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Spellbound

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TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.

An: This fic was influenced by Bakenandeggs’s ‘Influenced Out of Normality’, in an attempt to kick me off of my arse and get back to writing again… and will be a rewrite of my old “Family Ties” Buffy/HP crossover fanfic. I normally try to bend over backwards to get things as perfectly matched to canon established timelines and dates as I can, but with this one I wanted to cut loose a bit and ignore them. So, this takes place for the Marvel Cinematic Universe several months after Iron Man 2, in the summer holidays after the ‘Goblet of Fire’ school year.

This will not be an Avenger!Hermione fic or anything similar… Hermione is fifteen, a few weeks away from sixteen here…

Currently this is being written using my tablet and phone while I repair and rebuild my computer, so please excuse any mistakes made as I’m not as familiar with the software on my tablet as I am with Word.



Spellbound

 

July 14, 2011
Stark Compound, Malibu

“Sir?”

Tony Stark grunted in response as he pulled the screwdriver out from where he’d been holding it in his teeth while he got an extra armour plate into place on the foot of the Mark Seven suit he’d been working on. His music had automatically lowered in volume when JARVIS spoke, drawing him out of his thoughts. “What is it JARVIS?” He asked, not bothering to stop as he continued to work on the main structure of the upgraded gauntlet and testing the tracking algorithms that were going to be built into the bracelets linked to the armour.

“An anomaly sir, one I believe needs your attention.” JARVIS’ voice came back, filling the workshop with what sounded like an almost unsure tone of voice.

“Anomaly?” Tony asked, raising his eyebrow at that. “Fill me in?” He asked as he put the screwdriver down and kicked himself away from his workstation, wheeling his seat over to the computer terminal next to the workbench and eying it ready for JARVIS to pull up the information for him.

“Correlating data now sir.” JARVIS’ voice replied. “Double checking, attempting confirmation.”

“What’s the hold up?” Tony asked, frowning that the screens on his terminal were still displaying the schematics he’d been working on, and not whatever anomaly JARVIS had detected. “Is there a problem with the Stark Tower project?” He asked, thinking that it would have to be something to do with the larger Arc Reactor that JARVIS had been running ready for the prototype tests before working on the main project for the new Stark Tower building.

“No sir, Stark Tower is proceeding as planned and will be habitable in seventeen days.” JARVIS responded. “Advanced construction for the planned prototype arc reactor can begin early next year if creation of the new element proceeds on schedule.”

“Badassium,” Tony nodded, still upset that they couldn’t patent that name for the element, so while officially it was to be known as ‘Starkanium’, in his mind it would always be Badassium. “So? What gives?” Tony asked, looking around his workshop idly.

“A notification on one of Mr Stane’s off-site projects,” JARVIS explained.

“Kill it.” Tony said without hesitation. Anything to do with Obadiah Stane wasn’t something he was interested in, he’d done his best to kill every single project or research team that Stane had put into place while working at Stark Industries, but there were obviously still projects here and there that had been missed. It had been three years since Stane had tried to kill him, successfully had him kidnapped and nearly stole his father’s company from him, and even now Stane’s ghost was still haunting him.

“It doesn’t appear to be one of those sorts of projects sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back. “The notification came through from Zurich Life Insurance in Great Britain, regarding one Hermione Jean Granger.”

“Who?” Tony asked, pretty damn sure that he’d never heard the name before in his life. “And why did Stane have a watch on her insurance?”

“Checking facts now sir.” JARVIS responded.

“Come on, spit it out already.” Tony groused impatiently as he drummed his fingers on the workstation.

“Hermione Jean Granger, born September nineteenth, nineteen ninety-six to then Monica Summers.” JARVIS explained at Tony’s prompting, bringing up a photo of Monica from her driver’s license.

“Let me guess, Stane’s girlfriend?” Tony rolled his eyes, he knew Obie hadn’t been married, but the idea of him having a kid out there from whatever he’d been upto was pretty believable. “Wait, I know her.” He paused, focusing on the photo of the brunette that JARVIS had pulled up for him before spinning around in his chair idly trying to remember where he recognised the face from. “Stane’s kid?” He asked, hoping not to have another generational psychopath come after him for revenge over Stane like Vanko had done.

“No sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back dryly. “According to paternity tests run at Mr Stane’s behest, Miss Granger is your daughter.” JARVIS announced, causing Tony to actually fall off his chair in shock, collapsing to the floor of the workshop in a stunned heap as the chair clattered down beside him, the chair’s wheels spinning in the silence for a few seconds.

“Daughter?” Tony asked, mouthing the word as if he was something he couldn’t even understand. “Tact JARVIS, work on it.” He muttered to himself as he tried to get his head around the concept of what JARVIS was telling him.

“Correct sir.” JARVIS’ responded. “Mr Stane had tests done in July nineteen ninety-seven when Monica Granger, then Summers, was working as a secretary at the London offices of Stark Industries.”

“She… she worked for me?” Tony asked in shock.

“Miss Summers was fired shortly afterwards, at Mr Stane’s request.” JARVIS confirmed. “I have financial records tracking a transfer of one million pounds sterling into Monica Summers’s account two days after she was dismissed from Stark Industries with a signed contract binding her silence in the matter.”

“He paid her off.” Tony winced at the idea. “Stane… he… he hid my daughter from me?” He asked in a small voice. “She doesn’t know, about me, about any of this?” Tony asked.

“There are no records of either Miss Granger or anyone linked to her attempting to contact Stark Industries at any point in her life sir.” JARVIS responded. “Mrs Granger also appears to have abided by the terms of the contract with Mr Stane and has not contacted anyone from Stark Industries or the media regarding Hermione. It is highly unlikely that Miss Granger knows of her parentage.”

“Why’d she ping on Stane’s radar now then?” Tony asked curiously.

“A car accident in North Kent, England,” JARVIS announced. “According to news reports a collision between car and heavy goods vehicle occurred on the southbound M-Twenty-Five near Swanley. Both Mr and Mrs Granger were both killed on impact.”

“Pull up everything!” Tony ordered, standing back up and righting his chair. “What about… my… my daughter?” Tony asked, shaking his head as the shock started to settle in. “That’s going to take a lot of getting used to.” He muttered as he swung around to face the monitors where JARVIS was bringing up the information.

“She was probably just going to be another chess piece in Stane’s plan, get me out of the way with the kidnapping, a few months later bring the kid out and announce the new heir of Stark Industries, so he can take control while Hermione just brings the Stark name back to the business and legitimises his claim.” Tony groused. “That’s why he kept a watch on her.” He frowned as he shook off the thought. “Pull up the results of the tests while you’re at it.” He ordered as he tried to get comfortable on his seat again while his brain was still reeling from what he was being told.

“It is possible sir.” JARVIS responded as the paternity test results flicked up on the main screen before continuing with Tony’s original question. “Miss Granger was in the back seat of the car and suffered injuries to her left arm and leg, along with bruising to her ribs and neck during the collision. None of which are believed to be life threatening. She was taken directly to the Princess Royal University Hospital at five days ago at ten seventeen London time.”

“Does she know?” Tony asked as he calculated the time difference in his head. He dreading to think what the young girl must be going through right now. He’d been twenty-one when he lost his parents, not much older than the fifteen Hermione was right now, but those six years were an age when it came to maturity.

He frowned as he flicked through the information on the screen from the paternity test. He’d run his share of them by now, in his older lifestyle he’d had more than a few women come forward claiming to be raising his child, either coming to him directly for money or going to the tabloids for the story. None of them had ever been legitimate though, but he knew after the first few he’d just gotten lazy and had ordered Stane to deal with things like that personally so it wouldn’t interfere with his life.

“Unknown sir, it is likely the hospital is treating her injuries first and will inform her once she is stable.” JARVIS responded.

“What’s the hospital like?” Tony asked as he stood up and started heading for the cars parked on the other side of his workshop. “JARVIS?” He asked when he didn’t get a reassuring answer immediately.

“Reasonable sir.” JARVIS responded after a beat. “The hospitals in England have suffered from a lack of funding due to government cutbacks, but it appears the hospital Miss Granger is recovering at is doing well despite the financial restrictions placed on their budget.”

“Find out what she needs, have her moved to private if she needs it,” Tony ordered as he stood up and started heading for the cars parked on the other side of his workshop. “And get in touch with the Aviation Division, I want the jet ready when I get there. Tell the London offices I’ll be there within the day and I want everything ready.” He ordered as he got into the silver Lamborghini

“Yes sir.” JARVIS responded quickly.

“Get me all the information you can,” Tony ordered, tapping his custom SI phone and connecting it to the cars speakers before tossing it on the wireless charging plate he’d wired into the dashboard of the car. “Get me directions from the London airport to the hospital.” He ordered after a pause as he drove out of the Malibu compound, up the curved ramp and out of the building as JARVIS activated the gates ahead of time and closed them behind him. “What did they do? Her mom, Monica?” He asked as he drove out and headed for the Pacific Coast Highway.

“Dentists sir.” JARVIS responded through the cars speakers. “Monica Summers apparently used the money from her settlement with Mr Stane to fund her way through the City of London Dental School, where she met Wendell Granger.”

“Wendell?” Tony snorted in amusement and raised his eyebrow at that before remembering Monica had named their daughter Hermione, so laughing about strange names probably wasn’t going to make a good first impression. “Fine, go on.” He muttered as he focused on driving towards the Stark Industries Aviation Division where the private Stark business jets were hangered.

“Yes sir,” JARVIS continued. “Monica and Wendell Granger were married shortly after graduation, and founded their own dental practice in North Kent. Welling to be precise, a town in the London Borough of Bexley”

“Dentists,” Tony muttered, shaking his head at the idea. “My daughter was raised by dentists,” He muttered in amusement. “You’ve double checked the information?”

“You have seen the results yourself. Mr Stane kept detailed records of the paternity tests performed. Miss Granger is undoubtedly your daughter.” JARVIS responded.

“What do we have on her?” Tony asked as he cruised along the highway towards the private Stark hangers at the Stark Industries Aviation Division. “JARVIS?” He asked when there wasn’t a response.

“Limited sir.” JARVIS responded after a pause. “I am having difficulty finding information on the private school Miss Granger attends. Prior to enrolling, her public academic record points to an intelligent child, though public academic records cease three years ago.”

“Cease?” Tony paused in thought at that, a school that kept their records and attendance completely off the grid and private? He could think of a dozen of the elite that would pay good money to have that sort of privacy for their children, him included when he actually thought about it.

“Yes sir.” JARVIS responded.

“Twitter? Facebook? Anything?” Tony asked, hoping for anything that could give him a window into his daughter’s life before meeting her.

“No sir, no digital records linked to Hermione Jean Granger are available.” JARVIS replied.

“Not helpful,” Tony muttered as he concentrated on driving and navigating through the night time highway towards the Stark Industries Aviation Division. “Contact the hospital, let them know what’s going on, send copies of the paternity tests, whatever they need. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Yes sir. I shall have the legal team at the London Offices awaiting your arrival.” JARVIS confirmed as Tony drove on in silence.



Heathrow, London

It was past ten in the morning when the Stark jet finally touched down on the runways of Heathrow airport outside of London, and the cooler air was a welcoming feeling as he finally stepped out of the plane and made his way down the stairs to the car that was already waiting for him.

“Sir,” The attendant nodded respectfully as he opened the driver’s side door, standing aside for Tony to enter after he walked around the car again, obviously heading to the wrong side door at first. “I’ll have your luggage follow you.” He said professionally, pretending he didn’t see the mistake at all.

“Send it to the London offices, I’ll be there when I can.” Tony said simply at that as he got in, being used to how efficient businesses could be when his name was mentioned, and the attendant closed the door behind him. It took him a second to orientate himself to having the driver’s side on the other side of the car, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t get used to easily enough.

“JARVIS, catch me up.” He said simply as he connected his phone through Bluetooth to the car speakers before tossing it idly onto the passenger seat then turning the ignition, it wasn’t one of his usual cars that he was used to, but it was an automatic Mercedes and the up to date stereo inside was something he could live with.

“Yes sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back as Tony started to follow the directions out of the private area where the Stark Jet was being taxied into the hangers. “The Stark lawyers have contacted the Princess Royal Hospital and informed them of Miss Granger’s parentage. The paternity tests along with other legal documents have been forwarded to the hospital as well as a request for discretion in the matter.”

“Good, how’s she doing?” He asked as he drove out of Heathrow and onto the motorway, following the directions JARVIS had pulled up on the Satnav to direct him onto the main London motorway that circled the city so he could avoid the traffic rush of driving through the smaller streets of London directly.

“They are accepting your claim of parentage to Miss Granger after reviewing the paternity tests done at Mr Stane’s behest, according to the latest communications Miss Granger is still in being treated, but a full recovery is expected.” JARVIS announced.

“Well that’s good.” Tony said hopefully, still finding it a bit of a shock that not only did he have a daughter, but a daughter that was currently in hospital in a foreign country. Of course it wasn’t foreign to her, it was her home. His brain went blank for a moment as he tried to process that thought, she lived here, his daughter was English, or British, or whatever they called themselves. He wasn’t really sure of the difference, or if there even was one really.

“Indeed sir.” JARVIS responded dryly. “The Stark Legal team will be waiting to hear from you and Miss Granger to deal with the necessary paperwork regarding Mr and Mrs Granger’s funeral arrangements.”

“I think she’s a way off managing to deal with that.” Tony muttered, remembering how he was in the weeks after his parent’s accident. “What about her education, have you managed to find her records yet?”

“Miss Granger apparently attends a private school,” JARVIS responded with the information he’d been able to find out. “I have yet to find the name or location of the school in question.” JARVIS said after a beat. “I believe the location of the school is kept secret for various reasons.”

“High society school then,” Tony mused idly, it wasn’t unheard of for rich private schools to keep their campus details as secret as possible, but he’d never heard of one being successful in keeping its entire location secret.

“Possible sir.” JARVIS responded as Tony drove on, his brain swimming in information he had, and that he didn’t have, about a daughter he’d never met, and didn’t even know what she looked like.


 

It took Tony just over fifty minutes and to make it out of London and around the motorway to the hospital, eying the ‘Princess Royal Hospital Visitors Parking’ sign as he approached it then drove through to find a parking spot.

Snatching his phone from the passenger seat he pocketed it as he got out, flinging the door shut behind him as he walked away before remembering to tap the lock button on the keys, he was so used to having JARVIS automatically wired into his cars at home and through his phone that he never really bothered with locking or unlocking cars anymore.

He didn’t even bother glancing at the ticket machine as slid his phone into his pocket and walked past it, he knew enough about hospitals to know there’d be surveillance cameras and probably walk around ticket inspectors as well, but he really didn’t have the time to fiddle with a ticket machine when he hadn’t even had the time to change any money into British funny money yet.

Coffee was another thing he was desperately in need of, caffeine of any sort would do at the moment really. He hadn’t slept on the plane at all, his mind working overtime as he paced around the jet and fidgeted with everything he could get his hands on, even writing some new subroutines for JARVIS while trying to keep himself distracted on the ten-hour flight over.

“Can I help you?” The nurse at the reception asked, looking up from her computer as he approached the desk, idly smiling at the fact that the nurse didn’t seem to recognise him or fawn at him, which would make this a lot easier for him to deal with.

“Hermione...” Tony asked, pausing while he grabbed his phone and pulled up the information JARVIS had brought to his attention. “Jean Granger,” He said, putting the phone down where the nurse could see the screen to get the spelling right.

“Granger,” The nurse said after taking a closer look at the phone screen being presented to her and looking on her computer again. “She was moved to a private room earlier this morning, sixth floor, room seventeen.”

“Thanks,” Tony nodded with a generous smile, nodding to her as he moved off towards the elevator, tapping his foot impatiently as he waited for the elevator to come before stepping inside. “Hermione?” He asked himself with a small smile as he glanced up at the numbers on the elevator moving slowly upwards, still wondering where the name had actually come from.

What sort of girl was she, did she have a nickname, he couldn’t really think of any diminutive forms of Hermione. Minnie maybe? The idea made him laugh again at the thought and brought up pictures of Minnie Mouse and the Disney empire in his head.

He was broken from his musings as the doors chimed before opening, letting him out onto the floor he’d pressed for. Glancing quickly at the map on the wall opposite he found room Seventeen easily enough, heading off in that direction quickly to find Hermione.

It was only a short walk from the elevator and around the corner to the room he’d been told Hermione was in, through a security checkpoint that asked for his name and who he was visiting, and passing a small gaggle of redheads that were sitting in the corridor outside talking about something animatedly, he paused as he stood by the door before knocking lightly, he waited for a moment before pushing it open and heading inside.

“Hi?” He asked quietly, looking around the room and seeing a young redhead form on a chair next to the hospital bed. It was a girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, with long red hair that matched the older redheads he’d seen in the corridor outside, friends of Hermione he was guessing.

He took a moment to look at Hermione, his gaze automatically drawn to the casts that had already been placed on her left arm and leg, he could already make out the bruising on her neck and face and he’d bet good money there was more across her chest and stomach as well from the seatbelt.

“Who are you?” A woozy voice came from the corner, bringing Tony out of his curiosity to glance over at the girl in the chair.

“Hey,” Tony smiled over as he looked around the room for anything that would give him some sort of insight into his daughter’s life.

“She’s sleeping right now,” The girl explained in a quiet voice. “The doctors gave her something, she’d been up all-night crying.”

“Makes sense,” Tony nodded, wincing as he imagined what Hermione must be going through right now. “I’m Tony.” He explained, waving to himself vaguely as he introduced himself, smiling thankfully when he didn’t see any spark of recognition in the girl’s eyes.

“Ginny.” The girl replied with a small smile. “Are you… one of Hermione’s family?” She asked curiously, her hand edging to her pocket.

“Kinda,” Tony admitted, rubbing his fingers through his hair roughly in a nervous habit. “That your family outside?”

“Mum and Dad, Fred and George.” Ginny nodded. “What do you mean, kinda?”

“I mean kind of,” Tony groused. “It’s complicated.” He frowned, trying to figure out how to put into words what had happened. “It’s sort of something I need to talk to her about first really, not that I wouldn’t tell you, I mean, she would I guess, you’re a friend, right?” He frowned as the rambling thought got away from him. “Sorry, rambling. Lack of sleep, I flew straight here when I got the news.”

“Flew?” Ginny asked, her eyes lighting up at this for some reason.

“Yeah,” Tony nodded, rubbing his eyes with his fingers. “Los Angeles to London, not a quick flight.”

“Uhuh,” Ginny simply nodded at that, looking a bit confused.

“About ten hours in the plane, then an hour driving here from the airport.” Tony clarified when he saw the girls confused look.

“Oh,” Ginny smiled at that.

“Yeah, so, you know, sorry about the rambling.” Tony said with a shrug. “I’m sure once I’ve…” He trailed off as the door opened, looking around instinctively to see who it was he was rewarded with the sight of a doctor standing in the doorway.

“Mr Stark?” The doctor asked hesitantly.

“Yes.” Tony confirmed, turning his full attention to the doctor. “How is she?”

“Breaks alone the humerus and ulna, two mild fractures through the femur. Contusions to the neck, chest and head.” The doctor read off professionally. “There’s some swelling across the right shoulder and chest from the seat belt, common in these cases. We’ve sedated her for now to allow her to get some rest.”

“I heard,” Tony nodded with a smile towards the young redhead in the room.

“We’re monitoring her hourly for signs of a concussion, but for now the prognosis is good.” The doctor continued. “She probably won’t wake for several more hours yet.”

“No sign of a concussion?” Tony asked hopefully.

“None that we can see,” The doctor confirmed. “MRI and X-rays show no damage or swelling in the spine or brain, it looks like her left side took the brunt of the injuries.”

“That’s something,” Tony breathed out, the news his daughter had only suffered broken bones and bruises from a car crash washed over him like a wave of relief as he sagged slightly where he was standing.

“I’ll have another chair brought in for you, we have some papers for you to sign as well.” The doctor said, moving to leave the room. “Anything else you need?”

“Coffee,” Tony nodded, thankful for the offer. “And some food, for me, her,” He said, nodding towards Ginny. “And the others waiting outside. Find a room for them, somewhere they can relax.”

“Of course, we’ll have a nurse sent up with a selection from the kitchen.” The doctor said with a nod.

“Put it all on my bill,” Tony said offhand, happy with the thought of actually having some caffeine to enjoy soon, coffee, even mediocre hospital grade coffee, would be a welcome sight right now.

The doctor nodded again before leaving the room, only to return a few moments later with a nurse following him who wheeled another chair into the room, arranging it on the other side of the bed from where the existing one was before leaving quietly.

“You ok?” Tony asked, sitting in the chair that had been brought in and getting himself comfortable, careful to speak in quiet tones so he wouldn’t wake Hermione up before she was ready.

“I’ve just… I’ve not been in a hospital like this before.” Ginny admitted, looking around the room curiously. “Dad was shocked when they moved her this morning, the doctor said it was her dad that requested it, but Hermione’s dad… died in the crash.” She trailed off quietly at that.

“Ah, yeah,” Tony winced as he nodded in agreement. “Ok, as for hospitals, this is pretty much what they all look like. It’s a generic thing, white, clean, as long as you’ve got good doctors, that’s what matters right?” He asked with a shrug. “The moving her part? That was me.” He admitted. “When I heard about what had happened, I had someone get in touch with the hospital and look into private treatment if she needed it.” He explained.

“Oh,” Ginny seemed a bit confused but nodded at that information. “So, you’re Hermione’s dad?” She trailed off, looking at Tony curiously.

“Apparently,” Tony nodded, still coming to terms with the news himself. “It’s a long story kid, something I’m probably going to have to go over with her a few times anyway. Think she deserves to be told first right?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Probably,” Ginny accepted that, sitting back in the chair comfortably but still staring at Tony curiously.

Tony breathed a sigh of relief at the break in questions from the young redhead, taking a moment to actually stare at the girl in the bed and look at her for the first time. Unruly brown hair was the first thing he noticed, a shade or two lighter than his own and with a bit more of a curl, but the colour reminded him of photos he’d seen of his dad when he was younger.

It was hard to gauge anything else really with the girl in the condition she was in, she was slim and probably pretty under the bruising and puffed eyes, probably from crying all night over what had happened he reminded himself.

This was certainly not how he’d pictured ever meeting his own child, he’d had thoughts about it sure, he’d had enough unprotected sex over the years that it was a miracle that Hermione was his only child, but to come face to face with her in the wake of a tragedy like this wasn’t something he’d ever wish for, not even on his enemies.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


Ginny looked up from her book for a second time to check the man that had introduced himself as Tony was fast asleep, a nurse had come by with some food for them both, a large type of sandwich in rolled bread and some crisps, along with a large pot of coffee for the man and a muggle drink for her. She’d eaten the sandwich happily, though the metal can of something called ‘classic coca cola’ had been left alone.

She’d been subtly watching the man for any sign he was going to do anything, her wand acting as a bookmark in her book for now so it would be easy to reach and use to defend herself and Hermione, though the man had just sat there, fiddling with some sort of glass muggle device for a while before falling asleep. So she’d watched for a moment, contemplating him.

He definitely reminded her of Hermione, she could say that for certain. He had the same brown eyes that were always flicking around looking for something to learn, the same wild hair, though his looked to be pretty straight compared to Hermione’s bushy mane. There was just something about him, his face, that reminded her of Hermione, a kindness but with metal underneath that was stronger than anything else. She had no doubt he could be stern if he wanted to be, but for now he simply looked weary and worried, and that sort of worried couldn’t be faked, unless he was a far better actor than she was giving him credit for, and she’d grown up with Fred and George, so she knew acting when she saw it.

She’d also noticed a glow coming from his chest under the black t-shirt he was wearing, she’d tried to decipher the writing on the t-shirt for a while but had given up after a while. She was pretty sure it said ‘Black Sabbath’, but the swirling script made it had to read when he kept fidgeting and moving around. The blue glow coming from the center of his chest still caught her eye though, and short of being some sort of large necklace or something, she couldn’t imagine what it was at all.

She’d actually breathed a sigh of relief aloud when he’d rolled up his sleeves to get comfortable and pour some more coffee, even from her position on the other side of the bed she could see his forearms as he moved around, and aside from a few scars, there were no indications of any dark mark or anything else that would trouble her. So far, the man looked to be exactly what he said, just a worried muggle that was too tired to think straight at the moment.

She closed her book silently as she stood up, slipping her wand out and readying it up her sleeve for now as she put the book down on the chair she’d vacated before quietly walking across the room, watching the man for any indication that he was going to wake up and do anything before she slipped out of the door, closing it quietly behind her before watching through the window in the door for several minutes to make sure the man stayed asleep.

“Miss?”

She turned around at the voice, catching sight of the nurse that had brought the food and drinks in earlier. “Hi.” She said with a small smile. “I’m just… um…”

“We moved your parents and brothers to a waiting room just down the hall,” The nurse explained with a smile. “Just down there, fourth door on the left.” He explained, pointing down a corridor that came off the main area of rooms that Hermione had been moved to. “Toilets are on your right as well.” He finished off.

“Thanks,” Ginny nodded at that, moving off in the direction the nurse had indicated to find her parents, her wand already at the ready as she walked down the new corridor. Thankfully she found the room easily enough, slipping through the door quietly she was greeted with her mum and dad rushing over to her quickly and asking half a dozen of questions.

“Thank Merlin, the doctor wouldn’t let us in the room, kept saying only two visitors at a time while she was resting.” Arthur said quickly, explaining why they hadn’t come in when the strange man had entered the room.

“How is she dear? Is he a relative of Hermione’s?” Molly asked, dragging Ginny in for a quick hug.

“She’s still resting,” Ginny explained. “The doctors called him Mr Stark and seemed pretty big on keeping him happy. It was like he’s a Malfoy or something, people bringing him food and drink so he didn’t even have to get up from the chair they brought him.”

“He… he’s not a…” Molly asked fearfully.

“I don’t think so,” Ginny shook her head. “He doesn’t look like a Malfoy anyway, and he keeps fiddling with a muggle device, I think the Malfoy’s would rather cut their arms off than do something like that.” She said with a laugh.

“Well, no dear.” Molly had to agree with her reasonings on that. “We were just worried,” She explained. “Arthur kept trying to look through the window, but that muggle doctor kept shooing him away.”

“They’re just doing their jobs mum,” Ginny sighed with a smile. “He was the one that asked the doctor to bring you guys some food and get you a room to wait in.” She explained.

“Ahh, I wondered where those sandwiches had come from.” Molly smiled thankfully. “The nurse didn’t say anything when he brought them in.”

