Chapter 1: Thor Ate My Frogs (A Prologue of Sorts)
"So... what's your brother like?"
Thor turned his head to look at Steve from across the table. "You mean Loki?"
"Of course he means Loki," Tony said, looking bored with his cheek against the table-clothed surface. He raised an eyebrow, "Unless you have another brother?"
"No," Thor shook his head, "I was just surprised is all. You have never asked me about my brother before."
"Well-" Steve began.
"That's because no one really cares, Thor," Tony muttered.
Steve started to splutter out a protest, but Thor merely grinned.
"Anyways, I'm starving." Tony said loudly, "Why can't the sorting just start already?"
Steve rolled his eyes, "How can you still be hungry? You practically bought all the chocolate frogs off the trolley on the train."
"Yeah. But Mister Thor I-Eat-Everything Odinson here devoured them all."
Thor waggled his eyebrows. "I wouldn't say all of them." He pulled out a chocolate frog box from inside his robes.
Tony lifted his head sharply off the table. "Hey! Give that here!"
He made grabby hands toward the box. Thor stood up and waved it above his head, and Tony was about to climb up on the table when they heard the loud, echoing sound of someone clearing their throat from the end of the Great Hall. The sound cut cleanly through the intelligible murmuring of students' idle chattering.
Tony and Thor quickly sat down, though Tony shot a quick glare at Thor before turning his attention to the man at the top of the Hall.
Professor Fury, headmaster of Hogwarts, raised both arms in a welcoming gesture, though the look on his face was far from friendly.
"Welcome, everybody. Before we begin the sorting, I'd like everyone to please shut (the fuck) up."
His glare swept across the Hall, and students quickly silenced themselves. A couple of them giggled nervously.
With a satisfied nod, Nick Fury stepped down and Professor Hill took his place, setting a pointed, dirty, and frayed wizard's hat on a tall stool.
"Let the Sorting Ceremony...begin!"
The Great Hall's great doors slowly swung open, with a creaking sound that resonated all around. A large cluster of first-years entered, looking like a big, dark, amorphous blob in their plain, black robes and hats. The candles in the air cast an orange glow over their heads.
"I hope we get some good Gryffindors this year," Tony said, rubbing his hands together, "The team needs better Chasers." Steve hummed in agreement.
Thor searched the group of first-years, but failed to locate Loki.
Then the Sorting Hat twitched, all eyes were on it now, and it began singing its annual song.
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all..."
Tony nudged Steve. "Can't afford to be stupid when you have to come up with a new song every year."
Steve snorted, "It probably recycles."
The hat went on to sing about how Gryffindors were daring and chivalrous, Hufflepuffs were just and loyal, Ravenclaws were wise and witty, and how Slytherins were cunning and ambitious. When the song ended, Professor Hill unrolled a long piece of parchment. She gave a cursory glance at the top of the scroll.
A dark-haired boy stepped up to and onto the stool, as Professor Hill placed the Sorting Hat on his head.
The hat was quiet for a while, leaning forward as if in deep thought.
The Ravenclaw table exploded with cheers.
Tony threw his hands up in mock celebration.
Next up was, "Barton, Clint!"
"Oooh. Hufflepuff," Tony said sarcastically, as the Hufflepuff table cheered and clapped enthusiastically.
No one replied to that, though Steve frowned a little at the comment. They kept watching and politely applauding as one by one the first-years were sorted into their houses.
The Sorting was more than halfway through, when Thor squinted and said, "I think I see Loki."
"Oh? Where?" Steve asked.
Thor pointed at a boy in the front of the line of first-years, next to a girl with flaming red hair.
"What, the scrawny, black-haired one?"
"Think he'll be in Gryffindor?"
Thor gave a noncommittal shrug which made Steve look at him quizzically.
Steve looked like he was about to say something, but then Professor Hill called out, "Odinson, Loki!" and Loki stepped up to the Sorting Hat.
There was a flurry of whispering.
"Did she say 'Odinson'?"
As the hat was being placed on Loki's head, the light from the levitating candles nearby cast a mischievous glint off his eyes.
There was a pause, then Steve thought he saw Loki smirk.
Thor groaned into his hands as Steve applauded politely. Tony gave a sympathetic shrug.
They watched Loki take off the Sorting Hat and make his way to the Slytherin table. Johann Schmidt, the Slytherin prefect, clapped Loki on the back, and said something to him that made Loki smile wickedly.
