quickly peters out as he’s distracted by the notations he can make out and the patterns that swim into formation in his mind.
“That is strange.” Tony mumbles at the inked parchment. “The first row and third aren’t quite linking, despite the second balancing both.”
Bruce is settled back in his chair in the far back corner once more, with another book on whatever caught his interest this week, but Tony can tell that he’s listening from the way his head is tilted a precise three degrees to the left in contemplation.
Charles taps his lower lip thoughtfully, eyes scanning down the parchment as he wanders over to lean over Tony’s shoulder and read. “Those three look out of place.” He taps out the offending squares on the third row and Reed nods in agreement, highlighting them with a wave of his wand.
“I’ll have to see Vector first thing tomorrow to see if she’s got any insights.” Reed pauses as he consults his schedule. “Wait, tomorrow afternoon. I’m meeting with Erskine tomorrow morning for preparations for that project.”
Tony grins and crooks his fingers into giant quotation marks as he mouths ‘that project’ behind Reed’s back. Charles waves his wand threateningly in his direction.
“Don’t forget to take a break and eat at some point.” Charles’ words are not exasperated in tone only due to long practice from dealing with Tony and Reed. Both of whom tended to forgo basic things like food and sleep when carried away with something, usually not related to the curriculum or, in Tony’s case, not particularly safe either.
Tony rolls his eyes and answers on Reed’s behalf. “Yes, mother.”
Tony doesn’t sleep until the wee hours of the morning, having been distracted by the hint of a link between what seems to be the random transfiguration properties of certain metals. He makes his way down the stairs, scowling as the staircases were just a tad too slow changing direction for his liking. He’s tired and cranky and wanting something stronger than the pumpkin juice that’s always on offer.
Charles, annoying morning person he is, accompanies him down to the great hall for breakfast with upbeat chatter on everything that’s been happening. The other boy has a social circle that basically encompasses the entire school and in an almost scary fashion, everyone in that goddamn circle seems to like him.
As for his other roommates, Reed was probably off to the potions dungeons before the sun rose for whatever private project he and Erskine was collaborating on and Bruce was still sleeping when they left. The latter often choosing to skip breakfast in favor of getting a few more minutes of shuteye. Like Tony would, if he hadn’t been forced up by a chirpy Charles and basically frogmarched downstairs.
Tony’s in the midst of contemplating if he’d get away with transfiguring some of that horrid pumpkin juice into coffee under Headmaster Fury’s hawk-like gaze, when he walks into something solid and unyielding.
Tony stands and blinks for a few seconds before the pain registers. He manages a belated “ouch” and directs his best glare onto the obstacle that was directly in his way.
Steve Rogers’ too-blue eyes look right back at him, in somewhat surprised recognition, before it changes into a half smile. “Good morning.”
Tony stares at that smile and doesn’t realize that he’s supposed to respond until Charles elbows him discreetly. “Um. Hi. Good morning. Hi.”
Charles makes a weird muffled sound that might be suppressed laughter, but Tony’s too busy being mortified by his inability to be anything approaching detached and aloof. He blames it entirely on the early morning and being non-caffinated. In other words, he blames Charles.
That smile widens just enough to become a full grin and Rogers nods at him once before moving off towards the Gryffindor table; matching the towering seventh year Gryffindor prefect, Thor Odison, who Tony hadn’t noticed until then, stride for stride.
Charles has the decency to wait until Rogers and escort are out of earshot before he turns to Tony with guileless and wide eyes. “I wonder, is he part of what you’re not understanding?”
Tony glares back for one long moment, not deigning to respond verbally, before he half stomps and half sulks his way to the Ravenclaw table, deliberately seating himself with his back to the Gryffindors.
Charles settles on his left and starts filling up two plates with freshly buttered scones and sausages and nudges one over to Tony, along with a goblet filled with that detestable pumpkin juice. He stares until Tony picks up some utensils and starts to eat, even if he does stab his fork through his sausage a bit harder than he needs to.
“Be glad that Bruce isn’t here.” Is all Charles says as he smothers a piece of toast in jam.
Tony grunts in what is probably thankful agreement and bites viciously into a scone.
More characters! And tragically, less Steve & Tony interaction *__*;; Oops. Sorry.
Also no idea when Quidditch season actually starts at Hogwarts. HP wiki was less help ;A;
Also fixed up the thing with Thor's ever changing year level. He's a seventh year. Previous chapters have been edited slightly to correct this fact xD;;;
Onwards we go!
“I cannot recall the last time I saw Stark at breakfast.” Thor rumbles from where he sits opposite Steve, in the midst of consuming multiple plates piled high with bacon, sausage and eggs.
Steve looks up from his much smaller collection of plates (just the two this morning) and blinks. “Huh?”
“You know, your friend? Tony Stark?” Thor waves a massive hand, still firmly clamped around a overfull toasted sandwich, in the vague direction of where the Ravenclaw table sits. A piece of bacon, slipping free from the bread, dives towards the floor, landing on the passing shoe of a tall, thin Slytherin. He glares at Thor’s back with narrowed green eyes before stalking away, and before Steve can do much more than look apologetic for Thor’s sake.
Steve is debating on whether he should tell Thor that he might want to watch his back around the Slytherins for a while (they held their grudges well), when those words finally register. Steve blinks again and sits back, slightly bemused. “What gave you the idea that Stark is my friend?”