“Where’s Fred and George?” Ginny asked finally, realising that it was only her parents in the room at the moment, worrying about the thought of the twins running around a muggle hospital on their own she looked back at her mum in panic.

“Your mother took them home,” Arthur explained. “Those muggle drinks gave them more energy than a dozen pepper up potions, they couldn’t sit still.”

“Wow, I’m glad I didn’t drink mine.” Ginny whispered, trying to imagine how crazy the twins must have been going with that much energy.

“They were making right nuisances of themselves. Merlin knows how much sugar must be in those things.” Molly shook her head in disgust. “I told them to use that energy to find Ron and let him know how Hermione is doing.” She explained, frowning at the thought that Ron had rather chosen to spend time back at the house practicing Quidditch than come and see Hermione again.

“I’m sure he was just trying to make us comfortable dear,” Arthur said, calming Molly down. “Muggles must drink that sort of thing all the time to keep going without magic to help them.” He explained. “I should go and thank him.”

“He fell asleep,” Ginny explained quickly. “He was telling me how he flew all the way from somewhere called Las Angeles to London when he found out about Hermione.”

“A muggle city on the other side of America.” Arthur explained. “Well, that explains why he’s tired then. He must have flown on a muggle airplane over the ocean. Merlin that’s impressive, I’d love to find out…”

“Not now Arthur,” Molly whispered, smacking him on the shoulder. “He came all the way from America when he found out?” She asked, turning back to Ginny.

Ginny nodded at that. “He said…” She paused before continuing when she reasoned her parents were going to find out anyway. “He said he was Hermione’s father.” She explained. “And I can see it really, when I was watching him, he acts like Hermione does in the library, he looks like her too.”

“Hermione’s mother must have remarried.” Arthur mused thoughtfully. “Not uncommon these days with muggle families.” He said aloud. “The Ministry has a hell of a time tracking down some young witches and wizards sometimes, living in different homes at different weeks. Very tricky business you know.”

“Muggles,” Molly whispered, shaking her head in bemusement.

“So Hermione’s dad’s American?” Ginny asked thoughtfully, realising that must have been the strange accent he spoke with.

“I’m sure the doctors wouldn’t have let him in the room or organise things around him if he wasn’t family dear.” Molly explained with a smile.

“But what does that mean for Hermione?” Ginny asked, looking between her mum and dad. “Will she go to live with him now? In America? What about Hogwarts and Harry and Ron?” She asked in quick succession.

“I don’t know,” Arthur admitted. “If he is Hermione’s legal guardian now, then I’d assume that she would go and live with him wherever that is.”

“That sucks.” Ginny whispered quietly.


Hermione was just starting to stir when she heard the door to the room click shut, it took her a minute of blinking her eyes to adjust to the light in the room and focus before she realised it was Ginny that had come in.

“Ginny,” She tried to say, coughing a bit and wincing at how sore he throat was as she saw Ginny move quickly to her side of the bed.

“Hey there.” Ginny smiled softly, moving to stand by the side of the bed and hold her shoulder softly.

“What… where?” Hermione asked, looking around the room and catching sight of the unfamiliar man asleep in the chair on the other side of the room.

“The doctors moved you to another room so you could get some rest.” Ginny explained quickly. “Gave dad a hell of a fright wheeling your bed around with all this….” She paused before flicking her eyes to the man to make sure he was still asleep. “Muggle stuff hooked up to you.” She finished with a whisper.

“Who’s he?” Hermione asked in another whisper, trying to lean her neck around to get a better look at the man but wincing in pain as she moved.

“He said he flew over from America when he heard about the accident.” Ginny said softly, trying not to mention Hermione’s mum and dad, knowing it would upset her more every time she spoke about them. “Dad’s been going crazy wanting to talk to him about airplanes and things.” She said with a small smile.

“America?” Hermione whispered, her eyes going wide at that. She didn’t know anyone in America, did she? Her mum and dad had never mentioned any uncles or family out there. Her grandparents on both her mum and dad’s side had died when she was little, and her mum and dad had never said they had any brothers anywhere, so she couldn’t think of anyone that would fly all this way for her.

She choked back a cry as she thought of her parents again, blinking fiercely and forcing herself not to cry as the thoughts of what had happened came back to her mind again.

“Sorry,” Ginny whispered, leaning down over the bed to hug Hermione gently, doing her best not to put any weight on the muggle hard things that had been wrapped around Hermione’s arm and leg. “I’m sure he’s…”

“What? I’m awake!” The man suddenly muttered, shaking his head and looking around the room. “Dozed off?”

“You looked like you needed it.” Ginny said with a small smile as she pulled back from gently hugging Hermione.

“Oh, hey, you’re awake.” He said, standing up from the chair and stretching before moving to the side of the bed opposite Ginny.

“Hi,” Hermione whispered nervously.

“Sore throat?” The man nodded knowingly. “I’ll get someone to get you some water.” He said, moving away from the bed quickly and to the door where he poked his head out and waved someone over, talking quietly to him.

“Definitely American.” Hermione confirmed to Ginny, recognising the accent easily enough.

Ginny nodded back but didn’t really know what Hermione was talking about, happy enough to simply agree that she was right, she always was anyway.

“The doctor brought those in for you while you were sleeping,” Ginny said as he came back into the room and closed the door behind him, pointing to the pile of papers that had been left on the small table near the pot of coffee.

“Right,” The man nodded, seemingly ignoring the important looking papers for now as he walked back over to stand by Hermione’s bed. “How are you feeling?” He asked then winced. “Sorry, stupid question, ignore that.” He said, shaking his head.

“Would this help?” Ginny asked, kneeling down to pick up the metal can of muggle drink she’d left by the side of her chair earlier, remembering what her dad had said about muggles needing the sugar in them to keep functioning.

“You’re a goddess,” The man said reverently as he accepted the can from her, stepping back from the bed as he opened it with a quick motion and drank deeply from the red can.

“What time is it?” Hermione asked, looking to Ginny. Still curious about the strange man in the room with them. Ginny seemed pretty relaxed around him for now, and she knew if Molly and Arthur were worried by him then they’d be in the room with her as well.

“Nearly two.” Ginny said softly. “Mum took Fred and George home, they drank too much sugar and couldn’t keep still.” She said with a small smile.

“Oh merlin,” Hermione whispered, blinking and trying to imagine when Fred and George on a sugar high must have looked like.

“Hi, right, lets try that again.” The man said, having emptied the can of drink and crumpled it in his hand before tossing it idly into a bin in the corner of the room. “I’m Tony.”

“Hermione.” She whispered back, her throat still a bit sore.

“Was hoping that, either that or I was in the wrong room.” Tony said with a grin.

“I should go,” Ginny said quietly. “Give you two some space.”

Hermione saw Tony smile thankfully at that but she shook her head quickly. “Stay, please?” She said softly, trying to reach up with her right hand to grab Ginny but failing miserably at the attempt, wincing in pain as the movement stretched the IV in her forearm.

“Ok, if you want me to.” Ginny nodded, seeing Hermione’s arm relax as she agreed to stay.

“Fine by me,” Tony shrugged. “It’s just… it’s personal ok?” He explained. “And a bit awkward.” He admitted when he saw the look Hermione was giving him.

“Ginny stays.” Hermione croaked out.

“No argument here.” Tony shrugged, holding up his hands in a mock surrender pose, knowing Hermione would probably want some moral support anyway, and by the look of things she trusted the redhaired girl enough.

“Who are you?” Hermione whispered, wanting some answers at last.

“Tony Stark,” Tony introduced himself, catching the glint of recognition in Hermione’s eyes when he said his name. “You’ve heard of me?” He asked aloud when he saw the curious look on Ginny’s face.

“In magazines,” Hermione admitted. “I thought I recognised you.”

“Probably the painkillers dulling your brain, happens.” Tony nodded.

“You know him?” Ginny asked curiously, looking between the man and the shocked look on Hermione’s face right now.

“No, she doesn’t.” Tony said, a sad look on his face. “I… I knew your mom, a while back actually. About sixteen years ago really.” He said quietly.

“You knew my mum?” Hermione asked in shock, trying to figure out what her mum would have been doing to know someone famous like Tony Stark.

“She worked for me,” Tony admitted. “Before, you know, going to dentist school and meeting your dad.” He explained.

“Oh,” Hermione whispered, not knowing what else to say to that really and still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that Tony Stark was in her hospital room and had flown all the way from America to see her. “You… you stayed in touch?”

“Not really,” Tony admitted, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. “I didn’t… you see…” Tony trailed off as he tried to think how to word things properly. “I only found out about you and your mum yesterday.” He started slowly. “I came as soon as I saw the news.” He said quickly.

“You… you must have been good friends.” Hermione whispered, forcing back another sob as she thought about her parents again.

“Actually, I hadn’t seen your mom in a long time,” Tony admitted. Sixteen years.” He said again, hinting and hoping that the drugs hadn’t dulled the girls brain enough that she wouldn’t get the hint.

“Sixteen…” Hermione trailed off as she spoke aloud, her eyes going wide as she caught on to what Tony was hinting. “Oh!” She said in shock, her face expressing the surprise at what she was being told.

“I’m pretty sure my face looked like that when I found out.” Tony admitted with a grin. “Only, you know, less hair.” He said with a forced laugh. “Actually, I fell off a chair if you really want to know.” He grinned, sharing the secret with the two girls.

“You… you…” Hermione tried to speak but couldn’t put into words what she was thinking, her brain had completely stalled at the news that someone else was her father. That couldn’t be right surely, she knew her dad, she’d always known her dad, they didn’t really look alike really but her mum had always said she took after her side of the family not his.

“Hi,” Tony waved with a grin.

“He’s your dad?” Ginny asked curiously.

“That’s what the paternity test says,” Tony nodded in agreement, watching as that bit of news sunk into Hermione’s head. She was obviously smart and quick witted, even with the painkillers dulling her brain he could see that she recognised what a paternity test was and what it meant. “I mean, we can do another one if you want? Now you’re awake and whatever else you need?” He said quickly, catching the worried look on Hermione’s face. “The hospital here seems pretty good, they could probably do one, I think. If not, I’m sure I’ve got someone back at the London offices who can do one quickly enough.” He explained.

“You… you came for me?” Hermione whispered, still in shock at what she was being told. She’d always known she’d been born before her parents had got married, their wedding photos showed her as a flower girl two, maybe three years old in the photos, but she’d always just assumed that they’d been together for a long time before they got married and hadn’t really asked about it much. Whenever she did her mum would go quiet, she’d always figured it was down to her dad being religious and not wanted to talk about having a baby before they were married, not that she’d been born before he parents had even met.

“Of course.” Tony said firmly. “Hey, I might have only just found out about this, but I’m not an idiot.” He said with a smile. “I came as soon…” He trailed off as the door to the room opened, catching all of their attention as a doctor and nurse came in.

“You’re awake then,” The doctor smiled as he moved to the bed when Tony stepped aside. “How are you feeling?” He asked, bringing up a plastic cup of water with a straw in for her to drink from. “Better now you’ve slept some?” He asked once she’d drank some water.

“A bit,” Hermione said, thankful for the cool liquid that she’d been offered.

“Think you can sit up?” The doctor asked. “We can raise the bed up to make you a bit more comfortable if you’d like.” When she nodded at that he reached down to the bed controls. “Tell me if you feel any pain in your back alright?” He said firmly, waiting for the nurse to move around to the other side of the bed and steady her cast arm before he pressed the button to raise up the head portion of the bed slowly, angling it up to about thirty-five degrees before stopping. “Any pain?” He asked.

“My chest, not my back.” Hermione admitted, still reeling from what she’d just been told by Tony Stark.

“That’s just bruising, it’ll go down over time and get easier.” The doctor explained, moving to help Hermione sit up a bit and pull the hospital gown out from underneath her back to reduce the tightness across the front of her body from where she’d been sleeping. “We’re going to lower the dose of pain killers alright? If it gets bad again, I want you to let someone know and we’ll bring in an extra dose for you alright?” He asked, checking with her and then confirming it with Mr Stark as well.

“Ok,” Hermione nodded, watching as the nurse fiddled with one of the machines hooked up to the IV that was connected to her right arm.

“You’re doing really well,” The doctor said reassuringly to Hermione. “The casts will itch but I want you to try and keep them as still as you can.” He explained. “You’ve got some nasty breaks there. Another option would be pinning the bones together to help them heal, I wouldn’t really recommend it on someone so young though, the recovery time might be even longer after the operation. I’d rather wait and see how they’re doing on their own before recommending surgery.”

“Wait,” Hermione said quickly.

“What do you think?” The doctor asked, looking to Mr Stark.

“It’s her choice,” Tony said. “If she wants to wait, then wait.” He said with a nod.

“Very well,” The doctor nodded, happy that his advice was being listened to. “If you have any more discomfort or trouble sleeping, I want you to let us know.” He said firmly.

“Ok,” Hermione nodded meekly, knowing from her parents that following medical advice was always the best thing to do.

“Good,” The doctor smiled at that. “We’ll organise some more X-rays for later in the week, see how you’re doing. But it’s going to be two months at the minimum before the cast is removed. Maybe three for your arm depending on how you heal.”

“Thanks doc,” Tony nodded as the doctor moved away from the bed.

“I’d like to keep her in for a few more nights of observation,” The doctor explained. “I’m certain there’s no concussion or nerve damage, but in these cases its better to be safe than deal with a problem later on.”

Tony watched the shocked look on the redhead’s face and the shared look between the girls, seeing their worried expressions he could see that the girls were close friends. “What about private care?” He asked, catching the doctor before he left the room. “Will she be well enough to be moved out of the hospital if I have someone to keep an eye on her?”

“That could be arranged.” The doctor nodded after thinking for a moment. “I’d still like to have her for observation for at least one more night, we can run some last x-rays through tonight, but if she feels up to it, I’d be comfortable releasing her as long as there was an adequate professional on site in case she needs it.”

“Tell me what she needs and I’ll have it waiting for her.” Tony said firmly. “Wheelchairs, nurses, whatever she needs.”

“Very well,” The doctor said calmly, knowing full well that the Stark money could afford probably better equipment than the hospital could offer anyway. “I’ll draw up a list of things she’ll need, along with recommendations for what will make things easier for her.” He said, mentally already drawing up the list in question.

“No expense spared.” Tony nodded.

“That will make things easier.” The doctor admitted. “I’m assuming you have an area of disabled accessible living to accommodate her?”

“All Stark buildings are disabled accessible,” Tony waved the worry away. “Have been for years now.”

“If Miss Granger feels up to it then and there is suitable care provided for her, I see no reason why not then.” The doctor explained. “I’ll have the list for you within the hour.”

“Thanks,” Tony nodded, mentally dismissing the doctor as he turned back to Hermione and moved back to her bed side, waiting for the nurse to finish changing the IV bag on her side before moving away and letting Ginny come back to sit by her side again.

“You… you have all that?” Hermione asked in a whisper, having been following the conversation between the doctor and Tony.

“Probably,” Tony shrugged. “Stark Medical manufactures a lot of equipment for hospitals all over the world. I can have anything you need shipped here within a few days.” He explained. “Could probably have thought of something better than those as well, but getting them off and replacing them without hurting you more would be a pain.” He explained, nodding to the casts on her left arm and leg.

“But… I… we don’t… at home, I don’t…” Hermione sniffed out, the idea of having to return home to the empty house without her parents finally hitting her.

“Oh Hermione,” Ginny whispered, leaning down and hugging her friend again.

“Right, um…” Tony winced, not sure how he should act or say in the situation with a crying fifteen-year-old girl. “I was actually thinking my place, sorry, I should have asked first. Talking before thinking.” He muttered aloud. “We can go to your house if you’d prefer? I mean, I can probably have some fitters put a new bathroom in and make it wheelchair accessible? Shouldn’t take that long.” He said quickly, trying to reassure the girl he was trying to do the right thing here.

“I…” Hermione whispered, closing her eyes fiercely. “I don’t want to go home.” She said quietly, thinking about how empty the house must be without her parents there.

“I’ve got the space,” Tony said quickly. “Your friend can stay as well if it’ll help.” He said, trying to reassure Hermione as much as he could. “In fact, that’s probably best, you know, for helping you in the night and toilets and things.” He said, rambling on as he winced at thinking about how much help the young girl would need right now. “In fact, I’ll go and talk to people now, try and plan things out. That was your dad outside right?” He asked, looking at Ginny for confirmation.

“Um, yeah?” Ginny nodded. “They’re in the waiting room down the hall, but…”

“Great,” Tony nodded quickly cutting her off as he moved away from the bed and snatched the papers up from where they’d been left on the table. “You two… um… talk or do what you do. I’ll sort things out ok?” He asked, not waiting for an answer before he dashed from the room.


As soon as he left the room Tony breathed out heavily, striding away from the closing door and picking a corridor at random to walk down and try to get his thoughts together.

Robotics, electronics, weapons and businesses he could handle. Even terrorists trying to kill him or crazy arc-based whips coming at him he could handle, but a crying fifteen-year-old girl was so far outside of his experience that he had no clue what to say or do in a situation like this.

Instantly he knew who he needed to turn to, and smacked himself on the forehead for not thinking about it earlier. Fishing out his phone as he walked he swiped through to pull up Pepper’s contact details, dialling her number as he walked around the hospital corridors to find somewhere quiet where he could catch his breath and get his thoughts in order.

“Tony?” Pepper’s voice came over the line after three rings.

“Pepper, thank god.” He breathed out a sigh of relief at hearing her voice. “I need you.” He said firmly.

“What’s happened?” Pepper’s voice came back concerned, hearing the frantic tones in Tony’s voice.

“Um… I’m a dad?” Tony asked hesitantly. “What do I do?”

“Dad?” Pepper’s voice came back sounding as shocked as he felt as he slumped up against a cold window in what looked to be a quiet corridor of the hospital. “Tony, start explaining. Now!” She demanded.

“Not like that, she’s fully grown.” Tony said quickly, knowing that Pepper must have thought he’d gone back to his womanizing ways. “Fifteen, I think? Maybe? fifteen or sixteen, somewhere around that, I haven’t done the math yet.” He explained. “I only just found out about her myself Pepper. There was an accident, her mom and dad. Obie paid her mom off, I didn’t even know until the insurance claim pinged on JARVIS’ system!”

“Oh my god!” Pepper’s voice breathed out. “Where are you?”

“London,” Tony explained. “I think I’m still in London? I’ll have JARVIS send you the hospital details.” He said quickly.

“How is she? Have you spoken to her yet?” Pepper asked in quick succession.

“A broken arm and leg, pretty serious. A lot of bruising, but I’m surprised that’s all she came away with really, the pictures of the accident JARVIS pulled up looked pretty bad.” Tony said quietly. “Her parents didn’t make it.”

“Oh that poor thing.” Pepper’s concerned voice came over the phone.

“She’s got a friend with her at the moment, looked pretty close.” Tony explained. “Ginny or something, a whole gaggle of redheads somewhere around here apparently.” He muttered, looking up and down the corridor to see if he could catch sight of another redhead that could be a member of the girl’s family.

“At least she’s got someone.” Pepper’s voice came back quietly. “What have you told her?”

“She knows I’m her dad if that’s what you’re asking,” Tony replied with a wince. “She already knew about her parents though, guess the hospital told her before I got here, they’d sedated her to get some rest when I arrived.”

“I’ll be on the next flight over,” Pepper said quickly.

“Get someone to get the office apartment ready,” Tony explained. “Bedroom for her, probably need disabled bathroom so she can… whatever.” Tony shook his head trying to clear all the thoughts that were running through his mind. “I don’t know, the doctor is giving me a list of things she’ll need, I’ll have it sent over as soon as I get it.”

“Of course,” Pepper replied easily. “She… she’s definitely yours?”

“I saw the paternity tests Obie had done,” Tony nodded to himself even though he knew Pepper couldn’t see it. “I’ll send them over along with the contracts and things Obie had her mom sign.” He frowned, rubbing his face with his spare hand. “I don’t know what I’m doing here Pepper, a teenage girl? Me? I’m not dad material!”

“Figure it out, and quickly!” Pepper said firmly. “That little girl is going to need you, little girl, she’s fifteen for gods sake. What’s her name Tony?”

“Hermione,” Tony replied with a small smile.

“From Shakespeare,” Pepper replied back thoughtfully. “Unusual name.”

“I’ll take your word for it.” Tony shrugged. “She married a guy called Wendell, so can’t exactly judge.”

“It’s a beautiful name,” Pepper replied firmly, making sure Tony got the idea not to make fun of the girl’s name. “I’ll let you know when I’m on my way, the Stark Tower project is taking a bit longer to get up and running.”

“I thought things were going well out there.” Tony frowned thoughtfully.

“They are,” Pepper sighed across the line. “The tower itself is up and running, just dealing with the planning for the arc reactor systems in the basement to take over powering the building is causing a few headaches for the engineers and electricians.”

“Let them deal with it,” Tony waved the thought away. “I don’t have time for that right now.”

“I’ll let them know,” Pepper’s voice came back. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“I’ll have JARVIS let you know where I am when you’re landing, might be here, the offices, her house, wherever.” Tony muttered. “And bring some British money, I’ve got my cards but didn’t think about changing anything up before I flew out here. Oh, and have my workshop packed up and shipped to the London office, shut the Malibu house down for now, it’s going to be a while before I can get back there.”

“I’ll have the London office put something together for you,” Pepper’s voice came back as if she was rolling her eyes as she spoke. “How long are they talking for her recovery?” She asked softly.

“Two, maybe three months.” Tony answered remembering what the doctor had said. “And thanks,” Tony breathed out as he relaxed a bit. “You know, for everything.”

“Just be with your daughter Tony,” Pepper replied. “Oh god, that is so strange to say.”

“I know right!” Tony laughed as he replied. “Me, a dad, so wrong.”

“That poor girl,” Pepper laughed down the line in reply.

“Hah hah,” Tony muttered dryly. “Just get out here Pepper, so I don’t scar the girl any more than what she’s already been through.” He said seriously.

“I’ll be there Tony,” Pepper promised. “Just try not to say anything stupid until I can get there ok?”

“No promises,” Tony frowned. “You know what I’m like.” He admitted aloud.

“That’s why I’m worried.” Pepper sighed over the line. “Talk to you soon.” She said before hanging up, leaving Tony staring at his phone for a second in silence.

 

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


“He’s definitely like you,” Ginny giggled out as the door closed behind Tony, leaving her alone with Hermione in the quiet of the room.

“He’s… he’s Tony Stark!” Hermione breathed out in shock.

“What?” Ginny frowned, trying to decipher the look on Hermione’s face. “Is that a bad thing?” She asked curiously. “I mean, I get that your dad not… you know?” She trailed off, frowning at herself for mentioning Hermione’s parents again.

“He’s rich, capital R rich,” Hermione whispered.

“What? Like Malfoy rich?” Ginny asked, she’d already seen how the doctors treated him so she was guessing he was somebody important.

“Richer,” Hermione whispered back. “He’s a billionaire! Like, one of the richest people in the world!” She said in shock.

“Wow,” Ginny breathed out, her eyes going wide at that news. “And he’s your dad?” She whispered in shock. “No wonder he could get a muggle airplane all the way from America as soon as he found out.”

“He probably owns his own,” Hermione giggled in shock at what she was being told. “He owns companies all over the world. They make everything muggles use.” She explained. “He came.” She whispered, the fact that he’d come all the way from America for her finally hitting her.

“That rich?” Ginny asked, trying to imagine what he must do to have that amount of money.

“Richer,” Hermione nodded awkwardly. “But… it’s not the money, I mean, he says he’s my dad.”

“He looks like you,” Ginny admitted. “The eyes.” She clarified when Hermione looked at her. “He’s got your eyes. Or you’ve got his I mean.” She laughed as Hermione tried to picture what she was saying. “What was that test thing he offered?”

“Paternity test,” Hermione remembered before trying to simplify it down for her non-muggle friend. “Sort of a blood test to see if someone is related to someone else.”

“Oh, there’s spells for that as well I think.” Ginny nodded now she could grasp her head around the idea. “Think it’s sixth year stuff though.” She said with a shrug. “Dad could probably do it, or mum, if you wanted to know for sure.”

“It’s just…” Hermione frowned, blinking more tears away as she tried to keep herself composed. “My mum, she never mentioned anything like this.” She whispered. “I don’t even know if my dad knew or not, I… I just thought mum and dad had had me before they’d be married, not… not that mum had me with someone else.” She said quietly.

“Probably wouldn’t have changed anything if he knew or not right?” Ginny said reassuringly. “Your dad’s your dad, I mean, if he knew he wouldn’t have done anything different right?”

“I don’t know,” Hermione answered quietly. “Can you… the water?” She asked hopefully.

“Oh, yeah, sure.” Ginny nodded, moving around the bed to the other side where the doctor had left the cup of water with a straw in it on the table by the side of the bed. “That ok?” She asked, lifting the cup up so Hermione could get the straw into her mouth and drink out of it.

“Thanks,” Hermione nodded after drinking as much of the water as she could.

“This is so weird,” Ginny muttered looking around. “My dad’s been trying to figure out how to get you out of here and to St Mungo’s so you can get a proper doctor to look at you.”

“These are proper doctors Ginny,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes. “But yeah, I know what you mean. A medi-witch would be a godsend right now to fix me up.” She whispered softly.

“What about when you go to his house?” Ginny asked. “We could get a medi-witch to apparate in with some skele-gro or something?”

“Oh my god, I’ll have to tell him!” Hermione whispered in shock as she realised the situation she was in. “He doesn’t know about magic!” She winced, it was already going to be awkward between them, trying to get used to the idea that he was he biological father, but between that and trying to convince him that magic was real, she was pretty sure he’d have her locked up in an asylum quicker than anything.

“My dad could talk to him?” Ginny offered. “He works at The Ministry, he’s probably done the talk before. I never really thought about what it must be like for muggle borns to learn about magic.” She said thoughtfully.

“Professor McGonagall came to see my… my mum and dad.” Hermione explained. “When she brought my Hogwarts letter, she explained everything.”

“Think she could do it again?” Ginny asked hopefully. “You’ll have to owl her anyway, there’s no way you can go back to Hogwarts like that.”

“My wand,” Hermione said at last. “It was in my pocket when…” She trailed off as the tears started to build up in her eyes again.

“Maybe the hospital have it?” Ginny tried to be supportive, reaching down to hug Hermione again.

“If… if it didn’t break,” Hermione whispered.

“Why don’t you ask… um, what do we call him? Mr Stark?” Ginny frowned, trying to think of how to think about Hermione’s new father in her mind.