Much to Thor's surprise, Loki deliberately turned toward the Gryffindor table, stuck his tongue out at Thor and then resumed talking to his new housemates.
Thor found Tony and Steve looking at him.
Tony raised an eyebrow, cocked his head, and said, "He's a snarky little skrewt, isn't he."
After Loki, "Romanoff, Natasha!" was sorted into Gryffindor, much to Tony's delight.
"I see potential!" He crowed. "Also...kind of a cutie." He added as an afterthought.
"Tony," Thor said seriously, "I think you would be called, in your words, a 'total creep'."
The feast started soon after that. Golden plates and goblets materialized out of nowhere. Pitchers of punch, and pumpkin juice appeared along the length of the tables, and food of every kind imaginable piled up on platters.
"Finally!" Tony exclaimed. With fork in hand, he made it his mission to get some of everything.
"Watch it, Stark!"
Tony had bumped into a girl with strawberry-blonde hair, nearly spilling the pumpkin juice in the goblet she was holding.
"Sorry, Pep. The baked potatoes are calling."
"Hey, is that any way to speak to your new prefect?" Pepper Potts set her goblet down and crossed her arms in a petulant manner. Tony noticed the shiny, silver badge pinned to the front of her robes.
He stopped trying to stab at the potatoes, "We-ell. Lookit you. Gonna try bossing me around now?"
Pepper raised her eyebrows. "I've always been able to do that."
"No, you haven't. I'm Tony Stark. No one tells me what to do."
"Point. Well, he's Captain Rogers isn't he."
"Also, becoming a prefect helps the cause."
"Oh, I forgot about that," Tony groaned, "You two are gonna make this year hell, aren't you?"
Pepper grinned, "Count on it."
Tony sat back down next to Steve, setting his mini food mountain on the table, which was topped with a baked potato. "Hey, so I just talked to Pepper. Did you know she's a prefect now?"
"Yeah-," Steve started saying. He paused to swallow a mouthful of salad. "She wrote to me over the summer."
Tony stared. "Why?"
"Why what? Why is she a prefect? I guess because she's smart and teachers like he-"
"No no no no," Tony waved his hands in front of him, "Why did she write to you?"
Steve drew his eyebrows together, "Uh... because we're friends?"
"I'm her friend too," Tony frowned, "Why doesn't she write to me?"
"If it's any consolation," Thor pitched in, "Pepper has never written to me either."
Tony opened his mouth to retort, but screamed instead when a big-bearded, translucent head popped out of the top of his food pile.
"Aww.. You're making my food cold," Tony whined after catching his breath.
Thor roared with laughter, "When are going to stop doing that Volstagg?"
"When I can actually taste the food," the ghost replied morosely.
Thor laughed even harder, spraying bits of steak across the table. Tony made a face, and brushed himself off.
"Who's that," a cool voice came from behind Tony and Steve.
They turned to see Natasha Romanoff standing with a hand on her hip. The other hand was pointing at the ghost head in a finger gun-like gesture.
"Hey there," Tony began, "I'm Tony Stark, you may have heard of me..."
Steve cleared his throat loudly, "Uh, this is Volstagg. He's a ghost."
"I can see that," Natasha deadpanned.
"Pleased to meet you my lady," Volstagg rose eerily out of Tony's food and offered a semi-opaque hand (which Natasha pointedly ignored). "I am Volstagg the Voluminous, ghost of the noble house of Gryffindor for the past few centuries or so."
"Met his death by overeating, as I recall," Thor put in.
"That particular Hogwarts Christmas feast was just oh-so-very delicious," Volstagg sighed.
"I'll be sure to tell them to fix that," Tony muttered sarcastically, making Volstagg frown slightly.
"Oh!" Steve remembered, "Uh, we haven't introduced ourselves. I'm Steve Rog-"
"I know," Natasha interrupted.
"Er, how...?" Steve began to ask, but stopped when Natasha just turned and left.
The three (and the ghost) stared after her for a while, watching the black of her robes and red of her hair flutter as she strolled away.
Tony had a perplexed expression on his face as he faced his friends, "Is it just me, or are the first-years this year really, really rude."
There was a small delay, then all three of them said together, "Rude."
Comments are welcome.
Chapter 3: Go The Fuck To Sleep
Short filler chapter.