Thor raises one eyebrow. “Are you not? I heard he helped you out during potions yesterday. He usually never talks to anyone in class and he definitely never helps anyone.”
“Surely he has friends.” Steve wonders briefly at how anti-social Stark must be for yesterday’s little scene to have made the rounds already. He had only thought Tony Stark was surly because he had been stuck with a Gryffindor for a potions partner, rather than one of his fellow Ravenclaws.
Thor shrugs as dismissively as he can whilst shovelling food into his mouth. “His dorm-mates.”
They sit quietly for a moment or two, as Thor finishes off his second plate and moves onto his third and Steve contemplating his words.
There’s a sudden titter of laughter from the opposite end of their table. Steve and Thor both look over to find Stark standing close to Diana Prince and Susan Storm, both sixth year Gryffindors. Susan laughs again at something Stark says as he leans in close while Diana looks completely unimpressed with the interruption to her breakfast.
Steve watches bemusedly as Stark waggles his eyebrows at the two girls, obviously flirting outrageously. “You were saying?” The not-question is directed at Thor.
“And all the lovely girls, of course.” Thor amends cheerfully, as they watch Stark wink at Diana. She turns her back as an obvious end to the conversation, but Steve catches the barest edge of a smile on her pretty features as Stark saunters off, Xavier in tow. Susan’s still smiling and nudges Diana as the two Ravenclaw boys exit the hall. They both burst into a flurry of quiet murmurs accompanied by soft giggles.
Steve doesn’t really notice and finishes his breakfast absently. More than once, he finds himself glancing over in the direction that Stark left, almost still able to see that self assured grin and swagger.
The morning passes in somewhat of a blur. Steve can recount spending his first period in the quiet of the library for self study but not on what exactly he studied. Second period leaves him with the impression of cloying heat from the Herbology greenhouse and having dirt flung on his face from both whatever not-very-toxic-but-really-annoying-and-hyperactive plant they had been studying today and the Slytherins he had shared the class with.
He walks back into the Great Hall for lunch, feeling distracted, but not quite sure what by. Steve nods a greeting to Thor and approaches the empty seat next to him like usual. Thor claps him on the back, hard. Steve doesn’t quite drop into his seat like a sack, but it’s a close thing.
Steve presses a hand gingerly to his shoulder and suppresses a wince. Thor doesn’t notice, instead already helping himself to an entire tray of sandwiches and jug of pumpkin juice. Steve chooses a sandwich at random and takes a bite. The taste of perfect roast beef and gravy makes him swallow and take a second bite, much more enthusiastically.
They chat about inconsequential things, such as the trouble Thor has with Charms and Potions and the Quidditch season that was in its early stages.
Towards the end of lunch break, Thor jostles him in what apparently is supposed to a friendly fashion, his tray almost half empty. Steve blinks as Thor tilts his chin in the direction of a suspiciously huddled crowd around a section of the Hufflepuff table and Steve can’t help but furrow his brow when he notices Clint Barton right in the middle of it.
Barton’s name is well known to all, including the newest of first years, and even Steve has already heard many, many stories of daring and pranks of near-stupidity, mostly from Thor who has turned out to be quite a gossip.
Today, Barton has his wand out and as his friend and oft partner in crime - Oliver something - eggs him on. He’s carefully levitating two full goblets of juice in a complex, three dimensional figure eight pattern. A few of the teachers frown and make to stand, but Fury waves them down with an expression halfway between resigned and annoyed.
The Head Girl, Pepper, has no such compunctions and stalks over to where Barton sits. Oliver Queen (Steve finally remembers the last name) sees her coming and reaches out a hand probably to poke Barton, but misses and accidentally knocks the wand out of his hand instead.
“Oh shit.” Barton’s loud exclamation causes heads to turn just as the goblets fall out of the air and splashes all over the far end of the Slytherin table, one of the girls at the very end getting the full brunt of two doses of sticky, orange liquid.
The entire hall is silent as the girl stands, dripping orange liquid with each step she takes, closing in on Barton who suddenly looks a lot more nervous, waving his hands as if trying to ward her off. “Natasha. Nat. Nattie. That was an accident. I swear! I swear to Merlin!”
There’s an almost wincing, hesitant anticipation in the air as she stops in front of him and smiles sweetly.
Of course he recognizes Natasha Romanov. Thor had personally warned him away from her on his second day when they had passed her near the dungeons.
Like a broomstick collision, Steve can’t quite bring himself to look away.
Barton has just enough time to smile back before she draws back her fist and punches him squarely on the nose. “Don’t ever call me ‘Nattie’ again.”
She stalks off, ignoring the melodramatic cries of pain from Barton rolling around on the floor, her long legs striding through the silence of the Great Hall and settles back into her seat gracefully.
Thor drops his goblet back onto the table with a heavy clunk and wipes the his mouth with the back of his hand. He grins cheerfully at Steve. “Next game between Hufflepuff and Slytherin will be fun.”
Steve eyes the contemptuous sneer that Natasha slants at Barton and Queen, and has to agree. Up on the raised area where the professors sits, Steve catches Headmaster Fury sinking down slowly to thump his head on the solid wooden table.
He smiles back at Thor wryly, feeling somewhat sorry for the Headmaster. At least there was one other person in the room who wouldn’t have picked the adjective ‘fun’, which definitely isn’t the adjective he would have chosen.