“Mr Stark is best,” Hermione nodded at that, thankful of having something else to focus on and keep her brain away from thinking about what had happened to her mum and dad.

“Ask him?” Ginny nodded in agreement. “The doctors seem to do anything he asks anyway, maybe he could get your things for you?”

“Maybe,” Hermione nodded thoughtfully.

“Or you’ll have to buy a new one,” Ginny said with a shrug. “Like Ron did when his broke in his second year.”

“Yeah,” Hermione sighed at that, she liked her wand, it was comfortable and felt right in her hand. Getting used to a new one would be a pain.

“And what about Hogwarts?” Ginny asked. “Are you even coming back?” She asked urgently. “There’s no way you’re going to make the Quidditch World Cup looking like that.” She said, pointing to the two thick casts or Hermione’s arm and leg.

“What? Of course I’m coming back!” Hermione stated firmly. “I’m not missing my education because of…” She trailed off as she realised what Ginny was saying. “Oh Merlin!” She whispered. “But he… he said he lived in London?”

“If he’s as rich as you say, maybe he’s got houses all over.” Ginny replied back. “He said he came from Las Angeles.”

“Los Angeles,” Hermione corrected automatically. “Oh my god, he… do you think he’ll want me to move out to America with him?” She asked in shock.

“You’d have to wouldn’t you?” Ginny asked. “I mean, he’s your… you know, now right? You’re still under age so…”

“So I’d have to live where he lives.” Hermione finished off Ginny’s thought as it registered in her brain. “Oh Merlin!” She whispered as it sunk in


 

It didn’t take Tony long to make his way through the hospital corridors after a helpful nurse pointed him in the direction of the family waiting room where he knew the redhead’s parents would be. He was still sending e-mails back to the London office on his phone as he took a deep breath at the door before pushing it open and walking inside.

Thankfully there were far less people inside than he’d thought there were, he was sure there’d been four of them in the corridor before, but now there was only the two adults, the two older teenagers had vanished.

The girl’s father was pretty tall, nearly as tall as he was. Balding with bright blue eyes and thin ginger hair that his daughter had apparently inherited as well. The mother, he was guessing from the way she was stood against the man, was far shorter, probably close to the five-foot mark like Hermione’s friend, her daughter. Rounder than her thin husband, but she had an easy smile he could appreciate.

“Uh, hi,” Tony said offhand, waving awkwardly as the door closed behind him and he saw both their attention focused on him. Now he was taking time to look carefully, he could see their comfortable clothes were well worn and faded, well-loved and worn regularly but obviously not fashionable or modern clothes by any stretch.

“Sorry, Mr Stark was it? Our daughter told us your name.” The man smiled widely, stepping forward and offering his hand.

“Yes, sorry,” Tony nodded, shaking the hand firmly. “Tony, please.”

“Arthur, this is my wife Molly.” He said, introducing them both.

“Lovely to meet you.” The woman Arthur had introduced smiled pleasantly.

“Can we sit?” Tony asked, gesturing around the room. “Hermione’s awake by the way, the doctors say she’s recovering well.” He explained.

“Oh thank Merlin!” Molly breathed out happily. “Can I… I’ll just go and see how the girls are doing.” She said, looking to her husband.

“Of course, go and be with them.” Arthur nodded reassuringly before Molly dashed from the room. “Shall we?” He asked, taking his seat again.

“This is all new to me,” Tony admitted, finding a comfortable seat in the waiting room and collapsing down on it, rubbing his face in his hands. “I only… Hermione, I didn’t even know about her.”

“Ginny told us she’s your daughter, is that right?” Arthur asked curiously.

Tony nodded absently. “I didn’t know, about her, about anything with her mom.” Tony explained. “I only found out yesterday, I came as soon as I got the news.”

“That must have been a surprise.” Arthur said thoughtfully.

“Oh yeah,” Tony nodded back. “I never pictured myself doing this, the family thing I mean. And then boom, here’s a fifteen-year-old girl. Fifteen? I didn’t even ask. I’ve got her birthday somewhere but…”

“Fixteen, she’ll be Sixteen in a few months.” Arthur said reassuringly, sensing the panic in the man’s voice. “September if I’m right.”

“Right, fifteen,” Tony made a mental note to remember that. “She’s dealing with so much right now, I don’t even know where to start with all of this.” He muttered, rubbing his temples in frustration. “Your daughter? They seem pretty good friends.”

“Ginny, yes, they’ve been quite close for the last few years.” Arthur confirmed. “She’s been here every day to see Hermione after she heard what happened.”

“That’s good, friends are important.” Tony nodded, trying to dig up any sage words of wisdom he could think of that would apply to him in this situation.

“How is she?” Arthur asked.

“Hermione? Bruised, a broken arm and leg. They’re giving her painkillers to help manage it, and probably another sedative tonight to help her sleep.” Tony admitted. “It’ll be a tough time for her.”

Arthur looked confused at some of the words Tony had said but nodded along regardless.

“Actually, that’s kind of what I wanted to talk to you about.” Tony nodded thoughtfully. “She’s either going to be cooped up here until they release her, or I can take her home and have private doctors help her with what she needs.” Tony explained. “Never liked hospitals,” He explained. “Too generic, bad smells.” He muttered.

“Do you think that would help?” Arthur asked, his voice eager now. “To have her at home away from the hospital?”

“I think it might,” Tony admitted. “I mean, I can buy any equipment she needs to get around while she’s recovering, and it’d be a more comfortable environment for her there than it is here I guess.”

“That makes sense,” Arthur nodded in agreement.

“But she doesn’t know me,” Tony explained. “I mean, I’m her father but it’s not like I have a right to expect her to call me that or anything, not when I didn’t even know about her until now.” He rambled on. “Then moving her out of a hospital like this and expecting her to try and rest and recover in a strange house, what was I thinking?” He muttered as he trailed off.

“You were doing your best the only way you know how,” Arthur smiled across the room knowingly, recognising the panic of new parenthood on the mans face. “You live in London then?”

“I have a place there,” Tony nodded, thinking of the spacious apartment at the top of the Stark offices, the same type of apartment he had set aside in all Stark offices around the world so he didn’t have to fuss with hotels or anything anymore. “I have space, it’s no bother, I just don’t want her to think that I’m shuffling her around without a care about what she wants.”

“Did you ask Hermione?” Arthur asked after a pause.

“She didn’t want to go home,” Tony admitted. “I get that, I was the same after my folks died.” He explained. “Barely set foot in the house for a year before I could accept it.”

Arthur nodded at that, imagining how the children would be if he and Molly died, he could well imagine none of them wanting to be around The Burrow after that. “Then maybe it’s best that she does go with you then. Give her something new to focus on while she heals after what happened.”

“That’s what I was thinking,” Tony nodded in agreement. “What about your daughter?” He asked hopefully.

“Ginny?” Arthur asked, wondering what Ginny had to do with any of this.

“Would she stay with Hermione?” Tony explained. “I know it’s a big favour and you don’t know me at all, but I’m floundering here. She can stay in the room with Hermione, or I can have another room made up for her, whichever she prefers, probably best if they stay together I’d think? Maybe? I don’t know, I’ve got no clue what teenage girls are like.” He admitted with a sigh. “I mean, I just think it would help Hermione if she had her friend around to help her, instead of being stuck in a strange place with a man she’s never met before.” He explained with a sigh. “Sorry, I’m not very good at any of this.”

“You’re asking if Ginny would stay with Hermione until she recovers?” Arthur asked, trying to muddle through the various things Tony had babbled out.

“Yes, that one.” Tony nodded, clicking his fingers as Arthur caught on to what he was trying to say.

“I think that would be a good idea.” Arthur smiled at the thought. “As long as the girls and my wife agree of course.”

“Of course,” Tony smiled in agreement. “I’ll cover their food, clothes, anything else she needs while she’s staying,” Tony explained. “Actually, I’ve got absolutely no idea what teenage girls need. TV for their room? Books? Cuddly toys? Girls love cuddly toys right?”

“Books would be a good start with Hermione,” Arthur laughed as Tony floundered around in his mind trying to figure things out.

“Books?” Tony grasped onto this piece of information like a lifeline, his eyes lighting up as he found out something about his daughter at last. “She likes reading?”

“Almost everything she can get her hands on according to my son and daughter,” Arthur explained with a smile. “Terribly smart young girl, I don’t think my son would have done half as well in school without her as a friend.” He laughed.

“Yes!” Tony grinned happily.

“Oh? I take it she takes after you then?” Arthur laughed at the excitement on Tony’s face.

“You could say that,” Tony laughed back. “I’m an… I guess engineer is the closest thing to what I do. Electronics, robotics, that sort of thing.”

“Oh yes, I don’t know if Hermione has ever shown an interest in Elecrics or Robototics before,” Arthur laughed, hoping he wasn’t mangling the unfamiliar words too much. “She’s definitely the smartest wi… girl of her age I’ve ever met.” He said quickly, covering up his mistake and hoping Tony hadn’t caught it.

“Oh thank god,” Tony breathed out. “Ok, so we have something in common, I can work on that.” He laughed, sighing in relief. “Books, books I can do. Maybe move a library in or have JARVIS set something up for her, whatever she’d like.”

“Move a library?” Arthur asked, raising an eyebrow at that.

“Or, you know, whatever she’d like?” Tony shrugged.

“I think if you told her that, then she would be moving in today no matter what your doctors tell her.” Arthur laughed at the idea, causing Tony’s eyes to light up at that information.


 

“Girls?” Molly asked quietly as she pushed open the door of the room Hermione had been moved into, relaxing as she saw Ginny and Hermione talking quietly at the bed.

“Mrs Weasley,” Hermione said softly, her throat still a bit sore but getting better with the water that was on offer.

“Oh dear, what have those muggles done to you?” Molly asked, closing the door behind her so she could talk properly with Ginny and Hermione.

“They’re doing their best, really.” Hermione said reassuringly.

“It’s silly having you here dear,” Molly said sternly. “We could have you to St Mungo’s in a jiffy and have you fixed up by tea time.”

“I can’t do that,” Hermione said quickly. “Mr Stark… he… he doesn’t know about magic.” She whispered.

“Your father is talking with him right now,” Molly said thoughtfully. “He’s a muggle then?” She smiled when Hermione nodded. “Oh dear, you know I haven’t anything against muggles.” She explained. “It’s just… I hate seeing you all like this when we could take such better care of you.”

“It won’t be for long,” Hermione explained. “I’ve broken my arm before, don’t worry Mrs Weasley.”

“I’ve told you dear, it’s Molly,” Molly sighed.

“Wait, you left Tony Stark with your dad!” Hermione asked in horror, looking to Ginny.

“I’m sure they’re fine,” Ginny laughed. “Hermione was just telling me about Mr Stark’s companies. He’s richer than anything apparently.”

“Money doesn’t buy you everything dear,” Molly said sternly. “Who is this Mr Stark anyway?”

“He’s…” Hermione choked out before forcing herself to take a breath. “He’s my dad apparently.” She said, her eyes going a bit wide as she said it aloud for the first time.

“Well, if he’s family to you then he’s family to us as well.” Molly said with a wide smile.

“Mum, can you owl Professor McGonagall and tell her what’s happened?” Ginny asked, nodding to Hermione. “I mean, if Mr Stark knew about magic and Hermione, maybe we could get her to St Mungo’s and healed quicker.”

“Is that what you want dear?” Molly asked, looking to Hermione.

“I don’t even know where I’d begin talking to him about it all,” Hermione whispered. “Professor McGonagall came to talk to… talk to my parents about it the first time.” She explained, blinking fiercely as tears welled up in her eyes.

“Of course, I’ll owl her then, just as soon as we get home.” Molly nodded in agreement. “Now, is there anything else you need?”

“Crookshanks!” Hermione blurted out. “He must be going crazy at home with nobody there to feed him!”

“We can floo over dear and take care of Crookshanks for you,” Molly said with a smile.

“No, there’s no floo, it’s a muggle house. Remember when your dad tried before?” Hermione explained quickly. “Oh Merlin! What am I going to do with him?”

“What about Mr Stark?” Ginny asked hesitantly. “You could ask him to bring him here? Do they let animals in muggle hospitals?”

“Never,” Hermione shook her head.

“Silly muggles,” Molly shook her head in amusement.

“Could he look after him until you’re better? Or until you can leave the hospital?” Ginny asked. “Didn’t he say you could go home with him tomorrow?”

“Go home with him?” Molly asked curiously. “Well, of course, if he’s your father then that’s where you should be dear.”

“You don’t think he’d mind?” Hermione asked, looking between Ginny and Molly.

“If not, we can take him,” Molly smiled back. “I’m sure Crookshanks would enjoy the Burrow until you’re feeling better.”

“That might be better,” Hermione admitted softly, trying to imagine what sort of house Mr Stark must own and Crookshanks tearing around an unfamiliar house.

“If you tell us where you live, I’ll have Arthur drop by and pick him up tonight,” Molly smiled reassuringly, resting her hand on Hermione’s.

“I wonder what dad’s talking about with him?” Ginny asked thoughtfully, drawing Hermione’s attention back to her. “Probably plugs or something silly like that.” She laughed.

“Go!” Hermione said quickly. “Stop him,” She laughed. “Oh Merlin,” She muttered, wishing she could have a hand free to rub her face in frustration. “Mr Stark is a genius, he’s going to think your dad is crazy.” She laughed, trying to picture how strange the conversation must be going between them.

“So that’s where you get your brains from then,” Ginny laughed as Hermione went wide eyed at her comment. “At least he’ll be able to keep up with you.” She continued on, ignoring the look of shock that was flooding her friends face.

“Tony… Stark… is… my dad.” Hermione whispered out in shock, breathing heavily as it sunk in. “Oh Merlin!” She muttered, trying to wrap her head around it.

“I’ll go and see how they’re doing,” Ginny offered with a laugh. “Are you ok to stay with Hermione for a bit mum?” Ginny asked as she stood up from her chair.

“Of course, dear,” Molly smiled. “You go and see how your father is doing.”

“Quickly!” Hermione said urgently, watching as Ginny laughed and left the room.


 

“Ginny, come on dear, we were just talking about you.” Arthur smiled as he looked up when Ginny opened the door to the waiting room.

“Oh?” Ginny asked hesitantly, wondering what on earth her father must have been talking about with Mr Stark and why her name had come up.

“Hi,” Tony waved hesitantly from his chair on the other side of the room. “How is she? I didn’t say anything too stupid right?”

Ginny laughed at that as she closed the door behind her and moved to sit down near her dad. “Shocked I think, she keeps getting this look on her face like she’s just been told a professor is wrong or something, complete bewilderment.” She laughed as she tried to explain it.

“I guess I could have been more subtle,” Tony winced as he tried to think about things from Hermione’s point of view. “I mean, she’s just lost her parents, and I barge in and tell her I’m really her dad, I sounded like an idiot, didn’t I?” He said, sinking his head into his hands.

“I’m sure you were just as shocked as she was,” Arthur interrupted with a soft smile. “It’s a big moment when you learn you’re going to be a father.” He explained. “I should know, I’ve had enough of them.” He said with a chuckle.

“Enough?” Tony asked, curious about his daughter’s friends now. “How many have you got?”

“Ginny,” Arthur said, nodding to Ginny. “Ron, the second youngest. He’s friends with Hermione at school as well.” He explained, catching the glance Ginny gave him and smiling back. “Fred and George, the twins that were here earlier, you didn’t get to meet them.” He said, counting off on his fingers. “Then Percy, Charlie and William.”

“Dad, you know he prefers Bill,” Ginny said after Arthur finished counting them off.

“He’ll always be William,” Arthur laughed back.

“Seven, wow.” Tony whispered, his eyes going wide at imagining life with seven children running around.

“Ginny’s our youngest, just a year below Hermione at school,” Arthur explained. “She’s just finished up her third year.”

“So Hermione’s just finished her fourth year,” Tony saved that bit of information in his brain. “Did she have exams?” He asked hesitantly. “Sorry, I’ve got no clue how the schools work over here.” He admitted.

“Not until the end of next year,” Ginny explained.

“Right,” Tony nodded at that.

“Why were you talking about me?” Ginny asked, looking over to her dad.

“Well, Mr Stark…” Arthur started before he was interrupted.

“Tony, please.” Tony said, holding up his hands.

“Tony,” Arthur conceded. “Was saying that he thinks Hermione would heal better at home than she would do here.” Arthur explained, catching Ginny’s eye and hoping she would agree so that they could help with some magical healing as well. He’d caught on as soon as it had been suggested and would definitely be happier with Hermione away from all these muggle machines, as interesting as they were.

“Yeah, he said that to Hermione as well.” Ginny nodded, catching on to what her father was saying.

“Well, Tony suggested that you go with Hermione and stay with her for a while, to help her adjust you understand.” Arthur continued explaining. “Obviously he’s asking a lot here, and I didn’t want to say yes without asking…”

“Of course,” Ginny nodded enthusiastically. “I’ll stay with Hermione if she needs it. We were just talking about Crookshanks as well. She wanted to know if you could ask the hospital if they’ve got her things from… from the car, her clothes and bits?”

“Crookshanks?” Tony interrupted, frowning at the weird name. “Yeah, I can ask. The clothes are probably ruined though, but if she had a purse or anything in her pockets, they probably bagged them up if they could save them. I’ll ask ok?” He nodded, making a mental note to do just that.

“Hermione’s… cat,” Ginny said, catching herself before she said half-kneasle. “He’s been back at the house since the accident without anyone to feed him or anything.”

“Cat, right.” Tony muttered, rubbing his eyes. “Ok, didn’t think about pets.” He said aloud.

“Mum said he’d be better off at home with us,” Ginny said quickly. “He’s been there before so he won’t be as crazy in a new place.” She explained. “She said dad could go and pick him up tonight?”

“Of course,” Arthur smiled and nodded at that, happy to help out Hermione however he could.

“That might be best,” Tony admitted. “Just until I can get the place ready. Honestly, I normally have wires and electronics all over the place, not exactly the most pet friendly place in the world,” He said with a self-deprecating smile, catching how Arthur’s eyes lit up at what he said. “I can drive Hermione down any time she wants to visit though, where do you live? I’ll have to sort out clothes and things for Hermione anyway.” He grimaced at the thought of what shopping with a teenage girl must be like, hopefully he’d be able to bribe Pepper with taking over that aspect of parenthood.

“Ottery St Catchpole,” Arthur explained. “Close by anyway, about fifteen minutes south of the village.” He said with a smile.

Tony nodded at that, pulling out his phone. “JARVIS, find me Ottery St Catchpole.” He announced, ignoring the strange looks he got from Arthur and Ginny in response.

“Of course, sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back over the phone speakers. “A small town in Devon, approximately three hours’ drive from your current location.” JARVIS continued by pulling up a map on the screen and showing the quickest driving route from the hospital.

“Not too bad,” Tony nodded, saving the information on his phone.

“What was that?” Ginny asked, nodding to the small glass looking device Mr Stark was holding.

“JARVIS?” Tony asked, continuing when the young girl nodded. “He’s sort of my assistant, that’s the best word I can think of really. He runs a lot of the company, helps me out with pretty much everything.”

“Oh,” Ginny nodded at that. “Would we meet him then? If Hermione is staying with you?”

Tony laughed at that before tossing his phone on the seat next to him. “JARVIS, say hello.”

“Hello young miss,” JARVIS’ voice came out of the speaker, causing Ginny to look at it in surprise.

“He can hear me?” Ginny asked in shock, blinking in surprise at the small glass looking muggle device that she’d never seen before.

“He’s not really a he,” Tony admitted. “At least, not in the sense that you mean anyway.” He explained. “JARVIS actually stands for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, he’s not a real person.”

“Oh,” Ginny frowned at that, trying to understand what Tony was saying, she looked up at her father and could see he was just as confused as she was.

“JARVIS is as close to an artificial intelligence as I could make,” Tony explained further. “He’s not sentient, not like we are, but he’s getting close.” He said proudly but catching the still confused look on Ginny’s face before simplifying it down further. “He’s a really advanced computer.” He explained finally, not sure he could actually make JARVIS’ explanation any simpler than that.

“Thank you, sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back.

“No problem, actually, while I’ve got this…” Tony trailed off in thought. “How many rooms does the London apartment have?”

“Six sir, a master bedroom, and five smaller double rooms with en-suite for guests.” JARVIS responded easily.

“They’re all set up and ready?” Tony asked.

“Indeed sir, per your phone call with Miss Potts, the apartment has been readied for your arrival and subsequent arrival of Miss Granger.” JARVIS explained.

“Add one more,” Tony said with a nod to Ginny and Arthur. “If you still think it’s ok?” He asked, checking with Arthur to make sure.

“Hmm?” Arthur shook his head, brought out of his amazement by Tony’s question. “Oh, oh yes, certainly.” Arthur nodded. “You’re ok staying with Hermione until she recovers aren’t you dear?” He asked, looking at Ginny.

“Of course,” Ginny nodded quickly, happy to stay with her friend when she needed it.

“Ok, Ginny’s coming as well, same room as Hermione, so have another bed moved in there as well.” Tony announced to the phone.

“As you wish sir, a room will be made available for Miss Granger and… Ginny, to use when they are ready.” JARVIS’ voice came back.

“He’s not good with first names,” Tony explained the pause. “I think I programmed too much British into him.” He said with a laugh before idly wondering if his daughter was like that.

“Weasley,” Ginny said aloud. “Tell Jarvis it’s Ginny Weasley.”

“Very good Miss Weasley,” JARVIS’ voice responded happily, sounding much more comfortable with the name.

“He answered,” Ginny asked in shock. “I was just kidding,” She said, looking at Tony who laughed at her bewildered expression.

“I’ll introduce you and Hermione to him properly tomorrow,” Tony said with a laugh. “I think Hermione will love him, from what your dad’s been telling me anyway. He can pull up any book ever written and display it for Hermione to read whenever she wants.” He explained.

“Oh Merlin, Hermione’s going to love that!” Ginny breathed out in amazement.

“Merlin?” Tony asked, raising his eyebrow. “Heard that a few times now, British expression?” He asked curiously.

“Um, yes, quite common.” Arthur answered quickly.

“Thought so,” Tony said, shaking his head in amusement. “Wasn’t he that wizard in the stories? King Arthur right?”

“That’s right,” Ginny nodded quickly so her father wouldn’t say anything else.

“Makes sense, guess it’s a bigger story over here than it is in America,” Tony mused thoughtfully.

“It’s where dad gets his name from too,” Ginny explained. “And Percy, and me.” She said proudly.

“Ginny?” Tony frowned, wondering where the name fit in.

“Ginevra,” Ginny explained with a frown, showing her distaste for her full name. “Comes from Guinevere.”

“Ahh, ok, got it.” Tony nodded, but was still more puzzled than ever. He’d have JARVIS give him the footnotes in language he could understand later on. “So you’re ok with that then? Staying with Hermione and helping her out?”

“Of course,” Ginny smiled happily, knowing that also she’d be helping out Hermione by working out ways to smuggle some healing potions in as well to help her recover quicker, a far better idea than letting her suffer at the hands of muggle doctors for months.

“Great,” Tony breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ll have Pepper take you shopping or something as a thank you, get you some clothes or toys or whatever you want.” He explained.

“That’s alright, we’re just happy to help Hermione out.” Arthur protested quickly.

“No, it’s fine, really.” Tony protested back. “Seriously, you’re doing me a huge favour here. I’ve got no clue what I’m doing with any of this, and I’m now realising I shouldn’t be admitting that to the person who just agreed to let his daughter stay with me.” He muttered, rubbing his face with his hands.

“Probably not.” Arthur chuckled in amusement. “I’m sure you’re doing the best you can in the situation.” He said with a small laugh. “If we can help in any way, just let us know, please. Hermione’s practically part of the family.”

“You don’t know how much that helps, really.” Tony admitted. “I mean, you’ve got experience with all of this, I’m just…”

“I know just how you feel,” Arthur said with a laugh. “I was panicking myself when William was born, sorry, Bill.” He corrected himself for Ginny’s sake. “I’m sure you’ll do just fine.” He said with a smile.

“I forgot, can I have your number? Then I can call or I’ll give you mine, you can call to talk to Ginny, Hermione, anytime you need, or come by, you’ll be more than welcome.” Tony said thankfully.

“We don’t have a telephone at home,” Ginny explained quickly. “It’s not an easy place for all the wires to reach.” She explained, thinking up a semi plausible explanation from what she knew.

“Oh, ok.” Tony nodded, frowning at the thought but accepting it for now. “I’ll have to get you one so you can call, a cell or something, just so you can keep in touch with Ginny.” He explained.

“You don’t have…”

“No, really,” Tony waved off the complaint. “It’s a favour to me, then I can call you when I’m panicking about something.” He said with a half-joking laugh, catching the smile on Arthur’s face. “I’ll bring one back with me tomorrow for you.” He said with a smile.

“I’d better tell mum and Hermione the plan,” Ginny said eagerly, standing up from her chair. “Nice to meet you Jarvis.” She said with a wave to the muggle device still on the chair next to Tony.

“It is nice to make your acquaintance too Miss Weasley,” JARVIS responded dryly.

Tony was still shaking his head in amusement as Ginny walked past him and out of the waiting room before he let the laugh out when the door closed. “Oh, I needed that.” He said as he got his laughter under control.

“Really sir, she is quite a well mannered young lady.” JARVIS’ dry tones came back from the phone.

“Yes, I’m quite proud of her,” Arthur said, agreeing with the voice with a happy smile.

“Stock up the kitchen as well JARVIS, check with Pepper to see if there’s anything she wants getting ready as well.” Tony said as he picked up the phone.

“Of course, sir. Is there anything specific you would like adding to the kitchens?” JARVIS asked.

“Whatever teenage girls eat, and probably lots of it.” Tony muttered. “And decent coffee.” He added quickly.

“Obviously sir, your addiction is already catered for.” JARVIS responded before Tony stuck the phone back in his pocket, rolling his eyes at JARVIS’ comment.

“Seriously, I can’t thank you enough for this.” Tony said, looking back to Arthur. “It’s going to be tough enough on Hermione with what’s happened, having her friend there will mean the world to her.”

“I understand completely,” Arthur agreed with his reasoning. “I work in the city myself, so I hope you won’t mind if I pop by now and again to see how the girls are doing?”

“Anytime, open invitation.” Tony said firmly. “Bring the wife, the kids, everyone.” He said with a laugh. “Seven kids, think there’s enough room, there was the last time I looked at the plans anyway.” He mused aloud. “How do you cope?” He asked semi-seriously.