By the time the welcome feast was nearly over, a sleepy, satisfied stupor had settled over the Great Hall. Much of the food had either been eaten or magically un-conjured. The ceiling was pitch black though dotted with glittering stars, and the hovering candles had been reduced to distorted, waxy stubs.
A low groan issued from the Gryffindor table.
"I knew those treacle tarts were a bad idea," Tony moaned, wrapping his arms around his middle. He let his head fall face down onto the table with a thud.
"Mmmph," Thor murmured, picking at the remains of an apple pie.
Steve let out a huge yawn that was echoed by a few people around him. The rest of the food soon vanished along with the golden plates. Professor Fury stood up at the top of the hall and clapped thrice.
"Ahem. So, now that you're all done stuffing your faces, I have a few things to say. First off, the usual, the Forbidden Forest is, well,forbidden. Also, no magic in between classes in the corridors, as we currently do not have a caretaker, any messes made will be your responsibility." Even his black eye patch seemed to glare as his gaze swept across the Hall menacingly before continuing, "Lucky for you first-years, if you hadn't heard already, four years ago a certain individual managed to convince the ministry that his son- I mean, first-years, should be allowed to play on their house teams," (at this, Thor shifted awkwardly in his seat) "Unfortunately, at the time I didn't have much say on the matter, so..." He briefly raised his hands in a gesture of defeat. "Well that's that. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Professor Coulson. Now please let your prefects lead you to your dorms, and Go. The fuck. To sleep."
There was a loud scraping sound of chairs against marble flooring as everyone rose to their feet, and the prefects called out for their houses to follow them. The Gryffindors ascended several flights of stairs while Hufflepuffs filed down to their quarters near the kitchens, Ravenclaws toward the west-side towers, and Slytherins down through the stone dungeon walls and beneath the Black Lake.
Tony, Thor, and Steve stopped with the other Gryffindors at the top of a set of stairs in front of a large painting of a fat lady in a loose, pink dress.
Steve stepped forward, "Trading cards."
The portrait swung open to admit them to the cozy Gryffindor common room.
"Who comes up with these passwords?" Tony muttered as he climbed over the threshold.
"I think Coulson does," Steve replied.
Everyone was too tired to do anything but head straight to the dormitories and to bed. Tony worked his way into a set of red and gold pajamas before diving into the covers on his four poster bed.
He snuck a glance at Thor who hadn't bothered to change and was wrapped in a large, red blanket. A dull flash of gold on the wall caught his eye.
"You've got to take that poster of your dad off the wall. It's weird."
Thor grunted into his pillow.
The first week of classes was going quite smoothly. Almost too smoothly, Steve thought.
He had potions three times a week, which was fine with him since he was pretty good at it, though he'd always felt that the chilly dungeons were rather unpleasant.
Transfiguration was a tad more difficult than during his fourth year, and Professor Selvig's explanations weren't very helpful for they were often peppered with long and foreign jargon. Still, Steve managed. Defense Against the Dark Arts was enjoyable as usual, especially since Professor Coulson was very fond of him, and gave him lots of tips on how to fight redcaps. At night, Steve travelled to the Astronomy Tower to map stars and planets. And although Professor Heimdall's emotionless intonating almost managed to put him to sleep with an eye pressed against the telescope, there was no class more boring than History of Magic. No one knew exactly how long Professor Binns had been teaching at Hogwarts, and he had certainly never said. He seemed to possess the power to make even the most violent wars and battles sound extraordinarily dull. It appeared that no one was immune to the soporific droning of his voice, and it was a commonly accepted theory that Professor Binns was actually from another universe.
Steve met up with Tony and Thor in Herbology, which was one of the only classes that they shared as Tony and Thor were both fourth-years while Steve was a fifth-year student.
Today they were split into groups and put in small, dimly lit greenhouses. They were learning to identify Flitterbloom plants from Devil's Snares. Though very much alike in appearance, there were apparently some small differences that could be spotted, though not that anyone could tell, so most students resorted to poking the plants and seeing which ones would attack.
"So how was Charms?" Steve asked as he tentatively prodded a plant tendril with his wand.
"Oh same as usual," Tony said airily, "Hill got all pissy at us when we tried to turn water into firewhisky instead of ice."
"Though we did manage to make some," Thor said. He took out a silver flask that was full of what was apparently firewhisky.
Steve frowned. "We're underage. We shouldn't drink."
Tony ignored him, "I was thinking we could stock up and save it for a party, say... after we win our first Quidditch game."