“Patience, lots and lots of patience.” Arthur said with a loud laugh causing Tony to laugh along with him.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


Ginny was still smiling as she slipped back into Hermione’s room, catching her mum giving Hermione an awkward hug in the bed and wiping her tears away. “Hey,” She said quietly as she moved over. “You ok?” She asked, seeing the fresh tears on Hermione’s face.

“Just… it just hit me again,” Hermione said quietly. “I’ll never see them again.” She said with a sniffle.

“Hush dear,” Molly whispered, rubbing Hermione’s shoulder reassuringly. “I know it’s not the same, but you’re part of our family, always will be.” She said with a small smile.

“Mum’s right,” Ginny smiled from where she’d walked around to stand by Molly.

“How’s your father dear?” Molly asked as Ginny approached. “Still talking with Mr Stark?”

“Yeah,” Ginny nodded. “They’re fine, he seems alright.” Ginny said thoughtfully, thinking to how Mr Stark had interacted with her and her father. “Dad asked if I could go with Hermione when she gets out of hospital. Stay with her and Mr Stark for a while until Hermione feels better with it?”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” Molly frowned over, looking at her daughter and then to Hermione. “We don’t know anything about this Mr Stark really.”

“That’s why dad thought it’d be better if I was with her,” Ginny explained. “That and I can help slip her some potions whenever I can, try and get her healing better without all this muggle stuff, but not too fast that Mr Stark gets curious.”

“Hmmm,” Molly nodded at the thought but was still frowning about the idea of leaving her youngest daughter in a strange man’s house, even if he was supposedly related to Hermione. “I think I’ll go and have a talk with your father and Mr Stark myself.”

“That’s what dad said you’d say,” Ginny said with a smile. “He didn’t agree to anything until I said I’d do it.”

“Still, I’ll see how I feel after talking with him myself I think.” Molly said firmly. “Excuse me girls.” With that said she moved to leave the room, heading back to confront Arthur about this plan of his and actually talk with this Mr Stark herself for a bit.

“Was he really alright with it? With you coming with me I mean?” Hermione asked softly.

“He suggested it,” Ginny said with a laugh. “He’s panicking a bit talking to dad.” She explained. “He keeps thinking he’s saying something stupid or doing something you won’t like.”

“He only just found out about me,” Hermione muttered thoughtfully. “I’ll bet having a daughter wasn’t part of his plan.” She said softly.

“He came didn’t he?” Ginny said, rubbing Hermione’s shoulder softly. “I mean, you’d never have known if he hadn’t have turned up. He could have just stayed in America if he didn’t care, right?” Ginny mused.

“I… I guess so,” Hermione nodded slowly, unable to find a fault in Ginny’s logic.

“He’s trying to figure everything out,” Ginny explained with a small smile. “He’s got something at his house that’s even sorting out a bedroom for us both.”

“Some thing?” Hermione asked, raising her eyebrow slightly at the words Ginny had used. “Thing?”

“I don’t know,” Ginny shrugged. “He called it Jarvis, it sounded like a person, but he said it wasn’t.” She shrugged trying to remember what he’d called Jarvis. “A compooter?”

“A computer,” Hermione nodded. “A machine that does things for you.” She explained at Ginny’s baffled expression.

“Oh,” Ginny frowned. “I didn’t know they could talk.”

“Neither did I,” Hermione said in agreement.

“He seemed nice though, he, it, whatever.” Ginny shrugged off the thought. “He didn’t like calling me by my name though, had to tell him my last name so he wouldn’t sound silly.”

“Wow, it must be super advanced then,” Hermione exclaimed, trying to picture what sort of technology Mr Stark must have access to that would impress Ginny like that.

“Oh yeah,” Ginny grinned back. “Mr Stark said he could show you any book ever written, like having your own personal library ready to answer you whenever you want.” She laughed as Hermione’s eyes lit up at that information. “I told him you’d love that.”

“Merlin, that’d make homework and research so much easier!” Hermione breathed out in awe.

“He won’t have magic books though right? Just muggle books?” Ginny asked thoughtfully. “I mean, he’s not said anything about magic or shown that he knows anything, he’s just a muggle right?”

“I think so,” Hermione nodded in agreement. She was pretty sure he was anyway, if someone like Tony Stark had been a wizard, then she definitely would have seen it in the Hogwarts library somewhere by now.

“So it’d just be muggle books then,” Ginny said as she sat down and got comfortable in the chair next to the hospital bed.

“Probably,” Hermione said, idly wondering if there was any way she could get all her magical books into Mr Stark’s computer system and how much easier it would make things. “Did… did he mention anything about America?” She asked quietly.

“Nope,” Ginny shook her head. “I think he’s just trying to deal with everything today first, he’s got the same look Harry does when he can’t even think about tomorrow yet, let alone anything else.” She said with a small laugh. “How are you dealing with all of this?” She asked quietly, not wanting to upset her friend any further.

“Honestly?” Hermione asked before shaking her head. “My brain kind of shut down when he said he was my dad.” She explained. “Everything after that, it’s a bit of a blur really.” She admitted. “My dad is… was…” She forced out the correction, swallowing a lump in her throat before continuing. “I loved him, and now I find out he wasn’t my real dad at all? I don’t know how to handle that.” She admitted quietly.

“He was your dad,” Ginny whispered, leaning down and hugging her friend loosely. “I don’t know what I’d do without my mum and dad.” She said softly. “I don’t… I mean… Mr Stark isn’t going to replace them, they’ll always be your mum and dad right?” She said, fumbling over the words and trying not to sound stupid. “But if he’s your real dad, don’t you want to get to know him at least?” She explained her thoughts.

Hermione simply nodded at that, sniffling quietly as she leant into Ginny’s hug. “I just miss them, so much!” She cried, letting her head roll to the side onto Ginny’s shoulder.


Molly Weasley strode down the hospital corridor towards the waiting room where she knew her husband was, intent on giving him a piece of her mind for arranging for her daughter to stay in the house of a stranger for the summer, it wasn’t until she was right outside the door of the waiting room and took a deep breath, intent on starting the ‘conversation’ as soon as she walked in, that she cocked her head to the side and listened to what Arthur was saying inside the room.

“Oh no!” Arthur laughed. “Molly told me she was pregnant with our first at breakfast. She’d just handed me a plate of eggs as well.” He laughed as he told the story. “I tried to sit down, missed the chair entirely and ended up with the plate of eggs all over me.” He explained with a loud laugh that was soon joined by another.

“I was the same,” The other voice replied, which Molly was guessing was Mr Stark. “JARVIS told me Hermione was my daughter, my brain just shut down completely.” He explained with a laugh. “Next thing I know I’m on the floor wondering what hit me.”

“It’s a changing moment in your life,” Arthur laughed happily. “So you came to England as soon as you found out?”

“Told JARVIS to get the jet ready, I was on it less than an hour later.” Tony’s voice replied. “I… I’m just worried I’m going to screw this all up.” The voice continued in a much more subdued tone.

“We all worry about that,” Arthur’s voice replied in a consoling tone. “The first few weeks with William, I was afraid to even hold him. Molly had to force him into my arms, and I wouldn’t even move while he was there.” He explained, drawing a smile from Molly as she remembered the time when William had been born.

“I can’t even imagine that,” Tony’s voice came back with a touch of awe in it. “I… I’ve just missed so much, I didn’t even know about her! What sort of father am I when I didn’t even know I had a daughter?” He practically demanded.

“The father that came for her when she needed you.” Arthur said wisely, making Molly smile proudly at his reply. “I can’t say I know what happened or why you didn’t know about the girl,” Arthur continued. “But the fact that you are here when she needs you speaks more about you now than the times you didn’t know you had her.”

“I’m… I just don’t know what I’m doing,” Tony’s voice admitted. “I’m not used to this, feeling confused.” He clarified. “I’m second guessing everything I say, that’s not like me. I’m like a missile, I know what I want to do, and I do it. But now, my brain is rushing off in a dozen other places at the same time thinking if I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing.”

“We all say the wrong thing now and again,” Arthur laughed back. “I dare say Molly has smacked me time and again for saying something stupid in front of the children.” He explained, making Molly smirk as she remembered only a few weeks ago slapping his arm for talking about that enchanted car again in front of the twins. “Do you have someone like that?” He asked before quickly continuing. “Sorry, I don’t mean to pry.”

“No, I mean, ask anything you want.” Tony’s voice came back. “Someone, yes, maybe?” Tony answered hesitantly. “Pepper, she’s… It’s still pretty new, we’re still sort of working it out.” He explained.

“Ah,” Arthur nodded. “And does she know about Hermione?”

“Told her earlier,” Tony admitted. “She’s flying over when she can get away from meetings.” He explained. “She’ll fit right in here.” He said with a laugh.

“Oh?” Arthur questioned. “Slightly mad then?” He asked with a chuckle.

“Redhead,” Tony laughed, causing Arthur to laugh loudly alongside him. “I’m sure you’ll meet her, we’ll have to have you all over some time for drinks.”

“Or a meal,” Arthur replied easily. “Molly loves cooking, I’m sure she’d love to have you, Hermione and Pepper over for a meal.”

Molly smiled at that thought, her earlier ire forgotten as she listened to Mr Stark’s insecurities and stories, it was obvious he and Arthur had bonded over stories of fatherhood, making him seem far more approachable and human than the distant unknown that had just walked into Hermione’s life.

Still smiling at the thought of having an even larger family to cook for, Molly stepped forward and pushed open the door to the waiting room, watching as Arthur and Tony both turned to look at her.

“Hello dear,” Arthur smiled, standing up quickly. “Did Ginny ask you…”

“Ask?” Molly frowned, turning to Arthur. “Oh that girl,” Molly muttered, shaking her head. “No, she told me you’d made a plan, not that she was asking me.”

“Oh no, I know better than that,” Arthur chuckled as Molly swiped at his arm playfully.

“I should go,” Tony said as he stood up, feeling a bit awkward. “This is… you know, family stuff.” He said, gesturing between the two of them.

“Nonsense,” Molly said firmly. “Sit down and we’ll talk about this plan of yours.” She said, nodding and leading Arthur back to his seat. “I must admit Mr Stark…”

“Tony, please.” Tony interrupted.

“Tony then,” Molly nodded with a hesitant smile. “I am a bit cautious about letting my daughter stay with someone I hardly know, even for Hermione’s sake.”

“I get that,” Tony said, holding up his hands. “Really, I’m just trying to think of what’s best for Hermione here.” He explained. “I know what she’s going through, I never got to say goodbye to my parents either.” He continued when Molly and Arthur looked at him. “They both died in a car accident when I was twenty-one.” He explained. “So, yeah, I know what she’s going through. After they died, I basically shut down, shut everyone out. Started drinking, I was stupid, and I don’t want to see Hermione go through the same.” He admitted.

“Oh you poor thing,” Molly whispered, trying to imagine what it must have been like for the young man to have lost his parents like that.

“Look, all I’m saying is that if I’d had friends back then, maybe I wouldn’t have taken a nose dive like that.” Tony explained. “I can’t say I was close to my father, he was a cold calculating… but we’re not talking about him.” Tony said, waving the thought away and realising that his father hadn’t actually been like that, especially after seeing the footage Fury had brought for him a few months ago. “I just want to try to be a better dad than my dad ever was to me.” He explained.

“All we can ever do is hope our children do better than us,” Arthur smiled reassuringly across the room at Tony. “I’m sure your father would be proud of you.”

“I’d hope so,” Tony admitted aloud for the first time, not really knowing if his dad would be proud of him for dismantling the war factory his company had become or not. “But this isn’t about me,” Tony said, trying to get the conversation back on track. “Hermione is going to need her friends to get through this. Me and Pepper, we’re new. We’ll be there for her and I can talk to her about what happened, but she’s not going to open up to us like she would to Ginny, not for a while at least.” He said, hoping that one day maybe Hermione would be able to talk to him like that.

“Well, yes, obviously I can’t argue with that.” Molly admitted. “The girl will need her friends obviously.”

“I’ve got the space, the resources to get whatever she needs to recover,” Tony explained. “I just… I want her to feel comfortable while she recovers and adjusts, with all of this, her parents, me, happening all at once, I’m surprised she’s doing as well as she is.” He admitted.

“She’s a strong girl, I think she’ll surprise you.” Molly said with a small smile. “But I do agree, things would be better for Hermione with Ginny there for her, especially through the nights.”

“See, that’s what I was thinking.” Tony admitted. “And she can be there for her when I say something stupid, which will probably be a lot of the time if I’m honest.” He said with a wry chuckle.

Molly smiled at that, seeing the insecurity for what it was. “And your partner?”

“Partner, yes, that’s the word I was looking for.” Tony clicked his fingers happily. “Pepper, she’ll tell me when I’m being an idiot, she always does.” He said with a laugh.

“A redhead as well, are you sure she’s not one of ours?” Arthur laughed along.

“Not unless this is a bad daytime tv show somewhere or a really messed up dream,” Tony chuckled. “But yeah, Pepper will be there as well. She can help with the girls’ shopping or… you know, girl stuff.” He said with a shrug. “Not that I’ve even got a clue where to start with all of that.”

“Perhaps,” Molly started, holding up a finger. “Perhaps Ginny could stay with Hermione.” She continued sternly. “Providing we’re comfortable with the arrangements and can keep in touch with the girls.”

“Of course,” Tony nodded emphatically. “I was already going to sort out a phone for Arthur to use, so he could call any time to talk to them, or they can call him, or I can when I’m panicking.” He finished with a chuckle. “Arthur said he works in the city as well? Right? So he can pop in every day to check on them and see how they’re doing.”

“Well, yes, I supposed so.” Molly nodded at that, a bit mollified that Mr Stark was willing to have Arthur check up on them every day.

“Really, I’ll have JARVIS know to let you both in any time you want, you don’t even have to call first.” Tony continued on.

“And where exactly is your house?” Molly queried. “If Ginny is going to be staying with Hermione, obviously I’d like to know exactly where the girls are.”

“Sorry, stupid.” Tony muttered, shaking his head at that. “Stark Offices?” He asked, looking between the blank stares he got from Arthur and Molly. “Right,” He said, pulling out his phone. “JARVIS, what’s the address of the London offices?”

“The Stark Offices are located at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf,” JARVIS announced from the phone.

“Oh, of course.” Arthur whispered, shaking his head and still staring in astonishment at the glass muggle phone Tony was talking to. “The large building with your name on it.” He said with a chuckle.

“The top three floors are all private residence,” Tony explained. “For when me or Pepper are in the city. I haven’t been there in years though, but it’s all set up and ready.”

“I see,” Molly frowned. “And where do you normally live then?”

“Me?” Tony asked. “Malibu, I was thinking about relocating to New York, I’ve got a big project going on there and the new offices will have the same apartment areas the London building has, I just haven’t put much thought into it lately.”

“Well,” Molly mused thoughtfully before continuing. “Arthur, why don’t you go with Mr Stark…”

“Tony,” Tony interrupted before letting Molly continue.

“To see the place Hermione will be staying.” Molly continued, fixing Arthur with a look so he knew what she meant. “If you think it’s suitable, then we can see what Ginny thinks about short stays with Hermione then coming home at the weekends.” She offered firmly.

“That works,” Tony nodded. “I can drive Hermione and Ginny down to you, it’ll probably do her good to have some fresh air and get out of the city every week. If you don’t mind her staying with you at the weekend of course?”

“Of course not,” Molly said quickly, a bit surprised at the question.

“I just… I want what’s best for her,” Tony said in a fluster. “I know my lifestyle might not be right for her right now, so I’m trying to think of any way I can to make things easier for her.”

“I can see that you’re doing everything you can dear,” Molly said with a small smile. “You’re doing just fine.” She nodded in satisfaction, inwardly giving Mr Stark more marks for putting Hermione before himself. “Oh, Ginny does have a pet owl, I don’t suppose you’d mind if she brought it along as well if Arthur thinks it’s suitable?”

“An owl?” Tony asked before blinking a few times in shock, missing how Molly squeezed Arthur’s knee to stop him saying anything. “Uh, sure.” He said, trying to imagine what sort of people kept owls as pets. “You mean a flying one right? The birds?” He double checked.

“Of course,” Molly laughed at Tony’s confusion.

“Ok, just checking.” Tony nodded before shaking his head in amusement. “Ok, yeah, that can work. There’s the roof garden where she can let the guy out for a bit to fly around, I don’t know if it’s safe in the city for owls to fly around though.”

“Oh it’s perfectly safe,” Molly said quickly. “Lots of people in the city have them.”

“Oh, ok then.” Tony shrugged, wondering if owl pets were just another British thing he’d completely missed before and hadn’t thought about. “Yeah, that’s fine.” He shrugged, accepting it. Having a feathered pet along really wasn’t that much of a hassle if it meant Hermione got her friend to stay with her.

“Wonderful,” Molly smiled. “Why don’t you go and tell the girls the news then? And I’ll talk with my husband about things.” She said with a smile.

“Right, gotcha.” Tony smiled, getting the subtle hint. “I’ll be… you know…” He said, gesturing to the door as he walked.

“With your daughter,” Molly said with a laugh. “You should tell her you know, about your parents. It might help.”

“Yes! That,” Tony chuckled, nodding at Molly’s advice. “Again, thanks so much for this, really.” He said fervently. “If there’s ever anything I can do for any of you, name it.” He said, really meaning it.

“Of course, dear,” Molly smiled. “Now, go and talk with your daughter.” She said, pointing to the door.

“Right, daughter.” Tony nodded before heading to the door and leaving Arthur and Molly alone to talk.


“Mr Stark?”

Tony paused in the corridor as he heard his name being called, spinning around he saw the doctor from earlier heading towards him with some papers in his hand. “Oh, hey.” He said with a smile.

“Here are my recommendations for Miss Granger’s requirements,” The doctor explained passing him the papers. “I’ve also added a list of private nurses who will be able to attend twice or three times a day to check on her medication and help with limited exercise to keep the blood flowing and help with the healing process.”

“Sounds good,” Tony nodded as he flicked his eyes over the lists, nothing stood out that should be any problem for him to get hold of. “I can have this ready by tomorrow.” He said, his voice full of surety in his resources.

“You mean to have Miss Granger moved to private care tomorrow then?” The doctor asked.

“That’s the plan, I’m just going to talk with her now about it.” Tony explained.

“Very well, I’ll have the final x-rays done tonight and ready for discharge tomorrow lunch time then if that is suitable?” The doctor asked, making a note of Mr Stark’s plan.

“I’ll be here.” Tony nodded, bringing his phone out of his pocket as the doctor started walking away. “JARVIS, reach out to the London office, I’ll need one of the limousines and a driver tomorrow morning, and a wheelchair ready at the office.” He announced.

“Of course, sir.” JARVIS responded automatically.

Tony smiled at that, strictly a limousine wasn’t really needed, he probably could have found a reasonably sized car well enough to fit the two girls in and made sure they had enough room to be comfortable as well. “Oh doc, sorry.” Tony shouted, jogging quickly to catch up with the doctor. “Hermione wanted me to ask if she could have her clothes and things back? I don’t know what she had on her when… well, it happened.”

“Of course, I’ll have them ready for tomorrow for you.” The doctor nodded with a soft smile.

“Thanks, that’ll be a load off her mind.” Tony smiled back before heading back towards Hermione’s room and knocking on the door before pushing it open and peeking inside cautiously. “Safe to enter?” He asked jokingly, not wanting to intrude on anything private the two girls were talking about.

“Hi Mr Stark,” Ginny smiled up from where she was sitting on the edge of the bed and talking with Hermione.

“Owch,” Tony mimed clutching his heart. “I feel old already.” He chuckled as he walked into the room. “Everything ok?” He asked, closing the door quietly behind him.

“We’re just talking,” Ginny smiled, looking at Hermione who seemed to be staying quiet and looking quite nervous. “Did you talk with mum and dad?”

“I did,” Tony nodded as he walked over, pulling over the chair and sniffing at the now cold put of coffee with disdain. “If it’s alright with you and Hermione, you can come and stay with her while she’s recovering.” He said with a smile.

“You… you’d do that?” Hermione asked nervously, speaking up from her bed.

“Of course,” Tony said firmly. “Arthur said he’d be popping in every day as well from work to check on you both as well, and I’ll drive you down to… Otter something or other,” He frowned, trying to remember the name of the town or city he’d been told the redheaded family lived at.

“Ottery St Catchpole,” Ginny filled in for him with a laugh.

“That one,” Tony nodded, clicking his fingers and pointing at Ginny. “So, it’ll be in the city during the week, weekends at Ottery, if that’s ok with you both?” He asked hesitantly, looking between the two girls. He could see the smile on Ginny’s face looking like she was eager for a new adventure, but the apprehension on Hermione’s face made him pause. “Ginny, can I talk to Hermione for a bit?” He asked softly.

“Oh?” Ginny frowned, looking between the two of them. “Oh, oh!” She said, catching on. “Right, I’ll just… I’ll go and chat to mum and dad about getting things ready!” She said, sliding off the side of the bed. “You ok ‘Mione?” She asked quietly, leaning in for a last hug.

“Yeah, go on,” Hermione tried to smile reassuringly but the nervous tension showed on her face.

“Ok, back soon.” Ginny smiled, squeezing Hermione’s hand before moving out of the room, giving them one last look before letting the door close on them.

“Sorry,” Tony said automatically. “I should have asked you first before planning anything.” He admitted, slumping down in the chair a bit. “I’m terrible at this.”

“You… you really don’t mind Ginny coming?” Hermione asked quietly, still trying to get used to the idea that she would be living with him soon.

“I thought it would be best,” Tony admitted, running his hand through his hair sheepishly. “I talked to her parents about it and they seemed ok with it. I was going to take her dad back later on and show him around, see how he felt about it.” He explained.

“Oh,” Hermione frowned, knowing Mr Weasley meant well, but the idea of him visiting a muggle building was both amusing and slightly worrying.

“How are you doing?” Tony asked, trying to get comfortable in the chair and feeling anything but. “Just realising, this is the first time we’ve really talked, just us.”

“Yeah,” Hermione nodded, wincing a bit but the pain was duller now thankfully. “I’m… I don’t know.” She answered honestly. “Is empty a good answer?”

“Any answer is good if it’s true,” Tony said with a shrug. “Empty is good, honest. I didn’t tell you before, I lost my parents when I was younger as well. Probably about a year or so before I met your mom actually.” He admitted.

“When… when does it stop hurting?” Hermione asked, tears starting to fill her eyes again.

“It doesn’t,” Tony admitted honestly. “I won’t say you get over it or it gets easier, or any of that greeting card nonsense, it doesn’t, you won’t.” Tony said softly. “You learn to deal with it, to push through it, to live on because it’s what they would want you to do.”

“Is that… is that what you did?” Hermione asked, rubbing her face against the side of the pillow to wipe some of the tears away.

“Me? No,” Tony laughed quietly. “You want the truth or a nice story?” He asked with a small smirk. “Figured I’d ask since we’re on an honesty thing here and it seems to be working pretty well so far.” He said when he saw the look she gave him.

“Truth?” Hermione nodded with a small smile.

“I drank,” Tony said solemnly. “A lot, for a long time.” He admitted. “Didn’t crawl out of that hole until I’d hit rock bottom.” He said quietly. “I hid myself away, from friends, everyone. Crawled into a bottle and locked the door behind me.”

“Why?” Hermione asked, trying to understand why he’d do something like that.

“It numbed everything,” Tony answered. “Made things easier. It was easy to fall over, do something stupid, then forget about it all with a mind-numbing headache in the morning. Rinse and repeat.” He explained honestly. “I didn’t want the ‘im so sorry’ platitudes or ‘im there for you’ speeches from everyone, I got sick of hearing them whisper about me and saying how sorry they felt for me.” He said, hoping Hermione wouldn’t put two and two together and realise how drunk he’d actually been when he’d slept with her mother.

“How long?” Hermione asked, surprised at how honest Tony was being with her, her mum and dad talked with her before, but always sanatised and clean versions of the truth, she knew they were just trying to make things easier for her to understand, but hearing the cold unvarnished truth for once was actually really nice.

“Too long, didn’t crawl out until Rhodey, old friend from MIT, dragged me to a clinic to get myself clean.” He said with a smile. “Without him, I don’t know what I’d have done.” He said quietly. “That’s why I wanted Ginny there for you, you’ll need her.”

Hermione simply nodded at that, blinking in the silence for a while and trying to keep away the tears.

“I figure you’ve got a lot of questions for me, probably a few that’ll be embarrassing or awkward, but you’ve got the right to them.” Tony explained. “I won’t say there aren’t things I won’t answer, but if you want to know anything, you can always ask.”

“When did you meet my mum?” Hermione asked after a long pause.

“Christmas party, ninety-five.” Tony answered easily.

“You said she was working for you?” Hermione asked curiously, eager to hear a bit more about what her mum must have been like when she was younger.

“Not directly,” Tony explained. “She worked in the London offices, she was a secretary I think, I’d have to check though, JARVIS will have her employment records somewhere.”

“Who’s Jarvis?” Hermione asked quickly, catching onto the name Ginny had mentioned before.

“Computer system I designed.” Tony explained, giving her the simple explanation he’d given to the other girl before. “He helps run the business, keep me on time, manages my schedule, does more for me than anyone else except Pepper really.”

“Pepper?” Hermione latched onto another name, turning it into a question.

“Um, awkward question.” Tony explained. “If I say partner, it kinda explains it, but not everything. She was my CEO, that’s me now again by the way, but she’s a lot more than that.” He said nervously, wondering if he should say that she was flying over as well to see them, or if that would just be a bit too much at the moment.

“Ok,” Hermione whispered, absorbing that for the moment. “You really want me to come and stay with you?” She asked seriously.

“Of course.” Tony said firmly. “Look…” He breathed out, ruffling his hair as he tried to get his thoughts together. “I didn’t know about you growing up, honestly, from what I’ve seen of you, your mum and dad did a much better job with you than I could ever have done.” He admitted honestly. “I was a wreck, and I’d never even thought about kids before,” He said with a laugh to try and make Hermione smile. “But I’m trying to do the right thing, and now I know about you, I’d like to be part of your life, if that’s ok?” He asked softly.

Hermione nodded, blinking away some more tears as she looked over at Tony and seeing that he really meant every word of it. “I… I’d like that Mr Stark.”

“Owch!” Tony smirked, covering his heart with his hand again. “You make me feel older every time you say that, you know?” He said with a small smile. “It’s Tony.” For now, he added privately in his head, not even sure if he’d ever be ready for the teenage girl to call him dad either. “I haven’t got the right to ask you to call me anything else, so I won’t. It’d be awkward for you and confusing for me.” He explained with a chuckle.

“Tony,” Hermione said through a small smile.

“There we go,” Tony said, returning the smile before looking at the clock on the wall. “Reckon I’ve got about twenty minutes before they kick me out of here to take you down for some more x-rays.” He said with a chuckle. “Got any more questions?” He said, relaxing a bit now with the girl.

“Um…” Hermione paused, staring at Tony.

“Go on, if it’s something private I’ll tell you.” He said.

“What’s that?” Hermione asked, using her free hand to try to point to his chest where she could make out a blue glow coming from underneath his Black Sabbath t-shirt.

“This?” Tony asked, tapping the arc reactor in his chest. “Simple explanation or long story?”

“Twenty minutes long?” Hermione asked hopefully.

“I can probably cut some stuff out,” Tony said with a laugh as he settled down and started to tell his daughter the story of how he’d been injured and created the arc reactor technology before being rescued, and happily Hermione followed the story eagerly all the way until the doctors came to ask Tony to leave so they could run the last x-rays on Hermione’s arm and let then talk to her about a regime to help her recover.

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


Tony woke up the next morning feeling surprisingly good about things, he’d managed to have quite a long talk with Hermione before leaving the hospital, something which he thought had actually taken her mind of things for a time, she was definitely smart, quick as a whip as well he’d bet when she wasn’t on a dose of painkillers, and with a questioning mind that wanted to know everything she could.

Then had the most amusing car ride he’d ever been in when he drove back to the city with Arthur to show him around the apartment above the Stark offices. He was pretty certain he hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time, he was also certain that the Weasley family were either technophobic or some sort of British Amish hybrids. The way Arthur’s face lit up at the simplest little thing had had him laughing, and his amazement at the computers and technology around the apartment had been a picture he’d never forget.

He’d spent the rest of the night organising time for interviewing the nurses tomorrow once the girls were settled in, and acquiring the rest of the equipment the doctors had recommended for Hermione’s recovery, he was no medical expert so he’d just had JARVIS hunt down everything on the list to have shipped to the apartment for the nurses to figure out what to do with.

Sleep had been pretty fitful though, waking up several times through the night with ideas to make Hermione’s room easier to access, one time actually pulling out one of the modular walls that separated two rooms and wheeling two of the double beds around, rearranging the two rooms completely so it was one larger room for the two girls.

“Good morning sir,” JARVIS announced through the speakers in the bedroom as he got out of bed. “The time is ten fourteen, the temperature is a mild sixty-one degrees, with rain expected late this afternoon.”

“England,” Tony shook his head in bemusement, wondering why anyone would actually chose to live in a climate where it rained in July.

“Yes sir,” JARVIS replied dryly. “Miss Potts will arrive in London shortly after one this afternoon. Shall I direct her to the offices?”

“Yeah,” Tony nodded as he walked out of the bedroom, grabbing some jeans and a clean t-shirt from the wardrobe as he walked. “I’ll be picking the girls up about mid-day, so we might make it back before she does.” He mused thoughtfully.

“Of course,” JARVIS’ voice came back. “The contents of your Malibu workshop have been packaged for shipping. They are due to leave Malibu at nine fourteen am pacific time.”

“Sounds good,” Tony said as he walked into the kitchen, opening cupboards randomly and checking through to make sure everything was stocked up before flicking the coffee percolator on. He looked around the apartment, it was definitely similar to the blueprints he’d approved for the New York Stark Tower building, with six bedrooms on this level, then stairs up to a larger more open plan level above for parties and general gatherings, then above that was private access to the roof gardens along with modified access to the Iron Man systems that he’d had installed in all the Stark buildings in case of emergencies.

“The limousine is ready in the parking lot when you are sir, I will notify the driver when you are on your way down.” JARVIS announced as Tony poured himself a mug of steaming coffee, savouring the aroma before taking a sip.

“What’s the travel time?” He asked as he wandered out of the kitchen and around into the main living area, putting the coffee down on the mantle by a large window overlooking the city before pulling his t-shirt and jeans on.

“In the limousine, approximately eighty-five minutes.” JARVIS responded.

“Noted,” Tony nodded, calculating the time he needed to leave in his head. “Anything else?” He asked, taking a mouthful of the coffee.

“No sir, I have cleared your schedule for the next two weeks as per Miss Potts instructions, emergency contact only protocols.” JARVIS explained.

“Good thought,” Tony smiled at that. “Ok, shower, then hospital.” He said to himself, speaking aloud to plan out his day as he headed back to the main bedroom to enjoy the large shower in the en-suite bathroom there.

It was nearly eleven by the time Tony had the car pull around from the underground parking garage, after a quick impromptu shopping trip out into London to grab Hermione a cuddly toy on Pepper’s advice, a rather large white stuffed bear that was currently sat in the back seats with him, and a pay as you go cell phone for Arthur to use, if he could work out how to use it that was, he was soon on his way out of London and down to the hospital.


The Burrow

“Now, you’re quite sure about this dear?” Molly asked for the fifth or sixth time this morning as Ginny packed some last-minute bits away.

Molly had explained that she’d told Mr Stark that Ginny had a pet owl that she’d like to bring with her, and Ron had been more than happy to let Ginny take care of ‘Pig’ for a few weeks, giving him a break from the hyperactive attention seeking bird that Sirius had sent him, which would give Ginny and Hermione a way to keep in contact with everyone without arising suspicion.

So Pig, along with various other bits and pieces were packed up, a few shrinking charms had given them more space, but Ginny had passed along the message from Hermione that Mr Stark would expect there to be baggage coming with them, so not to shrink things down too much.

“Yes mum!” Ginny sighed as she forced some extra t-shirts and jeans into the old rucksack she was using, packing some extra for Hermione to wear when she got better. “Dad even said Mr Stark’s house was amazing.”

“Your father was too busy concentrating on all the muggle toys to take notice of the important things.” Molly said, rolling his eyes as she remembered the report Arthur had given her on Mr Stark’s building.

“I’ll be fine,” Ginny promised her mother. “I’ll have my wand, and you know how fast I can be with it if we need it.” She explained.

“I know dear,” Molly said with a soft smile. “It’s just… you’re going to be around muggles all the time, well, aside from Hermione of course.”

“Did you owl Professor McGonagall?” Ginny asked quickly.

“Yes dear, last night while you were writing to Harry. I explained everything to her, hopefully she’ll write back today and we can work this all out.” Molly explained patiently.

“All set?” Arthur asked happily, walking into the living room to see what Molly and Ginny were talking about.

“Nearly,” Ginny nodded, fastening the rucksack together and smiling at where Crookshanks was now lazing happily on the window ledge, having been fed well last night after Arthur managed to wrestle the kneasle-cat home with him from Hermione’s parents house.

“Now, you know what to do if there’s trouble?” Molly asked, fixing Ginny with a stare that told her she’d better have the right answer.

“Stun Mr Stark, get Hermione out and head to The Ministry and find dad.” Ginny repeated the instructions that had practically been drilled into her.

“Good,” Molly nodded, satisfied that Ginny was taking this seriously. “And keep your wand on you at all times.”

“This is a responsibility Ginny,” Arthur said gravely. “I had to call in a favour to have myself added to the list of authority figures that can authorise underage magic. I expect you do use your common sense to know if the need is great enough.”

“I know dad,” Ginny nodded proudly, knowing how much trust this meant her father was putting in her.

“It took a lot to get your name added to the list for the week Ginny, only three spells, that’s it.” Arthur said firmly. “And only in self defence if you need to.”

“She’s got it Arthur,” Molly interrupted, pushing past to pack some extra underwear into the second bag before Ginny closed it up.

“All well then,” Arthur beamed, clapping his hands together. “Now remember, until Professor McGonagall speaks to Mr Stark, the Statute is still in place. No school books or anything like that in those bags of yours that could be caught out with?”

“Nope, everything muggle friendly.” Ginny said, shaking her head and swishing her hair around. “Just like Hermione said.”

“Well, we should make a move then.” Arthur smiled, reaching down to grab Ginny’s backpack in one hand while Molly grabbed another packed bag, leaving Ginny to hold Pig’s cage. “Ready dear?” He asked, waiting for her to nod before resting his other hand on her shoulder and apparating away with Molly following shortly behind him.


Princess Royal University Hospital

It had taken a bit longer than JARVIS had estimated for the limousine to make its way through London and then out onto the motorway, but after nearly an hour and a half’s time they’d managed to make it to the hospital where Tony instructed the driver turn around the car and park up close to the main entrance.

He got out and smiled, after last nights talk he was actually feeling a lot better about things with Hermione, sure, there was a very long way to go and he was still struggling with the ‘Tony Stark – Dad’ aspect of it, but she was a smart kid, definitely a Stark, and someone he could actually relate to.

Shutting the limousine door behind him and leaving the giant stuffed bear in the seats for now, he headed into the hospital itself, walking past the reception area comfortably and heading to the elevator to head up to the floor Hermione was on.

He was actually bouncing a bit, excited, nervous, he hadn’t felt like this in ages. It was like a whole new chapter on his life was beginning, it was scary as hell, but felt right at the same time. He’d never been in a serious relationship long enough to have the kids talk, and if he was honest with himself, he couldn’t ever picture himself like that, but having Hermione thrust into his life, with no options but to deal with the fact, had given him a strange outlook on it.

He shook his thoughts away as the elevator pinged to let him out, walking down the corridor and waving his way past the main doors onto the ward where the doctor there nodded, obviously recognising him or expecting him.

He peered in the waiting room as he walked by, checking to see if Arthur was here yet, but it was empty. “Probably in with Hermione.” He reasoned out loud as he continued walking, turning down the other corridor to head to Hermione’s room and smiling when he saw the door to the room propped open, with Hermione already dressed and sat in a wheelchair, with Arthur’s wife fussing over a wheelchair while Ginny was talking excitedly with Hermione.

He smiled when he saw Hermione notice him, but slowed down his walking a bit so he could actually take stock of her properly now that she was out of bed. She was dressed obviously in clothes that could fit over the casts without aggravating them, so he figured the clothes were a size or two too big at the moment, with a baggy t-shirt and pink hoodie covering her top, while a brown skirt covered the cast on her left thigh and hung down around her ankles. Her brown hair looked a bit more tamed than yesterday, but still wild and bushy, it was a pretty endearing trait Tony mused to himself, but he was sure Pepper would know how to help the girl get it under control.

“Hey kids,” Tony smiled, waving as he walked into the room comfortably. “Arthur not around?” He asked, looking from Hermione and Ginny up to her mother.

“Waiting outside,” Molly explained. “He’s got the bags and Ginny’s owl, thought it was best if just us women helped Hermione this morning.”

“Good plan,” Tony nodded thoughtfully.

“Mr Stark?”

Tony turned around as he heard his name, catching the doctor from yesterday as he walked into the room. “Hey doc,” He smiled easily.

“I have Miss Granger’s belongings,” The doctor explained, holding out a sealed bag for Tony to take. “I’m afraid the clothes weren’t kept.” He said quietly.

“Ok,” Tony nodded. “Hey, got your… um, stuff?” Tony asked hesitantly, walking over and holding out the small bag of items for Hermione to take.

“Thank you Mr… Tony,” Hermione amended when Tony reached for his heart again.

“Better,” Tony laughed before turning back to the doctor. “She ready to go?” He asked.

“Is everything prepared?” The doctor replied.

“Yup, got nurses coming around at four, five and six for interviews, see how they get on.” Tony explained. “Everything else is all set.” He said with a nod.

“Then I see no reason to keep Miss Granger here,” The doctor smiled. “Here’s her prescription for codeine, I’d recommend she only use them when necessary.” He explained, handing a small piece of paper to Tony.

“I’ll have someone pick them up this afternoon,” Tony nodded, pocketing the paper for now.

“Take her back to an emergency room if there are any problems,” The doctor said firmly. “I’m optimistic for her recovery now, but she suffered serious injuries in the crash, and will need checking in on regularly.”

“Check,” Tony nodded. “Got the little redhead coming with her as well to help out.” Tony said with a smile, winking at Ginny as he turned around to show he was only kidding.

“Very well, I have some final release papers for you to sign, but other than that Miss Granger is free to be taken home.” The doctor said with a small smile.

“Great,” Tony smiled enthusiastically. “Do you three want to start heading down? I’ll meet you there once I’ve signed this stuff?” He asked, looking back to Hermione, Ginny and Mrs Weasley.

“Of course,” Molly smiled easily, moving to behind Hermione’s wheelchair and grasping the handles. “Ready dear?” She asked, making sure Hermione had got everything.

“Right, lets do this.” Tony said, clapping his hands together before indicating for the doctor to show him to where the paperwork was waiting.


 

“Oh Merlin!” Hermione whispered as Molly wheeled her through the front doors, the large limousine immediately catching her eye as it was the nearest, and by far the largest car waiting outside.

“Is that…” Ginny whispered, her eyes going wide at the huge car. She’d seen Ministry cars before for shuttling around important people, but they were nothing like the enormous car that was apparently waiting for them.

“I told you he was supposed to be rich right?” Hermione asked nervously.

“Good lord this is amazing!”

“Arthur, get away from there!” Molly hissed out as she saw Arthur walking around the limousine, an eager and amazed look on his face as he admired the luxurious vehicle.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Hermione whispered nervously, looking up at Ginny as Molly headed off to drag her husband away from the car.

“Dad said it was fine,” Ginny said reassuringly. “I think he really likes Mr Stark.” She said with a laugh.

“Of course he does,” Hermione rolled her eyes, knowing that Mr Weasley’s infamous love of all things muggle would obviously have given Mr Stark a glowing report in his eyes.

“Come on, you don’t think mum and dad would let you go if they thought there was anything wrong do you?” Ginny said, kneeling down next to the wheelchair so she could talk to Hermione easier.

“I guess,” Hermione nodded, knowing how fiercely protective over Ginny her mother was.

“Dad wants to know everything as well, wanted me to take notes every day.” Ginny laughed. “Think he was more upset that I couldn’t take a camera with me than anything else.” She said with a smirk.

“Why doesn’t that surprise me,” Hermione laughed back.

“Is… is that?” Ginny asked, broaching the subject gently as she looked down at the see-through hospital bag in Hermione’s lap.

“I saw it when Mr Stark gave it to me,” Hermione nodded, touching the bag and feeling her broken wand underneath. “They must have thought it was something important or they wouldn’t have kept it, like a family thing or something.” She whispered.

“You’ll have to get a new one,” Ginny nodded, seeing how the wand was broken clean in two, with dents and chips along both lengths of wood.

“When I can even get to Diagon Alley, that’ll be my first stop.” Hermione promised.

“This is amazing, simply amazing!” Arthur breathed out as Molly dragged him back to the girls, still carrying a bag in one hand, the owl cage in another, with Ginny’s rucksack over his shoulder as well. “I definitely want to hear everything girls, this is a once in a lifetime experience you know.” He said, pointing a finger at Ginny.

“I know dad, notes for you about everything,” Ginny said, rolling her eyes at her dad’s enthusiasm.

“Are we ready?”

Ginny looked around as she heard Mr Stark’s voice coming from behind them, watching him stride out of the hospital comfortably.

“Now, are you sure you’ve got everything dear?” Molly asked, looking down at Ginny.

“Yes mum, and everything else you said.” Ginny said quickly. “You helped pack remember?” She said with a laugh.

“They’ll be fine, really.” Tony said reassuringly. “And thank you, really, I can’t tell you how much it means to me for Hermione to have someone to help her through this.”

“Our pleasure,” Arthur said firmly before Molly could say anything. “Next weekend? Our house?” He asked, putting an arm around his wife’s shoulders, knowing that it was Friday already and the girls would want some time to get settled before dragging them down to Devon away from the city.

“Definitely,” Tony nodded.

“Now, you’re sure you don’t need Ginny to bring any food or anything?” Molly asked hesitantly, not entirely sure of how muggle kitchens worked or how Ginny would get on with everything in a muggle house.

“Really, I’ve got it all covered.” Tony said emphatically. “Food, drink, snacks, everything they could want.” He said with a grin.

“Very well,” Molly nodded. “Now girls, I want you to behave yourselves alright?” She asked, fixing both of them with a look to make sure they both knew what she was really saying. “No playing up for Mr Stark, and let us know immediately if you need anything.”

“Right, yes, forgot!” Tony said quickly, interrupting Molly as he moved past her to the car, opening the back door and reaching in for the phone he’d bought in London. “Here you go.” He said, bringing the boxed phone over and handing it to Arthur. “I charged it up, activated it, put some money on it.” He explained, handing the box over. “It’s got my number in it for now, but I’ll get one set up for Hermione as well so you can call the girls any time you need.”

“Oh, this is fantastic!” Arthur breathed out, accepting the box and looking at it in awe before shaking it gently.

Tony caught a laugh coming from the two girls, looking over to see an amused look on Ginny’s face and an exasperated look on Hermione’s, both looking at Arthur in almost a worried fashion.

“Mr Weasley isn’t…” Hermione tried to explain. “Mrs Weasley, can you take care of that please?”

“Of course, dear,” Molly said, quickly taking the box away from Arthur and ignoring his hurt look.

“Call any time, I’ll pass you over to the girls to chat anytime you need.” Tony said, smiling reassuringly at Mrs Weasley.

“We’ll do just that,” Molly smiled, inwardly knowing she’d have to wait for Ginny to owl once they’d settled in, then owl back asking for instructions how to use the muggle device she’d been given.

“Right, shall we get you settled then?” Tony asked, watching as the driver had already got out of the limousine when Tony had opened the back door, and was now waiting at the rear of the car for them. “Guess the bird is riding with us, everything else ok in the trunk?” He asked, checking with the girls.

“Um, yes?” Ginny answered hesitantly.

“Great,” Tony nodded, indicating for the driver to open the trunk of the limousine where there was normally enough room for several suitcases.

“Sir?” The driver asked, moving to Arthur. “Shall I?” He asked respectfully, holding out his hands for the bags.

“Oh, yes, lead the way.” Arthur smiled, happily following the driver back to the car where he put the two bags in the trunk.

“Do you need any help dear?” Molly asked as she slowly wheeled Hermione towards the large car.

“I might,” Hermione admitted. “I might be ok though?” She asked, more to herself than anyone else as the driver moved around to the side of the car and held it open. “Thanks,” She said, smiling up at him as Ginny helped her up from the wheelchair and manoeuvred her around so she could bend over and slide into the car backwards, easily finding a seat along the other side of the limousine that faced the door before shuffling herself to the side so that other people could get in.

“Do you need these?” Ginny asked, rattling the two crutches that the nurse had given them with the wheelchair, where they were still hanging off the back of it.

“We’ve got those,” Tony said idly. “And a chair, it’s waiting for you already.” He explained.

“Oh, ok.” Ginny shrugged, not entirely sure what they were, but they looked like metal walking sticks with a handle pointing out to hold on to and a hole for the arm to go through. “Pig?” She asked, looking to her dad to hand her the small owl cage that she put in the car next, sliding it onto the floor next to Hermione’s feet.

“That everything?” Tony asked, looking between the two adults left as Ginny climbed into the car to sit next to Hermione.

“Think so,” Arthur smiled, holding out his hand for Tony to shake. “See you Monday?” He asked. “If that’s still alright of course?”

“Always,” Tony nodded back. “I’ll have reception let me know when you get here, I’ll come down and bring you up.” He explained.

“Fantastic,” Arthur beamed. “I shall see you then.”

“Sounds good, I’ll have a lunch ready.” Tony smiled as he finished shaking Arthur’s hand and moved towards the limousine.

Arthur and Molly stepped back as Tony climbed into the car, watching him set along the rear of the car a comfortable distance from the girls before the driver closed the door and then walked around back to the driver’s side.

“They’ll be fine dear,” Arthur smiled, watching as the car slowly pulled away.

“And I’m coming with you on Monday,” Molly said firmly. “Don’t think anything else of it!” She said, fixing Arthur with a glare.

“Of course, dear,” Arthur smiled patiently as they both watched the large car turn around the parking lot then drive out onto the main road.


 

Tony couldn’t help but smile as he watched the two girls looking around the limousine as they drove out onto the main roads, it had been worth the longer journey just to see their eyes light up as they looked around at everything.

“Is that…” Ginny asked, staring at the white bear in the corner of the seated area.

“For Hermione,” Tony laughed as he nodded at the stuffed toy.

“It’s huge!” Hermione whispered in shock as she caught sight of it, unable to see how she’d missed it before while looking at the fancy leather seats, drinking area, and various lights around the car. Truth was, the bear must have been nearly Ginny’s height, easily coming up to her shoulders if she stood up.

“I was told on good authority that cuddly toys are a legal requirement for hospital visits,” Tony said half-jokingly. “That and fruit, but I didn’t have time to find any.” He admitted.

“It’s great!” Ginny grinned, looking at the giant white bear. It was big enough that she was pretty sure she could pull all the stuffing out of it and walk around inside the bear itself.

“You didn’t have to!” Hermione protested quickly.

“Wanted to,” Tony shrugged it off as his phone started ringing. “One second.” He said to the girls as he pulled the phone out of his pocket and answered it, holding it to his ear this time so the girls couldn’t hear was Pepper was saying. “Hey Pep.” He grinned.

“Tony, where are you?” Pepper’s voice came over.

“Just on our way back to the office now,” Tony explained. “You got through early?”

“Finished up earlier than I thought.” Pepper’s voice replied. “How is she?”

“Doing ok, I think.” Tony said with a half-smile. “Want us to swing by and pick you up?”

“I’ve got a car waiting, I’ll meet you there.” Pepper replied as Tony missed the look between the two girls.

“Ok, see you soon.” He said with a smile as Pepper said goodbye before hanging up. “Pepper.” He explained as he caught Hermione looking at him. “She’ll be at the apartment before us.” He explained.

“Oh,” Hermione whispered, not knowing what else to say about that. Tony had told her about Pepper last night and how she was pretty much the only person that kept him stable and organised, the woman had already grown to mythic status in her mind and the idea of meeting her so soon, with the potential for her having a relationship with Tony, her father, was setting off nerves again.

“She’ll love you,” Tony said, seeing the anxious face Hermione made. “And she can stop me from making too much of a fool of myself with you two.” He explained with a grin as he tried to get comfortable on the seat before catching the way Ginny was looking around the car in awe. “First time in a limo?” He asked.

“For both of us,” Hermione answered quickly.

“Mirrored windows,” Tony said, tapping on the glass. “Keeps the cameras from seeing inside.”

“Cameras?” Ginny asked, trying to join in the conversation and hoping she wouldn’t sound too much like an idiot.

“Paparazzi,” Tony shrugged then explained more when Ginny looked confused and looked to Hermione for an explanation. “Newspapers and magazines, they follow me around a lot.” He said.

“Oh,” Ginny understood that. “You’re famous?” She asked, causing Tony to laugh loudly.

“Your dad didn’t see it either,” Tony explained when he saw that Ginny was getting flustered at him laughing at her. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh at you, I don’t get to meet many people who don’t know who I am, it’s kind of fun not to be looked at like that for a while.” He said with a smile.

“He’s really famous,” Hermione explained. “Even when he’s in America the newspapers over here print stories about him.”

“Wow,” Ginny went wide eyed at that. “Sorry.” She said with a blush.

“No, really, I don’t care.” Tony grinned. “I don’t want you or Hermione treating me like that, just carry on like you were.” He said with a laugh. “And don’t tell your dad either, last night was the most fun I’ve had in ages!”

“Oh merlin, what did he do?” Ginny muttered, closing her eyes as she felt more embarrassment over her father.

“Nothing really,” Tony grinned. “It’s just… I guess your dad isn’t around modern technology a lot?”

“Not at all,” Hermione answered for Ginny. “He loves it, but they don’t have any at home.” She explained with what she hoped was a believable story.

“Right,” Tony nodded. “His face at the computers in the office was amazing,” Tony explained. “He kept asking if JARVIS was a ghost, and then wanted to talk about planes and aerodynamics for ages.” He said with a laugh.

“Merlin!” Ginny muttered, rubbing her face that was blushing nearly as red as her hair.

“No, it’s fine, really.” Tony laughed. “He’s got an interest in planes then?” He asked, trying to learn some more about the family that his daughter was so close to.

“He wants to understand them,” Ginny said, nodding her head at the question. “How… how they stay up.” She explained.

“Well, I could take him to the airport one day, show him around. We don’t have an Aviation Division in England though, the nearest is… Germany, I think?” He frowned, trying to remember where the nearest Stark Aerospace factory was. “If we’re ever heading that way, I’ll show him around and maybe take him up in one.”

“Oh he’d love that!” Ginny grinned wildly, trying to imagine what her fathers face would be like actually being on a muggle plane.

“It’d be a dream come true for him,” Hermione said with a laugh.

“He ok?” Tony asked, pointing to the small cage on the limousine floor where the owl had been surprisingly quiet. “Got to admit, when your mom said you had an owl, I kind of pictured something bigger than that.” He said, looking down at the small feathered creature that was smaller than a tennis ball, but seemed happy to just perch against the bars of the cage and look around. It was probably smaller than either of the girls’ hands, with very fluffy feathers, with white and tan colours bleeding through.

“I think he’s just confused at travelling like this,” Ginny explained. “We normally go by train a lot.” She explained, well, train or floo she added in her mind.

“Right,” Tony nodded. “We can get him set up in the garden, I’ll have JARVIS close off the windows so he can fly around up there.”

“Garden?” Hermione asked.

“Right, haven’t told you much about the apartment, have I?” Tony said, frowning at himself. “Ok, I sorted out a room for you both last night, should be ok, but if you want to change anything or need new furniture, just let me, Pepper or JARVIS know, and we’ll sort something out for you.” He explained. “There’s wardrobes, beds, desks, drawers, tv, pretty much everything you should need.” He said with a satisfied nod, reasonably sure that he’d set enough space for the girls, but if not he could always take out the other modular wall and combine the three rooms together for them.

“I thought you said it was above your office?” Hermione asked, trying to picture Mr Stark’s living arrangements.

“It is,” Tony nodded. “Ok, so the top three floors are for me really, well, you as well, and Pepper.” He added quickly. “First there’s a workshop area, play area for me really, lots of engineering and tools in there, I don’t mind you coming in if you want to have a look around, but be careful what you touch, some of it can be a bit twitchy if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.”

“Got it,” Hermione said, making a mental note to give Ginny a rundown of electricity and how dangerous it could be.

“Then there’s living space, bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, lounge, bar, that sort of thing.” Tony continued, explaining the next level up. “That’s pretty much where I’ll be most of the time with you two unless I’m in the workshop.”