"As a prefect, I have an obligation to report these kind of things, you know."
"Oh, don't be such a killjoy," Tony said, slinging an arm around Steve's neck, "We're only going to- Whoa! Whoa! Not that one!" Steve had reached out to jab another plant, which promptly wrapped its vines around his arm. Tony jumped back before the creeping tendrils could get to him, and whipped his wand out from his pocket.
Flames erupted from the wand's tip and engulfed the Devil's Snare. Steve yelled as his sleeve began to catch on fire. The vines withdrew from Steve's arm and he was able to extinguish the flames with a stream of water from his wand.
Steve's arm was soaked, and still smoking, and the Devil's Snare was burnt black all over.
He let out a loud, irritated huff.
"Er... firewhisky?" Thor offered.
Steve grabbed the flask and stormed out of the greenhouse.
When Steve reached the Gryffindor common room, he noticed a notification on the bulletin board.
Quidditch team tryouts can begin at the end of the week.
All team captains must reserve a time slot to use the Quidditch field for tryouts.
After putting on a set of dry robes, Steve went to the Quidditch pitch and found a clipboard hanging on the door of the campus broom shed. Hufflepuff had already signed up for the earliest slot, so Steve chose the one after. By the time he got back to the common room again, Tony and Thor had finished Herbology and were chatting on the ground near the fireplace.
"...chestnut with dragon heartstring," Tony was saying, handing his wand over to Thor to inspect.
"New wand, Tony?" Steve asked, settling down next to them.
"Oh. Yeah," Tony said, "Old one was was getting a bit worn."
Steve and Thor both snorted, knowing that "worn" was just Tony's way of saying, "I just like new things. And also I'm rich."
"Oh, and by the way," Steve said, changing topics, "Quidditch tryouts this Saturday."
"What I don't understand is," Thor said, "Why we have to re-tryout every year."
"Yeah, we've been on the team for four years," Tony said, "So you know that we're good."
"Still," Steve sighed, "Rules are rules."
"And you're all about the rules, aren't you," Tony muttered.
Saturday morning, Steve woke up early. He grabbed a piece of toast before heading out.
He had his red and gold Quidditch robes on, with his Captain's pin pinned neatly on the front, and marched out to the pitch with his Cleansweep 11 in hand, ready to do some Quidditch captain-ing.
A few other Gryffindors were already there, chatting idly to one another, while watching the Hufflepuffs tryout.
Bucky spotted him and motioned for him to come closer.
"Hey, Bucky," Steve jogged up to him, "What's up?"
"You've got to see this kid."
He was watching the Hufflepuffs tryout... Chasers, it seemed, seeing as the Quaffles were out.
"Short one, brown-ish hair," Bucky pointed at a figure seated in the air.
"That's a first-year!" Steve said, recognizing the boy, "Barton... Clint, I think it was."
"Yeah, but that's not the point. From what I've seen so far, the kid flies like a bird!"
"Hmm, I'll take your word for it," Steve said, distracted by the girl hovering next to Clint Barton.
The Hufflepuff captain flew up in front of his potential Chasers, tossed a Quaffle at Peggy Carter, and blew a short, but shrill whistle.
She caught the ball, and raced toward the Keeper, feinting to the left, before throwing the Quaffle through the right hoop.
A couple Hufflepuffs cheered, and Steve whooped appreciatively, before catching Bucky staring at him. Steve cleared his throat and resumed watching.
Peggy made two more goals after that, and another two were blocked by the Keeper. Bucky gave a half shrug, half nod, that seemed to say, not bad.
Then it was Barton's turn. He flew toward the Keeper as Peggy had, but didn't bother feinting. In one swift move, Barton threw the Quaffle past the Keeper's left ear before the Keeper could react- straight through the middle hoop.
Steve blinked. "Good shot."
"That," a voice came from behind, "Is an understatement."
Steve turned to see Tony and Thor sauntering toward them wearing their Quidditch robes. Thor was holding the silver flask, and Steve vaguely wondered where he'd put it, and how Thor had found it.
"Don't worry, it's just juice," Thor said, following Steve's gaze.
"Nevermind the juice," Tony said, "this kid's got deadly aim."
They stopped and stared as Barton made another incredible goal through the middle hoop.
Thor nodded, "I never thought I'd say this, but Hufflepuff might be a formidable opponent now."