“Ok,” Hermione nodded at that, having everything on one level would make things so much easier to get around on crutches than trying to navigate stairs.

“Then there’s stairs up to a formal area,” Tony explained. “Parties, relaxing area, that sort of thing. Pretty open plan.”

“Like a hall,” Hermione reasoned for Ginny to have something to compare it to.

“A corridor?" Tony asked before remembering the language difference and comparing it to a conference room. “Oh, yeah, Normally business functions, private parties, big meetings, haven’t used it much to be honest, but it’s there if I ever need to.” He said with a shrug. “Then above that…”

“You said three floors,” Ginny said, counting them off.

“Right, but the next one isn’t a floor.” Tony grinned over. “Ok, the roof of the building is basically a big garden with this pyramid glass dome over it.” He explained. “Don’t ask me why, it’s Pepper’s project. Something about hydroponics and air recycling, not my area, but she pushed for it.” He said with a smile. “Grass, plants, small trees, that sort of thing.” He shrugged.

“Sounds lovely,” Hermione smiled, trying to picture it. It sounded like the perfect place for a picnic, especially if they were inside with a glass dome overhead to stop the rain coming in.

“It’ll be a good place for you,” Tony nodded thoughtfully. “Somewhere to walk around, get some fresh air, without anyone pushing around in the city.” He explained, also thinking that limiting her movements to the office building would give her time to adjust to things before the story broke to the press, and he could well imagine how crazy things would get after that.

“Like an indoor quidditch pitch!” Ginny said excitedly before realising what she’d said.

“Quidditch?” Tony frowned at the strange word.

“A sport, like cricket?” Hermione said quickly, covering up Ginny’s slip and picking a sport she remembered her dad watching every Sunday afternoon.

“Right, not my thing.” Tony shrugged, he didn’t follow sports, at all, especially weird ones like cricket where you had to know what a crumpet or scone was to have a hope at understanding the rules. “Do you play?” He asked, looking at Hermione and using the opportunity to ask a bit more about her. “Sports, not just… whatever it was.”

“Not really,” Hermione answered, pulling a face at the thought. “I’m happier in a library really.”

“Thank god,” Tony laughed. “I was trying to picture what we’d talk about if you were a sporty person, because I’m not, really not.” He explained when the girls looked at him laughing.

They settled in for the ride, talking about various things for the next hour or so, with Ginny only adding anything when she was certain she could talk about it without slipping up again or asking something stupid, finally realising that living like a muggle for the next few weeks was going to be a lot tougher than she thought.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


The rest of the journey was made pretty comfortably, with conversation between the three of them flowing as Hermione and Ginny got more at ease with Tony being there. “Ok, here we are.” Tony said as the driver pulled the car to a stop and turned off the ignition before making his away around the car to open the main door.

“It might be easier for you to get out first,” Hermione said, looking at Tony. “Then Ginny can give me a hand?” She explained.

“Right, got it.” Tony nodded. “Want me to take the bird?” He offered.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” Hermione said with a small smile.

“Sure,” Tony shrugged as he picked up the owl cage by the ring at the top where it was obviously meant to be hung from something. Then got out of the limousine, making sure he stepped aside enough to make room for Hermione to get out while the driver was collecting their bags from the trunk.

“Here you go,” Ginny offered, standing up first and offering Hermione her arm as she crouched down in the car, angling herself so Hermione could slowly step out of the car but keep her weight on Ginny’s shoulder.

“Be right back,” Tony said quickly as he put the cage down where Ginny and Hermione could see it, moving quickly to the elevator side where he’d asked for the wheelchair to be left, finding it easily and then bringing it over for Ginny to help Hermione into. “You ok?” Tony asked, concerned when he saw a grimace of pain on Hermione’s face.

“Just a twinge in the hip,” Hermione explained.

“I’ll have someone get those painkillers for you once we get upstairs,” Tony said as he picked up the owl cage. “Take those up to the apartment.” He said, nodding to the driver who moved ahead with the two bags from the trunk.

“I could have managed,” Ginny said quickly.

“Didn’t want to crowd everything in the elevator at once,” Tony explained.

“Oh, ok,” Ginny nodded, moving around to the rear of the wheelchair to push Hermione like her mother had done. “No handles?” She asked with a frown.

“Electric,” Tony explained, pointing to the rubber pad on either arm of the chair. “Push your finger forwards for forwards, back, draw the circles whichever way for turns.” He explained. “The more you push your finger, the faster you go, but try and keep it under eighty ok?” He asked with a wink to show he was kidding.

“Is this…” Hermione asked, noticing the Stark logo emblazoned across the arm of the chair, having got used to Mr Stark’s sense of humour in the car journey into the city.

“We make those for hospitals and disabled access companies,” Tony explained.

Hermione smiled back easily, reaching down she gingerly touched the rubber pad, moving her finger forwards slowly until the chair started moving.

“See, nothing to it,” Tony said proudly.

“It’s definitely comfier than the hospital one,” Hermione said happily as Tony and Ginny fell into step alongside her.

“Should be,” Tony nodded. “We designed those for war veterans, people who won’t walk again.” He said quietly.

“Oh,” Hermione nodded back, understanding that in situations like that, having a comfortable and easy to use chair must be very important. “Where are we going?” She asked quickly when she realised Tony and Ginny were following her.

“Elevator is just over there,” Tony said, pointing to the lift where he’d collected the wheelchair from.

“Ok,” Hermione said, drawing a little circle to the left to get the chair to turn in the direction she needed to angle her towards where Mr Stark was pointing.

“See, getting the hang of it.” Tony smiled down.

“It’s really easy actually,” Hermione nodded. “I don’t know how I’d have coped with the wheels.” She said, meaning her plaster cast covered arm that was in a sling over her chest currently.

“I thought this would be better for you,” Tony said as he pulled out his phone, waving it over the reading point by the elevator doors to allow access to the top three floors. “Security system, without JARVIS’ approval nobody in the building can access the apartment.” He explained. “When you two start going outside, I’ll figure something out for you both.” He said as the elevator doors opened.

“Do I need to turn around?” Hermione asked hesitantly, wondering how the elevator was set up.

“Nope, doors on both sides.” Tony shook his head as he gestured for Hermione to drive the chair in first before he followed after Ginny.

“Welcome home sir, Miss Granger, Miss Weasley.” JARVIS’ voice came over the speakers in the elevator as the doors closed and started moving upwards.

“Hey JARVIS,” Tony smiled as both the girls looked up at the voice. “Pepper here yet?”

“Indeed sir, Miss Potts is awaiting your arrival.” JARVIS replied.

“Great, I’ll introduce you two once you’ve got settled in.” Tony explained, waiting them to have some breathing room first to relax and get comfortable with their surroundings.

“How did he know we’re here?” Ginny asked, looking to Tony for an explanation.

“Security cameras,” Tony said, pointing to the black dome in the corner of the elevator. “JARVIS is hooked into the security of all Stark buildings to keep an eye on things, he does pretty much everything around here.” He explained.

“So he knows what we look like?” Hermione asked, trying to figure out how advanced this computer system really was, because it sounded more like an actual person to her than anything else.

“Sort of,” Tony shrugged. “He’s programmed with facial recognition, but it’s a long way from perfect. He knew I was bringing you both here, and then just took the logical steps when I got into the elevator with two people.” He smiled when the girls still looked confused at the idea. “I guess neither of you are around computers much?” He asked hesitantly.

“Not really,” Hermione shook her head.

“I’ll try and get Pepper to explain it, she’s better at making things easier to understand than I am.” He admitted. “I tend to get bogged down in technical terms and specifics rather than general explanations.” He explained when the girls looked at him. “Half the time people have to tell me to stop talking before I overload them with information.” He said with a wry smile.

“So that’s where you get that from!” Ginny laughed, tapping Hermione’s shoulder when she blushed. “Hermione does the same!” She grinned over.

“I’m sure Pepper will be happy to have someone to commiserate with when we get talking then,” Tony laughed, imagining the two redheads would get on pretty well. Ginny seemed to have the same spark that Pepper did, and wasn’t shy about making a comment or two jokingly at his expense.

He chuckled along as Hermione glared up at Ginny before the doors opened, letting Hermione drive out first before Tony and Ginny followed.

Ginny didn’t know what to make of the place at all as she got out of the elevator, looking around it was nothing like any house she’d ever been in before. It was so different from The Burrow, with mostly metal and glass walls around, no wood or stone in sight. It felt cold to her, not chilly, but not like a home at all.

“Come on, I’ll show you through.” Tony said with a grin as he stepped forwards, carrying the owl cage with him.

“Oh my god!” Hermione whispered out as they passed the living room area, looking across the huge windows and spiral staircase leading up to the next level dominated the entire wall, looking out over the city.

“Living room, tv, music, pretty much the main relaxing area.” Tony explained.

“How high up are we?” Ginny asked in awe, looking at the sight through the windows where so much of the city was visible around them, right out to the Themes and over to the other side of the river.

“Forty first floor,” Tony explained. “Forty-two in the building if you don’t count the garden roof.” He said with a smile. “About six hundred and fifty feet or so.”

“This is amazing!” Ginny grinned wildly, wanting to run over and stare out of the windows at everything she could see.

“Can she?” Hermione asked, seeing how Ginny wanted to go and look.

“Sure,” Tony nodded. “It’s all inch thick secureglass, so you can press up against it and look out all you want.” Tony explained, gesturing for Ginny to go and explore, smiling when he saw her check with Hermione before running off towards the windows to look. “You want to?” He asked, looking down at Hermione.

“Oh no!” Hermione shook her head quickly. “I’ll be staying away from those I think,” She said with a small smile as she watched Ginny pressing her forehead up against the glass to see how far down she could look.

“Kitchen area is through there,” Tony indicated the open plan area on the other side of the corridor to the living area. “Both of you, help yourselves to anything you want. If you need help, just ask me, or Pepper probably, or ask JARVIS to order something for you.”

“Ginny, come on!” Hermione laughed as Ginny pouted as she pulled herself away from the window and jogged back over to Hermione’s side.

“Merlin! Have you seen that? I’ve never been this high before!” Ginny grinned excitedly. “You must be able to see the whole city out there.”

“Most of it,” Tony admitted as he started walking again, waiting for Hermione to start the chair moving again before he started talking. “Office area.” He said, gesturing to the closed door. “Pepper’s probably in there right now, we’ll leave her to it and I’ll introduce you all later ok?” He asked, then continued on when Hermione nodded nervously. “Bedrooms, mine.” He said, pointing to the next open door with similarly large glass windows dominating one side of the room. “And that’s yours.” He said, pointing to a closed door a bit further down the corridor.

“This one?” Ginny asked, moving ahead so she could stand by the door and open it for Hermione, pushing the door open once she’d moved the chair closer she stepped back to let Hermione get a look and then peeked her head around when Hermione didn’t say anything. “Oh wow!” She breathed out, looking at all the space.

It was easily larger than the living room and kitchen combined at the burrow, with two large double beds along one side of the room pointing inwards, there were desks set up against one wall with a door on either side of them, and on the far side away from them and the closest wall there were black doors with silver furnishings along with drawers, a table area with a large mirror behind it built in and recessed into the draws and cupboards.

“This… are… you…” Hermione breathed out, not sure what to say.

“Go on,” Tony gestured for them to move into the room, easily seeing the girls bags already placed neatly beside one of the desks. “Wardrobes and draws for clothes or anything else,” He said, pointing to both the walls with the black and chrome units on them. “Toilets, bathtubs, and showers are through there.” He indicated the two doors as he walked over and put the owl cage on one of the desks.

“What about through that one?” Hermione asked, looking at the other door.

“I meant both,” Tony explained. “It was originally two rooms, I knocked it through to make space.” He said with a smile. “That way neither of you has to wait for the bathroom if the other’s in the shower.” He finished with a laugh.

“Two bathrooms?” Ginny asked in shock, having been used to one bathroom between the nine of them growing up in The Burrow.

“Well, there’s one by the kitchen too, and in the office, and upstairs, more in the workshop, all the bed rooms have en-suites.” Tony shrugged. “How about I leave you to relax for a bit, sort out some food maybe?”

“Food would be good,” Hermione said quietly, still unable to take her eyes of the enormous room stretched out in front of her.

“I don’t think she liked the hospital food,” Ginny said with a smirk, still staring at the two bathrooms in shock.

“Pizza sound good?” Tony asked hesitantly then smiling when Hermione nodded absently. “Anything you want?” He asked, looking at Hermione then to Ginny.

“Never had it.” Ginny answered with a shrug.

“Now that is a crime,” Tony said with a grin, feigning outrage. “Either of you vegetarian?” He checked and then nodded when both girls shook their head. “Ok, I’ll figure something out.” He said, realising the girls were both feeling a bit overwhelmed. “Give it forty-five minutes?”

“Ok,” Hermione nodded quietly.

“Alright, I’ll give you two some space.” Tony said, quietly moving to the door. “Can show you the rest later when you’ve got a bit more comfortable.”

“The rest?” Hermione asked in shock, turning her wheelchair around to look at Mr Stark again. “There’s more?”

“So much more,” Tony laughed at Hermione’s face. “Relax first, plenty of time.” He said with a chuckle as he backed out of the room and closed the door behind him to give the girls some privacy while he moved off to hunt down Pepper.


 

“This is amazing!” Ginny breathed out as she ran to one of the large double beds, jumping on to it with joy and flopping out on the covers. “I had no idea muggles lived like this!” She said, sitting up again and looking around the room in awe.

“Most don’t,” Hermione admitted, still shocked herself as she wheeled the chair over to the bed, noticing a pair of crutches had already been put by one of the desks for her to use. “I did tell you he was rich right?”

“There’s rich and there’s this!” Ginny said, gesturing around the room. “Two bathrooms, two! Just for us!” She grinned, jumping off the bed and moving over to investigate. “Oh wow!” She exclaimed, opening the bathroom door and walking through. “There’s a bath in here, shower, tons of space!” She said, darting out of that room before looking in the other. “This one’s just a mirror image, everything’s the same but flipped.” She explained, coming back out.

“Makes sense if it was two rooms,” Hermione said absently. “He did this for us?” She whispered, remembering what Mr Stark had said.

“For you,” Ginny grinned as she moved over to one of the wall areas and started opening drawers and wardrobes randomly. “They’re all empty.” She nodded.

“For our clothes,” Hermione reasoned.

“I don’t think I’ve got enough clothes even with everything at home to fill up all this space,” Ginny laughed. “And that’s including my Hogwarts robes, quidditch uniform and everything else.” She kept looking through open drawers before closing them all and heading back to the bed where Hermione and driven herself to. “Did you talk to him about Hogwarts?”

“Not yet,” Hermione shook her head quickly. “I wanted to wait and see what Professor McGonagall said to your mum first before thinking about anything else.”

“Mum owled her last night, she’s probably heard back by now.” Ginny said as she sat on the corner of the bed. “Dad’ll probably bring the letter with him on Monday.”

“Hope so,” Hermione said thoughtfully. “I don’t know how I’d even start talking to him about everything.”

“Dad’ll know,” Ginny smiled over before looking around the room again. “It’s not just me right? This is bigger than the dorm rooms at Hogwarts?”

“Definitely, and there were twelve of us in each dorm.” Hermione laughed at the thought. “It’s probably even bigger than the Head Girls room.”

“Merlin, I never want to leave!” Ginny laughed in reply, flopping down on the bed with her arms stretched out.


 

“Pepper?” Tony asked, opening the door to the office area and walking in.

“Hey,” Pepper smiled from where she’d been sending some emails on her desk, standing up and walking over to give Tony a quick kiss. “How are you?”

“Shocked still.” Tony admitted honestly. “It’s kind of sinking in right now, but I’m still on autopilot a lot whenever I think about it.”

“I’ll bet,” Pepper agreed, unable to even imagine how Tony must be feeling at becoming a father to a fifteen-year-old girl completely out of the blue. “Was that her just now? I heard you all talking but wanted to give you some space.”

“Yeah, her and her friend.” Tony explained. “She’s the quiet one with the big hair, the redhead spitfire is about a year younger I think.” He said with a laugh.

“Her parents were ok with her staying here?” Pepper asked curiously.

“I brought her dad back here yesterday to have a look around,” Tony nodded. “He’s coming over Monday lunch to see how the girls are, I said we’d drive down to them every weekend to get the girls out of the city.”

“Seem to have planned it all out,” Pepper smiled reassuringly. “How is she?”

“Quiet,” Tony said after thinking about it.

“She’s just lost her parents,” Pepper reasoned. “That’s got to be hard on her, then finding out about you, it’s no surprise she’s quiet.”

“Yeah,” Tony agreed. “I’m glad she’s got a friend with her, it must be awkward enough.”

“What’s her name?”

“Ginny,” Tony answered easily.

“Ginny and Hermione,” Pepper made a mental note of them. “Unusual names, cute though.”

“Brits,” Tony shrugged with a smirk. “It’s short for something, something from the King Arthur stories, can’t remember what though. She’s the sporty one, Hermione’s more interested in books from what I can tell. Sort of fire and ice.” He explained.

“Wonder how they became friends,” Pepper mused.

“Arthur, that’s her dad,” Tony explained quickly. “Said something about her brother being in the same year at school.”

“Oh,” Pepper nodded at that, it made a bit more sense now. “Have you talked to them about school yet?”

“They’re on vacation now,” Tony shrugged. “I figure give her a while to get back on her feet before we start interrogating her about her school life.” Tony said with a laugh.

“You know what I meant,” Pepper frowned, slapping him on the arm. “What are you going to do about her education?”

“Honestly, I don’t know.” Tony answered, rubbing his hair anxiously. “She’s smart enough, anyone can see that.”

“God help us, another Stark then,” Pepper smirked over.

“Hah hah,” Tony muttered dryly. “I could probably pull some strings, have her tested for admission to MIT, maybe Caltech, whichever.” He said with a shrug.

“But you haven’t asked her yet?” Pepper reasoned.

“Didn’t want to press,” Tony nodded as he paced around the office area. “I mean, I get that I’m responsible for her now, but I didn’t think this whole thing through.” He explained. “Moving her out to Malibu, or New York?” He asked. “Dragging her away from her friends?”

“There’s boarding schools here she could go to?” Pepper offered.

“Again, taking her away from her friends.” Tony muttered. “My dad did that to me. I won’t do that to her, I just got her, I don’t want to throw any progress away with a talk like that.”

“It’s got to happen sooner or later,” Pepper said, moving over and putting her hand on Tony’s arm to hold him still. “You’re responsible for her, responsible for making the best decisions you can for her until she’s old enough to make them herself.” She explained. “If that means moving her to the best school so you can stay close to her, then that’s what it takes.”

“I don’t even know how the schools over here work,” Tony admitted. “Arthur said there were exams but not for another few years.”

“Plenty of time to get her adjusted to a new school then,” Pepper smiled. “It might do her good, getting away from painful memories.” She said quietly.

“Yeah,” Tony nodded, agreeing with that point at least. “We’ll see, I’m just giving her some space at the moment, no crowding.” He said firmly.

“Ok,” Pepper said, stepping away from him. “But soon.”

“Soon,” Tony promised. “I’m ordering pizza, want any?”

“Tuna and sweetcorn,” Pepper said with a smile.

“Check, one Pepper usual,” Tony grinned. “I’ll shout you when it’s on its way up.” He said as he moved to leave the office. “Oh, the girls only got two bags of bits with them, fancy showing them how to use online shopping to grab any bits they need?”

“Tony, you can’t buy their affection like that!” Pepper groused, glaring at him.

“Not buying, honest!” Tony held up his hands quickly in surrender. “I get the feeling Ginny’s family aren’t that well off, and Hermione said she didn’t want to go back home for anything yet, probably too painful.” He explained. “I get that.” He said, remembering how he’d refused to set foot in the house for months after his parents had died.

“I hadn’t thought about that,” Pepper admitted.

“See!” Tony smiled. “They need clothes, Hermione can’t go out shopping and trying things on with two casts on, so it’s online.” He said with a shrug. “And getting stuff for Ginny is just a thank you for her coming with Hermione and helping us out.”

“And you’re useless with clothes,” Pepper smirked at him.

“Well, yeah,” Tony grinned, knowing full well that he was comfortable in just about anything and chose clothes completely at random a lot of the time with whatever caught his eye.

“Fine,” Pepper sighed. “On the weekend, if the girls want.” She said firmly. “I’m not pushing them into shopping just to make you happy.”

“Push teenage girls into shopping,” Tony smirked. “Yeah, good one.” He chuckled before rolling his eyes and walking out of the office and headed to the main living area. “JARVIS, pizza time!” He said aloud as he flopped down on the couch.


 

“How was it?” Ginny asked, watching from her seat on the bed as Hermione hobbled out of the bathroom using one of the crutches that had been left for her, she’d been waiting and listening for if Hermione needed her help, but it seemed that she’d managed ok.

“The handle bar by the toilet helped,” Hermione admitted. “Must be there to help people who can’t use their legs properly.” She explained.

“Good thinking,” Ginny nodded, she’d seen the white handle bar by the toilet but hadn’t known what it was for so she’d left it alone.

“I’ve got no clue how to use the bath or shower though, I can’t see any taps or anything. I don’t even know how I’ll be able to do anything with these on though.” Hermione explained, frowning at the casts and sling. “The sink turns on automatically when you put your hands under it though.”

“Sounds like magic,” Ginny said with a frown.

“It’s not,” Hermione shook her head. “Just a sensor on the tap that tells it to turn the water on or off, lots of places use them now.” She explained as she hobbled over to the bed and sat down, sinking into the soft mattress before laying down gently. “Oh merlin that’s heaven!” She whispered.

“Muggle hospital beds not that comfy?” Ginny asked with a grin.

“Not even close, too hard and lumpy,” Hermione explained.

“These are amazing,” Ginny laughed, moving to the other bed and flopping down like Hermione had done. “I can’t believe it, a whole double bed, each!”

“I know,” Hermione laughed. “I don’t know how I’ll go back to the small beds at Hogwarts after this!” She smiled, turning her head so she could see Ginny on the other bed. “How do you think the lights work?” She asked, looking around. “I don’t see a switch anywhere, do you?”

“You tell me what I’m looking for,” Ginny asked, rolling herself off the bed before looking around the room.

“Um, a small switch, normally by the door,” Hermione explained.

“Nothing here,” Ginny shrugged, looking around the bathroom doors then heading to the door they’d came into the room by. “Nothing here either.” She said, looking back to Hermione. “Think that Jarvis thing does it?” She asked. “Mr Stark said he controlled everything right?”

“Maybe,” Hermione nodded. “Do you think he’d answer?”

“He answered me before,” Ginny smiled. “Jarvis?” She asked aloud.

“Yes, Miss Weasley?” JARVIS’ voice responded.

“How do the lights work?” She asked when Hermione prompted her.

“There is a glass panel by the side of the door, miss,” JARVIS’ voice came back. “Illuminating now.” He announced as the small black rectangle next to the door frame lit up with a diagonal set of bars going up it. “Please press and draw your finger up to increase illumination, down to decrease.”

“Up for on, down for off.” Hermione translated.

“Precisely Miss Granger,” JARVIS’ voice replied.

“Oh, thanks.” Ginny smiled, testing the black rectangle by running her finger up and down it, causing the lights to glow then dim.

“It’s probably the same for the shower and bath,” Hermione explained. “I saw those black things but didn’t think they’d be controls or anything.” She said, blinking in shock at the amount of technology around the building they were in.

“It’s so different from home,” Ginny said, moving back to the bed she’d claimed as hers. “There’s nothing like this in the wizarding world.” She admitted. “Sort of starting to see what my dad means now.” She said bashfully.

“Like what?” Hermione asked as she watched Ginny sit down on the bed again.

“Like all this,” Ginny asked, waving around the room. “It’s like a different world entirely. You don’t even use taps for Merlin’s sake!”

“We… we used taps at home,” Hermione corrected her. “Mr Stark… things are just different for him because he’s rich.” She explained. “He can afford all these fancy things.”

“Like the fancy wheelchair?” Ginny said, pointing to the wheelchair that Hermione had left by the bedside for now.

“Exactly,” Hermione nodded. “Most muggles do things the normal way, but there’s always another way or a better way if you’re rich enough.”

“And he’s rich enough?” Ginny asked.

“More than,” Hermione nodded back. “He invented half of it I think.” She explained. “I don’t exactly know everything he does, but he builds loads of stuff for his company, then they make more of them to sell.” She said, simplifying it down for Ginny.

“Wow,” Ginny whispered, trying to wrap her head around everything. “And he lives here? We’re practically up in the clouds here!” She grinned happily.

“Don’t remind me,” Hermione laughed back. “I’m just glad there aren’t any windows in the room.” She said with a smile.

“His bedroom had windows,” Ginny pointed out. “Bet there’s some more in the other rooms down the corridor on that side.”

“We’re not asking him to change rooms,” Hermione scolded her with a smile. “Besides, I’m going to be having enough trouble getting undressed and dressed again every morning, I don’t need giant windows advertising it to the world.” She said, blushing at the thought.

“Didn’t think of that,” Ginny whispered. “We’re so high up though, nobody would be able to see anything.” She said with a smirk.

“We’re not all exhibitionists,” Hermione said, shaking her head in bemusement.

“I didn’t mean it like that!” Ginny shot back with a blush. “Just that Mr Stark has them, and he doesn’t seem worried about anything.”

“Maybe,” Hermione nodded. “But maybe he’s got…” She trailed off as someone knocked at the bedroom door. “Um, hello?” She asked, sitting up on the bed.

“Hey, just letting you know Pizza’s here.” Tony said, opening the door gingerly and poking his head in. “I’ve got them set out in the lounge if you fancy coming out?” He asked hesitantly.

“Ok,” Hermione nodded as she felt her stomach grumble at the mention of food. “Thanks.” She said with a small smile.

“No problem,” Tony smiled back. “Everything ok for you two in here?”

“More than,” Hermione nodded quickly. “Really, you didn’t have to do all this.”

“Relax, it’s nothing, really.” Tony smiled. “Come and get some pizza then before Pepper eats all hers.” He said with a grin, walking away and leaving the door slightly open for the girls to follow him.

“Do you want the chair again?” Ginny asked, standing up ready to help Hermione into the wheelchair if she needed it.

“I’ll try with just the crutch,” Hermione reasoned. “I don’t want to get too used to the chair when I can still use my other arm and leg.” She explained.

“Ok,” Ginny shrugged. “Want to lean on me?” She offered.

“Let me see how I get on first,” Hermione said as she used the crutch to stand up gingerly, slowly getting her balance before hobbling towards the door slowly.