No one said anything as the final three throws were pulled off with the same deadly accuracy as the first two.
Hufflepuffs swarmed around them as the Captain, Keeper, and Chasers touched ground, and Steve could see Clint Barton practically preening from the praise he was getting.
"Uhm, so we're up now, right?" Bucky said.
Steve nodded and readied his own whistle.
Just then, a mob of green marched into the field, taking the place of where the Hufflepuffs were a few seconds ago.
"Hey! HEY!" Steve ran up to the group of Slytherins, with Gryffindors in his wake, "What do you think you're doing? I reserved this time for Gryffindor!"
Johann Schmidt stepped out of the crowd, and sneered, "I think not, Rogers."
"The bloody hell do you mean, you 'think not'!" Steve said, outraged.
Loki appeared besides Schmidt, with the same infuriating expression on his face,"To put in terms you can understand, Rogers, 'No'."
"Stay out of this, Loki," Thor said.
Loki's eyes narrowed as he glared at Thor, "Try and make me," he said, dangerously.
Ignoring the sibling spat next to him, Steve rounded up on the Slytherin captain, "It's on the pitch schedule, Schmidt. Gryffindor is clearlyright after Hufflepuff."
"Let's go see then. I think you'll find yourself mistaken."
Bucky sprinted to get the clipboard, and shoved it in Steve's hands.
He glanced at the list... 7:30- 8:30 Hufflepuff... 8:30- 9:30... ... Slytherin. Couldn't be. He could swear that he'd put Gryffindor after Hufflepuff...
"Well, I think," Steve said quietly, "That somebody is a cheat and a liar."
Schmidt's sneer transformed into a snarl, "What did you call me, you filthy, little Mudblood?"
Cries of outrage came from the Gryffindors, and a particularly loud roar from Thor. Tony had his wand out, and it was sparking menacingly, but before either of them could do anything, Steve introduced his knuckles to the side of Schmidt's face.
Everyone was in shock that goody-goody, rule-following, prefect Steve Rogers had just right-hooked someone, but then Schmidt retaliated, and after that it was all a flurry of fists, feet, and magic induced explosions until Professor Coulson came to break them up.
Needless to say, neither side got any tryouts done.
Comments are welcome :)
"What!? Double potions?"
"With three other classes?!"
"Ugh... it's gonna feel like quadruple potions."
The Gryffindor common room was filled with tense voices early in the morning. There was a small crowd centered around Pepper and Steve, who looked rather trapped and uncomfortable.
"Wait. Let me get this straight," Tony said, "Our first class is potions, and it's with Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin?"
"You heard me, Tony," Pepper said, "But it's only a one-time thing. The headmaster wants to promote positive inter-house relationships."
"Ohoho, and Fury thinks sticking us all in the dungeons is going to help."
"We don't like it any more than you do," Steve said, "Especially with Slytherin and Schmidt..."
Pepper cut him off, "It's because of this obvious, and frankly rather nasty, rivalry between the houses that he's doing this."
"I don't think he's forgotten what happened Saturday," Thor pointed out.
"You mean when Captain Rogers landed a fist in Schmidt's face and started an inter-house war?" someone said. Everyone turned to see the lithe figure of Natasha Romanoff observing from the border of the crowd.
"Yes, that," Steve said testily, "Well that was because he-"
"I know what happened," she said, "I was there."
"Ah... were you?" Steve said, wondering how he could have not noticed the red-head, and why she always liked to interrupt him mid-sentence.
"What I'm wondering," Thor asked, "Is why he chose potions of all classes."
"So we can throw hot water and toad guts at each other, that's why."
"Ugh. It's simple," Pepper threw her arms up in exasperation, "Fury asked and Laufey volunteered."
"Probably so he could poison us all," Thor muttered.
"What do you have against the guy anyways?" someone shouted.
"I swear he hates me," Thor said, his eyes wide and sincere, "Ever since I entered Hogwarts he's been taking points and giving me detention for no reason."
"You're not alone, buddy. One time last year he threw a jar of dragon balls at me. It was entirely unprovoked!" Tony said with a look of feigned confusion.
"Maybe it was because you spilled a spontaneously combusting potion all over his robes," Pepper said pointedly.
"Well I was only trying to warm up that frozen heart of his," said Tony innocently, "And besides, I extinguished the fire."
"Using a spell that also somehow managed to make his hair permanently disappear," said Natasha.