 

“I heard that you know,” Pepper scowled up from the couch area as she saw Tony coming back, contrary to what Tony had said she hadn’t opened any of the three pizzas on the table yet, and was waiting for the girls to see which they wanted.

“I know,” Tony smirked as he walked into the lounge area, waiting for the girls so he could properly introduce them to Pepper.

He didn’t have to wait long before Ginny and Hermione slowly came into view, Hermione using the crutch to slowly walk along with Ginny beside her in case she needed to hold onto someone for some extra stability.

“Oh my god, here, let me help you!” Pepper was up in an instant, marching over to take over from Ginny, letting Hermione put her arm up on the taller woman’s shoulder for some extra strength as she gently swung herself along with the crutch acting as the leg to keep the weight off of it.

“Pepper, this is Hermione and Ginny,” Tony smiled, standing back a bit so he didn’t crowd them as Pepper helped Hermione over to the leather couches and got her sat down comfortably, lifting her leg up onto a small coffee table to keep it elevated.

“Tony, you could have helped her!” Pepper accused, fixing him with a glare.

“It’s alright, really.” Hermione interrupted. “I’m trying to do as much of it myself as I can,” She explained, not wanting to say how awkward it would feel relying on Mr Stark to be there for her when she’d only just found out he was her father, he’d already done so much and she didn’t want to feel like any more of a burden on him. “I’ve got the wheelchair too if I don’t want to use the crutch, I just thought I’d try and see how I could do.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think,” Pepper admitted, she’d automatically jumped to the girls’ aid without even thinking how she might have wanted to try and manage on her own.

“No, thanks, it helped a lot.” Hermione smiled over.

“So you’re Hermione,” Pepper smiled. “And Ginny right?” She asked, looking up at where the smaller redhead was hovering around.

“Hi,” Ginny waved awkwardly.

“Sit, please.” Pepper said, gesturing to the various couches around. “Tony, pull an extra couch over so we can all eat together.” She said firmly.

“I was going to ask if anyone wanted drinks first,” Tony smirked as he moved to another couch, easily pushing it along the marble floor and turning it around so it was at a right angle to the current one, giving them space by the table in the middle where the pizzas were stacked up. “Pepper? Girls?” He asked after moving the couch. “Drinks?”

“Water please,” Hermione said thankfully.

“Same,” Ginny said, reasoning that she should stay with whatever Hermione was eating and drinking so she didn’t end up like the twins had yesterday with a muggle sugar drink.

“Water sounds good,” Pepper nodded, approving of the girls choice.

“Coming up,” Tony said before vanishing off towards the kitchen.

“You sit here, I’ll sit with Tony,” Pepper offered, standing up from the couch to give Ginny the seat on the couch with Hermione as she moved to sit on the couch Tony had moved. “He hasn’t said anything awful yet right?” She asked in a whisper.

“No, he’s been really nice.” Hermione answered honestly.

“You three talking about me already?” Tony asked with a smirk as he came back into the lounge, three bottles of water his hands along with a large can of red bull. He fiddled with them for a moment before getting them stable enough in his arms to pass out to everyone.

“Of course,” Pepper smiled good naturedly. “I had to make sure you didn’t scar the poor girls for life after being around you all day.” She bantered back easily.

“Don’t be fooled, they’re not as innocent as they look,” Tony smirked, giving Hermione a wink. “And this one seems to have a love for heights already.” He said, laughing at how Ginny’s eyes had already been drawn back to the wide windows overlooking the city.

“I love that view too, it’s amazing in the morning.” Pepper explained. “It faces east, so you get the sunrise coming through and lighting up the room.”

“Wow,” Ginny beamed, trying to imagine what that must be like.

“It’s something alright,” Tony smiled happily.

“How would you know? You’re never awake in time to see it.” Pepper smirked over.

“Point,” Tony shrugged. “So, pizza.” He grinned, gesturing to the three large pizza boxes. “We’ve got, tuna and sweetcorn.” He announced, opening the first box and putting it aside on the table. “Ham and Pineapple.” He said as he opened the second, recognising the smell instantly. “And the best, a full meat feast.” He said proudly as he slid the second box to the side then opened the last one.

“There’s four of us Tony, you’re not feeding an army,” Pepper chucked at how Tony had gone overboard as usual.

“She’s never even tried pizza before,” Tony defended himself, pointing to Ginny. “I feel it’s my responsibility to educate her in this grievous oversight.”

Pepper just rolled her eyes at Tony’s antics, doing her best to ignore the blush she could see on the young redhead. “Dig in girls, really, don’t worry about manners in front of him,” She smirked, smacking Tony on the arm as he sat down on the couch.

“Thank you for the food,” Hermione said graciously, smiling over before leaning forwards and wincing again.

“I’ve sent someone out for your painkillers, they should be back with them soon.” Tony said, recognising the look of pain on Hermione’s face. “Which did you want?” He asked, standing up to move any of the pizza’s closer to her.

“Meat feast?” Hermione asked hopefully.

“A girl after my own heart,” Tony said proudly, sliding the box over and pulling a slice away for himself.

“At least she’s got manners,” Pepper smiled over. “Which would you like to try?” She asked, looking at the redhead this time.

“What’s that one?” Ginny asked, looking to the pizza that Tony had slid in front of Pepper.

“Tuna and sweetcorn,” Pepper said, swinging the pizza around so the empty top of the pizza box was in front of her before breaking off a slice and putting it on the top, then doing the same for the other two pizzas, leaving Ginny with a slice of each in front of her. “Try all three, see which you prefer.”

“Meat feast is definitely the best,” Tony said with a conspiratorial smile at Hermione. “See, she agrees with me.” He said as Hermione bit into her own slice of pizza happily.

“Tuna,” Pepper mock whispered to her before sitting back on the couch and enjoying her own slice in quiet.

Ginny watched Hermione handle the triangle cut slice into her mouth awkwardly before taking a bite, inwardly happy for the smile that she saw on her friends face when she started chewing on it happily, before reaching for her own slice, deciding between the three before picking the one Pepper had recommended first and taking a small bite before her eyes shot open at the taste. “Wow!” She whispered, chewing happily and doing her best to ignore the muffled choking laughter that came from Mr Stark.

“You’re mean,” Pepper said, smacking Tony on the arm for laughing. “You’ve really never had pizza before?” She asked, looking to Ginny.

“Mum cooks everything by hand,” Ginny explained easily. “She’s never made anything like this.” She whispered in awe, taking another delicious bite out of the tuna and sweetcorn pizza.

“Oh home cooked meals,” Pepper whispered longingly. “I miss those, I used to love spending time in the kitchen. I never have the time anymore.”

“My mum loves it,” Ginny said happily. “She’s a really good cook too.”

“They invited us all down for a meal next weekend,” Tony explained when he saw the longing look in Pepper’s eyes. “You can get your home cooked meal then.” He said with a chuckle, missing the wide-eyed look the girls gave each other.

“That’d be amazing,” Pepper smiled, ignoring Tony’s snark for now.

“This is amazing!” Ginny argued, devouring the pizza slice happily.

“Help yourself to more if you want it, but try the others though,” Pepper smiled, doing her best not to watch the young girl as she enthusiastically finished off the pizza slice.

“Is the room ok then? You found your way around everything alright?” Tony asked, looking to draw Hermione into the conversation.

“It’s huge,” Ginny said in awe.

“It’s amazing, thank you,” Hermione said, knowing it didn’t feel like enough after what Mr Stark was doing for her.

“I’m just happy you like it,” Tony said, waving away the thanks. “I was talking to Pepper about getting some new clothes for you both tomorrow, since we can’t exactly take you out shopping to try things on, I thought she’d be the best person to introduce you to online shopping.” Tony said with a smile.

“You don’t have to, really.” Hermione instantly protested. “Ginny brought me enough things.”

“You might as well take him up on it,” Pepper said knowingly. “It’s either ordering things that you like, or he’ll go overboard and just buy loads of different things in different sizes just to fill up your wardrobe.” She explained, laughing at the looks she got from Hermione and Ginny. “Really, he does that.” She chuckled as the girls looked at Tony with a weird expression.

Tony simply shrugged at the attention with everyone looking at him. “What? She’s not lying.” He said with a smirk. “You need clothes, Pepper’s good at shopping, it’s a win win.” He said with another shrug as if it was simple logic.

“You… you don’t have to.” Hermione protested again, trying to find another reason to say no to the enforced shopping trip.

“I want to,” Tony said firmly. “Clothes, shoes, anything you need. Books even, I’ll put some bookshelves up if you really want to stay with ye old-ey paper,” He said with a smirk, knowing he’d caught Hermione with that offer.

“What else would books be on?” Ginny asked, a bemused look on her face as she tried the ham and pineapple pizza before pushing it away and doing he best to rinse out the taste with her bottle of water.

“Ignore him, he simply thinks that if something doesn’t have electronics in it, then it hasn’t been upgraded enough.” Pepper explained with a laugh. “Books are always welcome in this house.” She said firmly to Hermione who smiled nervously back.

“Bah,” Tony waved the idea away, leaning back so he could grab the StarkTech tablet from the table behind him. “One tablet, I can access millions of books on this, anytime I want. Electronics manuals, physics papers, absolutely anything.” He explained. “Probably as thick as a book cover, millions of books. Simple and easy.”

“But what if you want more than one open at once?” Hermione asked, finding a hole in the logic, though she had to admit that having millions of books at her fingertips was definitely tempting.

“JARVIS, pull up my interface, window size.” Tony said aloud, standing up from the sofa and walking over to the windows. “Dim the windows fifty percent.” He asked again, causing the windows to darken as his familiar interface appeared on the windows, stretching across the large panoramic view. “Let’s see, electronics,” He muttered, flicking one paper up to view and throwing it up on one window. “New paper on gamma radiation, might be interesting.” He said, throwing that up on another window. “Engine research for the new Stark Aerospace Division,” He announced before throwing that to a third window.

“Show off,” Pepper muttered, rolling her eyes but she could see how Hermione was entranced by the display.

“You can do that with anything you want?” Hermione asked in awe.

“Yup,” Tony nodded, collapsing down all the documents again and wiping the interface clean. “It’s how I do most of my work.” He explained as he walked back to the sofa to indulge in some more pizza.

“It’s amazing!” Hermione whispered. “Can you think how easy it’d be to research things if I could use that at school!” She said excitedly, turning to Ginny.

“You take over entire tables with books as it is,” Ginny said with a grin, in-between mouthfuls of the meat feast pizza. “I swear the Madam Pince needs to set you up your own table area.”

“Madam Pince?” Tony asked, nearly choking on a slice of pizza. “Who?” He asked in amusement.

“Our school librarian,” Ginny laughed. “She’s the only one in the library more often than Hermione.” Ginny explained.

“Ginny!” Hermione exclaimed, embarrassed by the talking.

“Don’t be embarrassed,” Pepper smiled reassuringly. “I spent most of my time in the library too, and now I’m CEO of Stark Industries.”

“You gave that job back to me, remember? You quit.” Tony said with a smirk. “You’re… I haven’t given you a new title yet, I’ll get around to it.” He said with a shrug. “You’re still head of the company though.” He nodded, agreeing with her point.

“My point is, if you study hard, you can be anything you want to be.” Pepper said with a smile over at Hermione. “We’re not all born geniuses like Tony here,” She smirked as she watched him tear off another pizza slice.

“Or Hermione,” Ginny interrupted causing Hermione to blush again.

“So, she’s you, but without the ego,” Pepper laughed, looking between the two of them as Hermione blushed red at being compared to Tony Stark. “I always wondered what that would be like.” She said as Tony rolled his eyes at her and Ginny burst into laughter.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


“Hi,” Pepper smiled as she poked her head around the door of the bedroom into where the two girls had retreated after lunch to talk in the quiet. “Tony’s gone down to interview some nurses for the position, these just arrived.” She explained, holding up a white and green paper bag for Hermione to see. “Painkillers?” She asked, holding up a bottle of water as well.

“Thanks,” Hermione winced as she sat up on the bed.

“Here,” Pepper said, coming into the room and setting them on the bedside table. “Codeine, it’s pretty strong stuff. Try taking half a tablet at first if you need it, then the other half if it’s really bad.”

“I don’t really take many tablets,” Hermione admitted, trying to think back to the last time she’d actually needed medication before she’d started Hogwarts.

“Break it in half, just swallow it with some water.” Pepper explained. “I took it when I broke my arm skiing a few years ago, knocked me out.” She said with a small smile. “It might help you sleep.”

“I’ll remember that,” Hermione nodded, thankful for the warning.

“Who’s this little guy?” Pepper asked, seeing the owl in the cage on the desk. “He’s cute.”

“That’s Pig,” Ginny smiled.

“I didn’t know owls came this small, is he a baby?” Pepper asked, curious about the animal in the apartment. Tony wasn’t really one for pets, other than his random robots in the workshop, so she wasn’t around tame animals much.

“Fully grown, or nearly anyway.” Ginny explained. “Mr Stark said there was a garden he could fly around in?” She asked hopefully.

“The roof?” Pepper asked, putting everything together. “That’s a good idea actually, you sure it was his?” She asked with a small smile. “I could take you up there now if you want? Show you how to get up and down without coming to Tony every time you wanted some fresh air?”

“That’d be great,” Hermione nodded enthusiastically. “Give me a minute to get my shoe back on?”

“Sure,” Pepper smiled. “I’ll be in the lounge ok?” She said before leaving the room.

“Ok,” Hermione nodded, smiling a bit at Pepper. The woman seemed really nice, and very approachable, which seemed at odds to the way Tony described her as nearly a goddess with infinite amounts of patience for him. “This is our chance,” She whispered to Ginny. “Write a note to your mum, we can send Pig with it.” She explained her plan.

“Ohhh,” Ginny nodded, quickly darting to her bag to grab some of the parchment she’d folded up especially for this sort of thing. “I didn’t bring a quill or ink?” She asked.

“Look in the desk, the drawers,” Hermione nodded, watching Ginny quickly move over and quietly start ruffling through. “There, that!” She said, catching sight of a silver pen that Ginny picked up.

“Hmm?” Ginny asked, looking at the strange silver object.

“Give it to me,” Hermione smiled, taking it when offered then waiting for some parchment before twisting the barrel of the pen to bring the rollerball nib out at the tip. “I’ll tell her we got here fine, had lunch and everything is great?”

“And we had the best food in the world, ever!” Ginny grinned enthusiastically. “Why didn’t you tell me about pizza before?” She asked, pouting a bit.

“Honestly, I hadn’t really thought about it.” Hermione answered as she wrote the note quickly, wondering what Molly would think about the strange blue ink that was very different from the quill ink they normally got. “I always think about it from my side, how there’s so much stuff you know about growing up with magic that I can’t even think about.” She explained. “I never really thought that there were muggle things that you missed out on.”

“I really missed out on pizza!” Ginny said with a laugh. “You can’t tell Ron about that, we’ll never hear the end of it,” She said with a grin.

“Maybe he already knows?” Hermione suggested. “Harry’s had pizza before as well, maybe he told him?”

“Harry knows about pizza and didn’t tell me?” Ginny asked, pouting with a betrayed expression on her face. “If Ron knew, I’ll bloody hex his balls into next week.” She promised fiercely.

“Done,” Hermione said, folding up the note and sticking it in her pocket. “You grab Pig’s cage.” She said as she gingerly stood up, grabbing the crutch for support.

“Got him,” Ginny nodded, fetching the owl cage from the desk. “Are you ok?”

“Fine,” Hermione nodded. “Come on, let’s get this sent before your mum apparates over.” She said with a laugh, only half joking because they both knew Molly would do exactly that if she didn’t hear from them in time.


 

Pepper had taken them up to the roof using the elevator, asking JARVIS to give the girls access whenever they wanted it, to make it easier for Hermione to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunlight through the glass pyramid cover when she couldn’t go out into the main city.

“It’s beautiful,” Hermione said, looking around the self-contained island of greenery in the city, high above anyone else that could come near them.

“It’s an ongoing project,” Pepper explained. “We’re hoping to create small cultures like this on buildings all across the world in major cities, to help bring down carbon dioxide levels and filter the air pollution.” She said, gesturing to the small trees growing around them. “We only got this one up last year, so it’s not doing much yet, but when it’s ready we’ll open the dome during the day and let the trees soak up the pollution in the city, hopefully it’ll provide measurable results over time and we can incorporate it into other buildings.” She said, pointing up to the glass pyramid overhead. “The rain gets funnelled down the sides, then collected around the edges of the main building, from there it’s stored in tanks and mixed with plant growth mixtures where it’s slowly released underground to seep back up to the plants and trees.”

“Parks in the sky,” Ginny smiled happily, not following much of what Miss Potts had said but enjoying the quiet park area for what it was. “I like it.”

“You just like being up high,” Hermione smiled knowingly. “Do you mind if we keep Pig up here, it’d be a lot nicer for him than staying in the bedroom.”

“Of course,” Pepper smiled. “Do you need me to close off the open areas?” Pepper asked, looking at where there were some open hatches in the pyramid dome, letting fresh air circulate through the roof.

“He’s allowed out into the city,” Hermione said quickly. “I’ve had him out before, he never goes too far.”

“If you’re sure,” Pepper said dubiously, not wanting the girls to lose a precious pet.

“Really, he’s a good owl,” Ginny smiled over.

“I always thought owls were nocturnal,” Pepper mused with a smile, shaking her head in amusement at the two girls.

“Do you mind if we stay up here for a bit, it’s nice to get some fresh air out of the hospital,” Hermione asked.

“Of course not,” Pepper nodded knowingly, sensing that the girls wanted some time alone for a while. “JARVIS will let you back in, just tell him to bring you down to the apartment when you want to ok?”

“Ok,” Ginny nodded at that.

“Thanks,” Hermione smiled over.

“Enjoy,” Pepper said, waving as she walked off, keeping an eye on the girls until she reached the elevator and watching as they sat on the grass and started talking.

“Has she gone?” Hermione asked, having her back to the elevator so she couldn’t see, but saw that Ginny was watching closely.

“Yup, the doors just closed.” Ginny said, putting the cage down and bringing Pig out of the cage where he instantly hooted and tried to get free into the air. “No, you’re sending a letter!” Ginny said firmly, holding onto Pig so he couldn’t fly away. “Take this back to The Burrow quickly.” She explained, holding the rolled parchment for Pig to grasp. “Wait, then come back with a reply. If we’re not here, leave the reply in your cage alright?” She said, hoping the small owl understood the sense of urgency in her voice.

Pig hooted in response to that, happily taking the parchment then flying off, circling around the glass area for a moment before sensing where the fresh wind was coming from and flying out into the open city.

“Think he’ll make it?” Hermione asked.

“Should do,” Ginny nodded. “Ron used him to send a message to Harry, it’s nearly as far isn’t it?”

“Close,” Hermione nodded, knowing Harry lived somewhere in Surrey but that was about it. “If he made it to Harry then he’ll make it to your mum, probably won’t be back today though.” She explained, thinking how far it was for the little bird to travel.

“Mum can send him back tomorrow if it’s too late,” Ginny nodded.

“We could always ask Mr Stark to try calling your dad on the phone he gave him,” Hermione asked, trying to be serious before she burst out laughing at the thought of it.

“I wondered what that was,” Ginny joined in the laughter. “Dad’s probably already taken it apart and trying to figure out how it works.”

“Probably something to do with the plug,” Hermione gasped out between giggling.

“Oh Merlin, it came with a plug too?” Ginny muttered, giggling herself as she laid down on the grass and enjoyed the cool air blowing through the closed off area.

“So…” Hermione paused, catching her breath after laughing so hard. “What do you think of Mr Stark?”

“He’s nice,” Ginny smiled.

“You’re just saying that because he introduced you to pizza,” Hermione said, sending her into laughter again.

“No, I mean it,” Ginny laughed, slapping Hermione on her good shoulder lightly. “He’s a bit like you, but like Harry at the same time. Like you two had a baby maybe.”

“Thanks for that horrible thought,” Hermione said, making a face at the idea.

“You know what I mean,” Ginny explained. “He’s smart like you, but Miss Potts holds him back from jumping into things, like you do for Harry.” She reasoned out loud. “He definitely reminds me of you more though.”

“Yeah,” Hermione nodded, unable to deny it really. She saw the resemblance more and more after spending more time with him. “He told me his parents died when he was younger too.” She explained. “That’s why he wanted you to come with me.” She said softly.

“Oh Merlin! I didn’t know,” Ginny whispered. “That must have been horrible for him!”

“He told me about it yesterday,” Hermione explained. “He said he didn’t want to see me do the same thing he did.”

“What did he do?” Ginny asked, poking Hermione in the shoulder when she didn’t get an answer. “Well?”

“Drank,” Hermione said quietly. “The way he talked about it, he didn’t me a little drink now and again either.” She whispered. “He called it ‘crawling into the bottle’ for some reason.”

“Wow,” Ginny muttered, trying to picture what that must have been like. “I don’t think I’ll ever understand that.”

“He explained it pretty well,” Hermione admitted. “Getting drunk helped numb everything, stop him thinking about what he’d lost, just make everything blurred and easier.” She explained. “I can see why people would want that.” She admitted quietly.

“You… you’re not going to…” Ginny tried to ask but couldn’t find the words.

“No,” Hermione said firmly. “I’m not even old enough to buy alcohol Ginny, I’d never do that!” She said, rolling her eyes at her best friend. “I was just saying, I understand it. I don’t think I did before.”

“Suppose you can’t until you’ve been through something like that,” Ginny frowned, wondering if Harry felt the same. He probably didn’t she reasoned, he didn’t remember his parents or losing them.

“That’s what I think,” Hermione nodded in agreement.

“What do you think he’s going to do about Hogwarts then?” Ginny asked, trying to keep Hermione on lighter subjects and keep her mind occupied.

“Oh, Merlin I don’t know,” Hermione frowned, rubbing her forehead with her free hand. “He’ll have to sign the letter saying I can go, or I’ll miss this year.”

“When do the letters have to be signed by?” Ginny asked, knowing Hermione would know the answer to the extremely random question.

“The end of July,” Hermione whispered nervously. “That’s what my letter said, we had to reply by no later than the thirty first of July, that’s when they cut off acceptance.”

“That’s just two weeks away!” Ginny said anxiously.

“I know,” Hermione nodded, feeling nervous enough already without actually verbalising any of this. “I don’t even know if there’s enough time for the Ministry to get a new letter sent out to him, convince him to let me go, and reply to it in time.”

“We have to!” Ginny said urgently. “You can’t miss out!”

“I know that!” Hermione replied firmly. “I just… I don’t know what else I can do.” She explained. “I could always do home-schooling for a year? Just pure theory work so I can go back next year?”

“That’d never work,” Ginny shook her head. “Merlin, what a mess.” She muttered, flomping back down onto the grass. “Two weeks?” She asked again.

“Two weeks to convince Mr Stark that magic is real and… and I’m a witch.” Hermione said, her throat catching over the last part, wondering if he’d still want her here when he found out.


 

The Burrow

Molly instantly looked up from her knitting as she heard the familiar hoot coming from outside, she’d already knitted two sweaters and a scarf, the nervous energy she felt over leaving her daughter and Hermione in a strange place was still going strong and she had no idea how she was going to sleep tonight.

Rushing to the window she opened it with plenty of time for Pigwidgeon to fly in, arcing around the room a few times before fluttering down and dropping a neatly folded piece of parchment on the table where Molly had been anxiously waiting.

She didn’t waste any time in unfolding the letter and reading through it, her eyes scanning over the strangely neat blue ink as she felt the nerves leak out of her body.

The girls were alright. That was the most important thing of the letter, they were safe, comfortable, and settling in to the strange muggle house.

The writing was definitely Hermione’s, she recognised the hand writing instantly, though the blue ink was strange and a lot thinner than she was used to seeing with a quill but she couldn’t think about that now, the contents of the letter were far more important than how it had been written.

“Arthur!” Molly shouted, heading to the window again to call her husband in from where he’d taken that strange muggle device out to his shed to tinker with. “Arthur, the girls have owled!” She yelled when she saw him coming out of the shed.

“Oh good, how are they? Did they say anything about the fantastic muggle things…”

“Not now Arthur,” Molly said, shaking her head as Arthur came into the kitchen. “They’re both fine. Mr Stark apparently gave them a large room to sleep in. Hermione said that both her and Ginny agree that they don’t feel anything funny is going on, and that they’re happy to stay there.”

“Good,” Arthur smiled, he hadn’t been as nervous as Molly had been after seeing the Stark building himself, but it was still good to hear from the girls and confirm he had been right. “See, nothing to worry about Mollywobbles,” He said reassuringly as he reached around Molly’s shoulders and squeezed her lovingly.

“Hermione asked us to write back, but I think I should let Pigwidgeon rest for a bit first,” Molly said, looking at where the tiny owl looked ready to fall over.

“Best not to send Errol dear, if Mr Stark is happy for little Pigwidgeon to be there, then he won’t see anything strange about seeing him flying around, but another strange owl might have him asking questions.” Arthur explained.

“I know,” Molly nodded. “Should I send Minerva’s letter with ours? Let Hermione know what she said?”

“I think that’s a good idea,” Arthur nodded. “Did you explain to Minerva what I said about Mr Stark?” He asked, not having read the letter that Molly had written to Professor McGonagall before she’d sent it.

“Of course,” Molly said, rolling her eyes. “I gave her as much information about Hermione’s new father as I could.”

“Just checking dear,” Arthur smiled happily. “Merlin, I hope someone speaks to him soon, then we can actually talk properly on our lunch meetings about the sort of things I saw.” He said, his eyes glinting with the possibilities of exciting future muggle discussions.

“And we can have Hermione seen to by a proper medi-witch,” Molly said firmly, the important part sticking in her mind. “Get the medical kit dear, I’ll send her a vial of Skele-Gro with the letters in the morning. She’ll know not to take too much of it and keep it hidden.”

“Yes dear,” Arthur smiled, leaning down and kissing Molly on the top of her head before heading off to find the medical kit from the sitting room while Molly reached for some fresh parchment and started writing her reply.


The Ministry of Magic

It was late in the day when Professor McGonagall floo’d to The Ministry, having been dealing with several meetings with new muggle first years already. She strode through The Atrium towards the lifts, thankful The Ministry was quiet today so she could make her way around without being bothered too much.

It was a simple journey up to Level Two where the Department of Magical Education shared its floor with the much larger Department of Magical Law Enforcement, she nodded respectfully as she made he way past two Aurors before heading down the corridor to the Education department.

“Minerva, good to see you again.”