"Well... yeah... How do you even know about that?" Tony stared at the first-year.
"I have my ways."
Tony seemed ready to ask what exactly these "ways" of hers were, but Steve raised his wand up and it let out a loud, gunshot-like "bang" that quickly silenced everyone in the room.
"We're having double potions Monday morning, with the other houses, and that's that. If you have any more complaints, you can bring them to Fury."
Of course no one was going to complain to Headmaster Fury, because he was well... Fury, and could most certainly live up to his name.
"Well when you use your 'captain voice' on us, how could we complain."
"Thank you, Tony."
And so on Monday, half the school was trooping into the dungeons.
Now there weren't as many people as you might think. First of all, a lot of the upperclassmen weren't even taking potions at all. Plus, a number of people ditched class for at least one of the two reasons:
1. They hated potions.
2. They hated the other house(s).
To be fair, Laufey's potion class was a reasonable choice. The dungeons were spacious enough to accommodate large numbers of students and still have room for cauldrons and scales. Despite all this room, however, there was a very distinct grouping of houses going on. From a bird's eye view it looked like a very large and unorganized game of four square without the ball.
And if you didn't get that analogy, basically there wasn't a lot of inter-house mingling going on.
So when Professor Laufey told everyone to get into groups of seven with at least one person from each house, they were, well, uncomfortable with the idea.
"Hufflepuff will be okay. Also Ravenclaw, even if they are a bit stuck-up. But Slytherin," Tony said.
"Tell me about it," Steve sighed, "Find me a decent Slytherin and I'll give you a medal."
"We better hurry up though, or all the not-as-jerky ones will be taken."
"I could get my brother," Thor said.
There was a big pause.
"Let's split up, and we'll meet back here at Tony's cauldron."
Steve and Tony watched Thor pushed through the tightly huddled Slytherin crowd to find Loki.
"I'll get a Ravenclaw!" Tony shouted and dashed away.
"Um. Hufflepuff for me then," Steve said to himself. He didn't know whether to be happy about this or not. On one hand, he could ask Peggy to join their group. On the other hand, he didn't know if he could ask Peggy to join their group. As in, he didn't know if he was physically and mentally capable of asking her.
He screamed internally as he walked into the still mostly Hufflepuff part of the dungeons.
Btw, if you want faster updates, I usually post on my FF.net first.
Chapter 6: Commandeering a Ravenclaw
Oh looky, it's Tony's POV.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Tony had no idea who he was going to get.
Sure he volunteered to commandeer a Ravenclaw, but it was only because he knew Steve had the hots for Hufflepuff's Peggy Carter and he wanted to give him a shot at her.
"I am such a good friend," Tony said to himself.
And maybe he really was. Besides Slytherin, Ravenclaw was the house Tony hated the most. They were stuck-up, prissy, boring, and flaunted the large amounts of intelligence they thought they had just because they were in the house of wisdom and wit. Or so Tony thought.
A couple Ravenclaws gave him haughty looks as he made his way around the dungeons. They knew what Tony thought of them, and Tony knew what they thought of him.
Four years ago on the eve of his sorting, everyone had expected Tony to be sorted into Ravenclaw. And whyever not? He was the son of the brilliant Howard Stark who had revolutionized the racing broom industry with his improvements on the Cushioning and levitation charms, the invention of the Braking charm, and his work in broom wood research that made his inventions faster, sleeker, and overall more aerodynamic than any other broomstick. Everyone had expected him to be just as brilliant, just as successful. They expected him to get into Ravenclaw just like his father did, to be in the top of his classes just like his father was, and Tony was sick and tired of expectations. From the moment he stepped through those huge, dark, double doors that were the entrance of Hogwarts, he vowed to openly defy all expectations put upon him, for better or for worse. It was his life and he wasn't going to let anyone else run it.
When the Sorting Hat was dropped on his head, the sight of Ravenclaws all but ready to applaud and take him to their table was covered by the brim of that dirty, old hat.
"I see intellect," the hat murmured into his ear, "plenty of creativity and knowledge. I think the choice is a simple one to make."
"Are you sure? It's all in here, you know. You would fit in well there."
No. Not Ravenclaw, not Ravenclaw. Definitely not. Nope.
"If you're absolutely positive, then better be in HUF-"
Wait! I'd rather not be in Hufflepuff either.
He had felt the hat frown as it sat perched on his head. Tony had panicked and wondered if he was allowed to do this- allowed to make the choice.
"Very well then- GRYFFINDOR!"
Then Professor Hill had taken the Sorting Hat off his head and the Gryffindors were cheering and clapping, absolutely ecstatic, albeit surprised, and the Ravenclaws had sat stunned for a bit before slowly joining in with the applause.
And he was feeling so, so, very happy, and his head and heart were feeling as light as the hats that were being thrown into the air by the Gryffindors as he walked down the Great Hall to join them.
That's when he had met Steve, and Thor, who had been sorted earlier.
Tony and Steve had hit it off well from the start. Even though Steve was a second-year at the time, he was muggle-born and still relatively new to the wizarding world. He was almost totally ignorant about Tony, and his father, and the Stark Broomstick Industries. And Tony liked that. He liked that there was someone who didn't have preset expectations and knowledge about him. Steve Rogers was a clean slate and Tony seized the opportunity.
Steve had come to Hogwarts before Thor's dad had petitioned for first-years to be able to play on the house teams, so he didn't know the first thing about brooms or Quidditch. So along with Thor, who at first Tony thought was a loud idiot, but soon found out was a friendly and very open person, introduced Steve to the wonderful sport, spending hours in the common room talking about it, and often deviating from the topic of Quidditch to other things- like how the butter tasted funny that morning, or how pretty Jane Foster was (actually Thor just ranted on and on about this as Tony and Steve listened), or whether or not Laufey looked better without hair. They became fast friends.
During classes though, and much to Steve's disapproval, Tony deliberately made snarky remarks to the teachers who had expected him to be a brilliant and perfect student. He forgot to do his homework on purpose and goofed off in class when he was supposed to be practicing the spell to make feathers levitate or whatever. Still he couldn't help it. He didn't want to be the wonderful, big-brained Stark boy that people thought he would be. As this progressed, he developed a reputation for himself. Although it wasn't a very good reputation, it was still his, and something he made for himself, and he liked it.
He liked it. Even though teachers frowned upon it and the Ravenclaws sneered and told him he was wasting his time and abilities. Even though they flaunted their grades in front of him and sighed and told him he would've turned out much better in Ravenclaw. Even though papa Stark once sent an angry letter in the form of a Howler that had bellowed at him to stop misbehaving and start educating. He had friends, and he did what he wanted, and he was his own person, and he liked it.
Tony let out an irritated huff. He chose the first desk he saw and sat down at it.
He put his forehead against whoever's cauldron was on the table and groaned.
"I should've let Steve take care of the Ravenclaw, he'll probably wimp out with Peggy anyhow."
So much for being such a good friend.
"Are you looking for people to group up with?"
Tony looked up. He hadn't noticed the dark-haired, bespectacled boy who was sitting across from him. From the lining of his robes that were a purple-ish blue, if it wasn't obvious enough from the eagle badge, Tony could tell he was a Ravenclaw.
"Um... You're Tony Stark, right?"
Tony lifted an eyebrow.
"I guess I'll take that as a yes?" He stuck out a hand, "I'm Bruce Banner."
"Hi, Bruce, I'm Tony Stark, though I figured you already know that."
Bruce let out a small, nervous laugh, "Haha, um, yeah. I've heard about you."
"Oh? And what do they say about me?"
"Ah, well they say you're supposed to be brilliant."
Tony let himself look offended. "Supposed to be?"
"Well I don't know you yet so I don't know. But you're the one who turned Laufey bald right?"
They both snuck a glance at the sour-looking, pointy-faced professor whose head was as smooth as a goose egg.
"Guilty as charged," Tony smiled a creepy, evil sort of smile.
"How did you do that?" Bruce said, smiling as well, "A hair-removing spell is simple enough, but you got it to be permanent! Did you put down an anti-reversal curse? That's really advanced magic, though, and if you did, that's brilliant!"
Tony couldn't help but grin at that.
"You know what. I like you, Brucie. Why don't you come join me and my bros around my gold cauldron."
The boy's eyes widened, "You have a gold cauldron?"
"Gold titanium alloy actually. I find that it withstands more corrosive potions better than pewter or brass."
"That is so cool."
And so they bantered back and forth as they went to meet up with the others at Tony's gold titanium alloy cauldron.
This chapter was basically an excuse to have a flashback sort of thing that would explain how they met and stuff.
Also monologuing about feelings and psychology and teen rebellion.
As usual, comments are welcome~