Professor McGonagall smiled easily at the young receptionist who had welcomed her, recognising her from the various times she’d visited the department over the summer to arrange meetings with new muggleborn or half blood families.

“What can I do for you today?” She asked professionally.

“A rather tricky situation sadly,” Professor McGonagall explained. “I need to arrange a meeting with Pius Thicknesse and hopefully someone from the Muggle Liaison Office, or The Department of International Magical Cooperation, as well.”

“Hmm,” The receptionist frowned. “Mr Thicknesse is around, I think he’s in his office at the moment.” She explained. “The Muggle Liaison Office is still in termoil though over what happened to Mr Crouch,” She said, checking the magical calendar for the various Ministers who worked in the building. “Minister Fudge's assistant is currently overseeing the Department of International Magical Cooperation, shall I have him come to you?”

“That would be helpful,” Professor McGonagall nodded thankfully.

“Go right in, I’ll have Minister Fudge's assistant come up as soon as I can.” She said with a smile, waving Professor McGonagall through to where Mr Thicknesse’s office was before sending off an inter-departmental memo to Minister Fudge's assistant and watching the paper fly off down the corridor.

“Minerva! Come right in!” Pius smiled openly, opening the door to his office when he saw Professor McGonagall coming towards him. “What can I do for you today?”

“Thank you,” Professor McGonagall smiled, moving into the office and letting Pius close the door behind her. “I have Minister Fudge's assistant on his way up as well, I feel we’ll need the Department of International Magical Cooperation’s help on this one.” She explained.

“Oh?” Pius frowned as he walked around the office to sit back at his desk, gesturing for Professor McGonagall to take the seat opposite him. “Do tell?” He asked patiently.

“A rather promising student of mine, her parents were killed in a car accident the past week.” Professor McGonagall explained. “Miss Granger.” She said.

“Ahh yes,” Pius nodded thoughtfully. “Arthur Weasley mentioned it, he took a week away from The Ministry to help the girl.”

“Indeed so,” Professor McGonagall nodded, thankful that Pius knew who they were talking about. “While the situation is somewhat complicated, the short of it is that Miss Granger has family that have taken her in.”

“A muggle?” Pius asked automatically.

“Yes,” Professor McGonagall nodded.

“Ah, and you need permission to approach the family as you would a new student,” Pius nodded thoughtfully. “Not a problem, we’re coming to the…”

“That’s not all of it,” Professor McGonagall held up her hand. “The muggle in question… Mr Weasley believes to be a somewhat influential member of muggle society, and an American to boot.”

“Ah,” Pius frowned. “Yes, now I see why you said this was more complicated than it first looked.” He said, drumming his fingers on the desk thoughtfully. “Ahh good, Mr Weasley, come right in.” He said, standing up from his desk and flicking his wand to the office door to open it for Mr Weasley to enter.

“Weasley?” Professor McGonagall asked, standing up to see what Arthur would be doing here, only to be faced with Percy Weasley dressed in a smart suit walking into the room.

“Percy Weasley here is assistant to Minister Fudge, he used to work in the Department of International Magical Cooperation, he's overseeing the entire department now until a new Minister can be appointed to the post.” Pius explained. “Quite useful to know in this situation.” He said with a smile as he gestured to Percy to come in.

“Minister, Professor,” Percy said professionally as he entered the office and closed the door quietly behind him. “You wanted to see me?”

“Yes, thank you for coming.” Professor McGonagall nodded. “I admit, I hadn’t known you were working under the Minister, but it’s a rather fortuitous turn of events.” She said with a smile. “You’re aware of what’s happened with Miss Granger?”

“Of course,” Percy nodded, he'd heard about it when he'd heard his father had taken a week's absence from work. He didn't talk to his family much anymore, but he kept tabs on what was going on and why like always.

“It seems Miss Granger’s family are actually American,” Pius said, explaining the reason for requesting Percy’s presence in the meeting.

“I see,” Percy nodded thoughtfully. “Has the family been approached and made aware of Hermione’s situation?” He asked professionally.

“Not as of yet,” Professor McGonagall pursed her lips thoughtfully. “I’m told he is a muggle of considerable wealth and influence in America.”

“Well, I do have some contacts in MACUSA Federal Education Departments, I could reach out to them to see if they have heard of the family. Do you have a name?” Percy asked.

“Stark,” Professor McGonagall answered simply. “Tony, one would believe short for Anthony, Stark.”

“Very well,” Percy said thoughtfully as he memorised the name before looking at the clock on the wall of Pius’ office. “Am I to understand this is a matter of urgency?” He asked curiously.

“Somewhat,” Professor McGonagall nodded. “I have only a certain amount of time before finalising the student body for this year.” She explained.

“Of course,” Percy nodded. “I shall use the Trans-Atlantic Floo immediately then and try to contact my acquaintances in MACUSA.” He explained. “Professor, Minister.” He said respectfully, nodding to them both before leaving the office and closing the door behind him.

“Shouldn’t have been surprised that young Weasley found his way to The Ministry,” Professor McGonagall chuckled after Percy left the room. “One of the most tidy and official students I’ve ever had.” She explained.

“He’s certainly doing well here from what I’ve heard,” Pius nodded in agreement. “The Minister seemed happy enough to leave him in charge of various things in the department over this time.”

“He seems content enough,” Professor McGonagall said. “If all is well then, I shall approach the Stark family on Monday to explain Miss Granger’s situation to them?”

“I see no reason why not,” Pius said in agreement. “You have their address?”

“Indeed, Molly Weasley sent it when she informed me that Miss Granger would be staying there, along with their youngest to be with Miss Granger during this tragic time.” Professor McGonagall explained.

“Two young witches in the house and the family don’t know about magic already?” Pius chuckled. “I should feel sorry for the man.”

“Oh no, Miss Granger is quite the opposite,” Professor McGonagall shook her head. “One of the brightest witches I’ve ever had the pleasure of teaching. Responsible, studious, polite. Responsible enough that she was granted a time-turner this past year to double her workload for her third year of classes. Would that all my students follow her example.” She said with a chuckle.

“You sound quite fond of her,” Pius said with a small smile. “Another one for The Ministry after graduating then?”

“I’d certainly think so,” Professor McGonagall nodded. “If not, I’ll be offering the girl a teaching position just as soon as she graduates.” She said with a chuckle.

“My, that good then?” Pius smiled happily.

“Terrible thing that happened to her family,” Professor McGonagall said sadly. “I do hope it hasn’t broken the girl too much.” She said softly.

“She has family with her now, and friends if the Weasley girl is staying with her.” Pius smiled reassuringly. “You’ll be able to see for yourself how she’s doing when you meet with her family.”

“Yes,” Professor McGonagall nodded thoughtfully. “I will admit, it will be a weight off my mind to see how the young girl is doing.”

“Yes, I can see that it…” Pius trailed off, standing up as he saw Percy Weasley actually running down the corridor towards his office again. The shock shown on his face told Professor McGonagall how unusual it was to see Percy acting like this.

“Percy?” Pius asked, flicking open his office door with his wand so the young assistant could run right in.

“Minister,” Percy breathed out heavily as he got into the office, trying to catch his breath and be professional at the same time.

“Spit it out,” Pius said, not worrying about how professional Percy felt he needed to be when it was obvious that the news was urgent enough to have him run through The Ministry corridors.

“Mr Stark, my contacts at MACUSA knew the name instantly.” Percy explained. “Extremely wealthy and influential, owns entire businesses and has regular dealings with the American muggle army.” He explained. “My contacts say contact is allowed, but to be cautious. They mentioned something about Mr Stark owning various muggle weapons of his own, some that even MACUSA have been watching.” He explained.

“My word,” Pius whispered softly.

“Sorry Minister,” Percy said, catching his breath now and returning to his stiff professional stature. “MACUSA consider him a muggle genius of sorts. If he is contacted and informed of the Wizarding World, they would like to be kept informed and have contact with him themselves.”

“Well, it seems you are on an important meeting Minerva,” Pius chuckled as he sat back down at his chair. “A muggle of considerable influence indeed.” He said with an open laugh at Professor McGonagall’s face. “I think I would like to attend this meeting myself as well, perhaps it best if Mr Weasley join us as well?” He asked, gesturing to Percy.

“That might be wise,” Professor McGonagall nodded, thinking over what Percy had said about Mr Stark.

“How about…” Pius frowned, flicking through his calendar. “Hmmm, Monday, eleven am?” Pius asked, looking at Professor McGonagall for confirmation. “Providing there’s no emergencies, I should have most of the early afternoon free for the meeting.”

“Very well,” Professor McGonagall smiled, making a note of that herself.

“I’ll meet you both in The Atrium, we can proceed from there.” Pius smiled as Percy noted that down. “Nothing you need to do on Monday is there?” He asked, looking up at Percy.

“No Minister, nothing that can’t wait.” Percy replied professionally, thinking that his report on standardising cauldron thickness was nearly done and ready to be notarised anyway.

“Wonderful,” Pius smiled. “I’ve never actually been there when a muggle is informed about the Wizarding World, should be rather entertaining.” He said with a chuckle as he sat back down at his desk and jotted the meeting down on his calendar so he would remember it.


Stark Offices apartment

“Jarvis?” Ginny asked hesitantly as she helped Hermione over to the lift doors, they’d waited on the grass for long enough for Pig to come back, and had left his cage open there for him to come back to later on as it was obvious by now he wasn’t returning any time soon.

“Yes, Miss Weasley?” JARVIS’ voice came as the lift doors opened to let the girls inside.

“Can we go back to the apartment now?” Ginny asked, helping Hermione into the lift.

“Of course, Miss,” JARVIS’ voice replied.

“JARVIS?” Hermione asked nervously. “Um, where’s Mr Stark? Is he still meeting nurses?”

“No Miss,” JARVIS responded. “Sir is currently in the workshop.”

“Can we go and see him?” Hermione asked.

“Of course, Miss,” JARVIS replied again as the elevator started moving down. After a few moments the lift doors opened, letting the girls out as the sound of music filled the room.

“What is it?” Ginny asked as she walked out slowly, looking around the strange environment to see if she could make out where the music was coming from.

“Rock and Roll,” Hermione explained as she hobbled out of the lift and looked around the workshop. “ACDC I think, I haven’t listened to muggle music in ages.” She explained in a whisper. “There he is!” She said, pointing to the other side of the workshop where Mr Stark was working with some tools on some sort of strange armour that was attached to his forearm and hand with bracers and wires running up the rest of his arm.

“You think it’s ok to talk to him?” Ginny asked quietly as she watched Mr Stark work while singing along to the music.

“He said we could come down right?” Hermione nodded. “Just be careful in here, muggle tools can be dangerous.” She explained.

“Ok, I won’t touch anything.” Ginny shrugged, not really seeing anything that looked dangerous but not recognising a lot of the things scattered around either.

“Sir, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley are here to see you.” JARVIS’ voice came out over the music.

“Huh?” Tony asked, looking up from his soldering iron. “Oh, hey.” He smiled, waving the girls over. “JARVIS, kill music.” He said loudly, waiting for the music to fall silent before turning back to the girls. “Hey, Pepper told me you were on the roof, I didn’t want to bother you up there.”

“We were just letting Pig out for some fresh air,” Hermione lied with a small blush as she hobbled through the workshop with Ginny’s help.

“Welcome to candyland,” Tony laughed as he waved his free arm around. “What do you think?”

“I liked the music,” Ginny said, picking a vaguely safe topic.

“Spellbound,” Tony nodded. “Not one of their best, but a good track.” He said with a shrug. “I’m more a Shoot to Thrill guy personally.” He said, putting the soldering iron down and making sure to rub any of the solder left on the nib off on the sponge underneath before putting it in it’s holster. “So, exploring then?” He asked with a grin.

“Sorry, I didn’t know we were disturbing you,” Hermione said quickly.

“No, not at all,” Tony shook his head. “Just some last-minute upgrades really, just some wiring and testing the new fittings out, nothing that can’t wait.” He explained.

“What is that?” Ginny asked, looking at the metal glove that covered half of Mr Stark’s arm and all of his hand.

“This?” Tony asked, holding up his hand. “Technically it’s… well, I guess you could call it a gauntlet. It’s main use, aside from armour, is the repulsor built into the palm.” He explained, turning his hand over and holding it out for the girls to see.

“Repulsor?” Hermione asked, repeating the strange word.

“I designed them,” Tony explained. “Mostly they’re flight stabilisers, the technology works by converting electrons into muons, then when you charge an electrical current you create plasma, which can be focused through an electromagnetic…” He trailed off seeing the looks the two girls were giving him. “And I’ve lost you.” He said, shaking his head.

“I understood up to when you said flight stabiliser,” Ginny admitted with a small grin, seeing that Hermione was as lost as she was.

“Ok,” Tony nodded. “Think of lightning,” He said, continuing when he saw them nod. “Lightning is ionised plasma.”

“You’re making a glove that shoots lightning?” Ginny guessed.

“No, well, yes, well, kind of,” Tony said. “Lightning is partially ionised plasma, I’m using a similar method, but directing it, so it only goes where I need it to and not just anywhere it wants. It’s more like a blast of force than a lightning bolt.” He tried to explain. “I designed it originally for… well, it’s used for flight stabilisers instead of burning fuel.” He said, not wanting to tell the girls he’d originally designed the repulsor technology to use in missiles to drive them deeper in impacts and cause more damage.

“So, you can fly with them?” Ginny asked, her eyes going wide at the thought of muggles that could fly.

“Pretty well as well,” Tony grinned. “Ok, stand back, I’ll show you how much force they kick out.” He explained, turning to the side so the girls could see how the gauntlet was attached up his arms and to his shoulder and then through to the arc reactor on his chest.

“Ok,” Ginny nodded, helping Hermione step back a few paces so she could watch.

“There’s fine,” Tony nodded when he saw the girls move to stand beside one of the tables. “This’ll be pretty loud ok?” He asked, holding up his hand to the middle of the room, making sure he was only using one percent power so he wouldn’t he blasted back. “Ready?” He asked, checking with the girls again as he flexed his fingers, opening the palm repulsor port.

Flexing his forearm he activated the repulsor, sending out a small blast of plasma energy and kicking up a few papers in the room. He saw the girls flinch but didn’t expect the small redhead to jump in front of Hermione brandishing a stick at him.

“Expelliarmus!”

He didn’t have chance to ask what the strange word was as the gauntlet and brace was ripped from his arm in an impossible way by an unseen force, flying through the air for the redhead to snatch as she pointed the wand at him.

“What!” Tony yelled out at the same time as Hermione shouting “Wait!”

“What the hell!” Tony yelled again, trying to figure out exactly what just happened.

“Ginny!” Hermione yelled, trying to pull Ginny back from where he wand was still pointing at Mr Stark threateningly. “He wasn’t… It wasn’t going to hurt us!” She said firmly.

“It… it wasn’t?” Ginny asked, suddenly very aware of what she’d done and what she was holding.

“It might now, it’s still armed.” Tony said firmly. “Careful with the hand, put it on the desk, gently, and step away.” He said, making sure he cut off every word as he said it.

“I’m… I’m sorry, I thought…” Ginny whispered, doing her best to put the red and gold coloured gauntlet down on the workbench where Mr Stark had pointed.

“My fault, I shouldn’t have shown you that.” Tony admitted, taking a deep breath. “I’m sorry I surprised you alright?” He asked, making sure both the girls were alright. “Are you sure you’re both alright?” He asked once Ginny had put the gauntlet down, breathing a bit better when he knew it couldn’t accidentally set off a repulsor blast in the young girl’s hand.

“We’re fine,” Hermione said. “Or we will be until your mum hears about this.” She said, looking at Ginny with a frown.

“Sorry, I… I didn’t know what it was… I thought…” Ginny whispered.

“You thought I was a threat,” Tony said, recognising the protective action the girl had taken by getting in front of Hermione. “You were going to protect Hermione from me?” He asked, his eyebrows raising in surprise as pride for his daughter’s friend swelled up in his chest. “What the hell was that anyway? Some sort of telekinesis?” He asked, trying to figure out how she’d managed to pull the Iron Man gauntlet off of his hand and away from him without hurting him or releasing any of the catches. “Seriously, that was impressive!” He admitted.

“It’s… um… Hermione?” Ginny whispered, her eyes wide as she tried to think of a believable explanation here.

“Oh, yeah, nice stick by the way.” Tony grinned, seeing the ornate looking stick Ginny had pulled from somewhere that had been pointed at him and was now somewhat badly hidden up her sleeve.

“It was magic,” Hermione said softly, stepping forwards thinking ‘now or never’ in her mind as she stepping in front of Ginny. “I’m a witch.” She admitted bashfully, waiting for the confused reaction.

“A what now?” Tony’s face of blinking disbelief said it all.


The Triskelion
Washington, D.C.

Director Nicholas Fury was not having a good day as he stormed into his office, he’d been contacted by various people separately from the World Council in the last few hours demanding to talk with him and see his evaluation of Tony Stark, people that shouldn’t even know the name, let alone be talking about him and requesting meetings with the man.

Then there was the news that apparently, somehow, Tony Stark had a child, a daughter. That thought alone was enough to make his blood run cold, there were two of them in the world now. The prospect for nightmares alone was horrifying.

“Sir, Agent Romanoff is here.” Agent Hill announced from where she’d followed him and stood by the doorway while he got settled.

“Send her in,” Fury groused, leaning on his desk and frowning at today’s events as he run them through in his mind. Tony Stark should have no contact with MACUSA, there was no reason for him to have any contact with that secretive society, and equally MACUSA officials should not be contacting him through unofficial channels asking for information on Tony Stark.

It didn’t make sense, and the only connecting piece he could see was Stark’s mysterious child.

“Sir,” Agent Romanoff said loudly, announcing her presence as she entered the room and closed the door behind her.

“Agent Romanoff, your cover at Stark Industries still intact?” Fury asked, instantly cutting through to business.

“Yes sir,” Agent Romanoff nodded crisply, knowing Stark had kept it intact after the incident over the Stark Expo fiasco earlier in the year.

“You’re keeping an eye on him?” Fury asked.

“Officially I’m on other projects,” Agent Romanoff explained. “What’s he done?”

“Not sure,” Fury groused. “People are asking about him, people that shouldn’t be. He needs shadowing again, possibly for his own protection.” He mused with a frown. “It might be your scariest assignment yet.” He said with a wry smirk to her.

“I shadowed Banner at Culver University. I saw him and Blonsky up close during the Harlem Incident.” Agent Romanoff bristled. “What could be scarier than that?” She frowned.

“Banner’s in Kolkata, we don’t foresee an incident.” Fury shrugged. “I’ll need you in England, that’s where Stark’s supposed to be.”

“England?” Agent Romanoff raised an eyebrow there. “That’s supposed to be scarier than Banner and Blonsky?” She nearly laughed.

“Tony Stark has a child.” Fury simply, watching the news register on Agent Romanoff’s face.

“Bozhe moi!” Agent Romanoff whispered in horror as the thought of Tony Stark reproducing filtered through her brain.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


 

Tony blinked a few times at what Hermione has said. Witch, and she’d said it seriously, completely dead plan. “Was that a joke about my taste in music? Spellbound? Hah hah,” He said dryly. “You know I’m keeping that as your ring tone now? You know, for when I get you a phone.” He said with a shrug. “Come on, really now? How’d you do that?” He asked seriously.

“Seriously.” Hermione said quietly.

“A witch?” Tony asked, raising a single eyebrow. “Magic… wands?” He asked, looking at the stick Ginny was still fiddling with nervously where she’d not so subtly stuck it up her sleeve. “JARVIS? Did I get dosed with something?” He asked semi-seriously.

“No sir, I am detecting no abnormalities in your blood.” JARVIS responded after running a scan across Tony’s body.

“A witch?” Tony asked again, turning back to the girls. “Pointy hats, broomsticks, black cats? All that? Like Sabrina?”

“Who’s Sabrina?” Hermione asked, wondering if Mr Stark actually knew any witches.

“Never mind,” Tony muttered, waving the thought away. “Pop culture reference from the nineties, probably before you were born.” He frowned. “And again with the feeling old.” He muttered to himself. “Ok, start at the beginning.” He said, leaning to sit against the workbench nearest to him.

“I’m a witch,” Hermione said again, a bit louder this time.

“We covered that,” Tony nodded. “That doesn’t tell me what you mean by witch though.” He asked, saying the word ‘witch’ and making quote marks in the air. “And I’m guessing you mean both of you by that, and not just you?” He checked then continued when Ginny nodded quietly.

“I can use magic,” Hermione clarified.

“Magic, right,” Tony frowned. “I’m going to need a bit more to go on here than witches and magic.” Tony said firmly. “What was that you shouted to pull my armour away?” He asked, turning to Ginny.

“Expelliarmus,” Ginny said quietly when Hermione nodded at her. “It’s a disarming spell, I thought…”

“Ah,” Tony shook his head. “Trying to think about this without making plans to lock myself in a padded room with a straight jacket.” He said, cutting Ginny off. “Words like ‘spell’ aren’t helping.” He explained.

“I’m sorry,” Ginny said, looking to Hermione this time instead of Tony.

“Why are you saying sorry to her? I’m the one who’s armour you ripped off?” Tony asked with a smirk. “Which, despite freaking me out, was definitely cool.” He grinned.

“Because we were supposed to wait,” Hermione explained. “You’re not supposed to know about magic until someone comes to tell you about everything.”

“And we’re back to magic,” Tony frowned. “Ok, so tell me?” He said firmly. “Not that I’m believing any of this right now, but I’m listening.”

“We can’t,” Hermione said firmly. “We’re not allowed to. Ginny shouldn’t even have done that.” She explained.

“Why not?” Tony asked. “She thought I was a threat, she defended you.” He said with a shrug. “Hell, I’d be proud of her if I wasn’t still confused about what she did.” He said with a small smile at how Ginny beamed slightly at his words.

“We should tell your dad,” Hermione said, looking to Ginny. “He’ll know what to do.”

“Wait, her parents know?” Tony asked. “About witches and magic and black cats and things?” He asked, doing his very best not to roll his eyes at the idea. It was obviously some sort of prank or practical joke from the girls, it had to be.

When both the girls nodded he sighed loudly, leaning down heavier on the bench.

“I didn’t want you to find out like this,” Hermione said quietly. “I’ll go.” She whispered.

“What? No,” Tony said firmly, standing up from the bench. “Why would you go?”

“Harry,” Ginny explained. “One of our friends.” She clarified. “His aunt and uncle hate magic, he’s bullied about it at home a lot. They even put bars on his windows and stuff to stop him from owling his friends.” She explained.

“Mum and dad didn’t like it either,” Hermione whispered. “They only let me because it made me happier than normal school ever did.” She explained. “They got over it, but were freaking out at first.”

“You think I don’t want you here because of that?” Tony asked, stepping forward and putting his hand on Hermione’s shoulder. “Can you do that? The whole disarming thing, you know, literally disarming?” He grinned at the play on words until he saw Hermione’s distraught face. “Hey kid, nobodies kicking you out. This is your home now, as long as you want to be here, you’re staying here.” He said firmly.

“You… you’re not mad about the magic?” Hermione whispered.

“Firstly, I’m still dubious about the whole magic thing.” Tony admitted. “But hey, it’s not a deal breaker. Convince me you’re Glinda and not the Wicked Witch of the West, and we’re all good.” He said with a smile that faltered when he saw the confused looks on the girls faces. “Pop culture references are completely lost on you two aren’t they?” He asked with a sigh.

“Sorry,” Hermione said with a small smile.

“Forgotten,” Tony waved the thought away. “Listen, you don’t have to leave. Not over something like this. Hell, I fly around in a red and gold suit of armour, I’ve got nothing to judge about.” He said with a small smile.

“I like the colours,” Ginny spoke up with a bashful smile. “Red and gold, they’re our school house colours.” She explained.

“Really?” Tony asked, then grinned when Hermione nodded at him. “See, you’re definitely part of the family.” He said with a laugh.

“But… what about…” Hermione started but Tony cut her off.

“The elephant in the room.” Tony nodded. “Ok, your parents can clear this up?” He asked, looking to Ginny for clarification, then continuing when she nodded. “Fine, JARVIS, have one of the cars brought around, and find me directions for Otter… where was it?” He asked, looking to Ginny again.

“Ottery St Catchpole sir,” JARVIS confirmed before Ginny had chance to speak. “Directions are being forwarded to your phone. The car will be ready shortly.”

“Fine,” Tony nodded. “Ok, grab your coats. We’ll go sort this all out.”

“Mum and dad?” Ginny asked, realising he meant to drive down to The Burrow.

“Sure,” Tony nodded. “Need a hand with the lift?” He asked gently, looking at Hermione who still looked upset over what had happened.

“I can manage,” Hermione said quietly as she followed him with Ginny towards the lift and back up to the apartment to collect their coats.


 

It was quite possibly the most uncomfortable journey of Tony Stark’s life. Despite driving the comfortable Audi A-Five that had been readied in the garage for him, in his usual hotrod red, the girls had sat in the back in silence for nearly three hours as he drove in quiet, following the directions JARVIS had pulled up on the satnav screen in front of the steering wheel for him to follow.

The ride was doubly uncomfortable for him every time he glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw the girls, both looking like they’d done something terrible and were in trouble over it, but neither of them wanted to talk about it. He hadn’t even known teenage girls could stay quiet for three hours at a time, not talking with him, let alone talking with each other.

Thankfully the sun was still up, if low over the horizon, when Tony drove into the small town and JARVIS’ directions vanished from his phone screen. “Ok I’m going to need directions from here.” He admitted, still trying to play out in his head what had happened and how, or if it was just some ploy by the girls to get him to let them out of the house for a bit. He didn’t think so though, as he was reasonably sure the girls had been settling in alright, and even Pepper had said Hermione had started to open up a bit when she’d taken them up to the roof.

He waited for a beat until Ginny spoke, then followed her directions through the town itself and out again, heading south and into rural countryside and down narrow roads that winded between woodland that looked almost overgrown with trees.

He could appreciate countryside, he didn’t particularly enjoy it, but he could appreciate the cleaner air and feeling of being away from everything. He hadn’t thought about it when Ginny had said they didn’t have a phone at home, but now seeing the woodlands and rolling hills he was driving through, he could well imagine phone lines having trouble reaching their home.

“Right up here, it’s a dirt track.” Ginny said quietly.

“JARVIS, you tracking all this?” Tony asked hopefully, keeping an eye out for the dirt track Ginny had mentioned while hoping that JARVIS was recording their path so he wouldn’t get lost driving back to the city.

“Yes sir,” JARVIS’ voice came back over the phone speakers. “I believe the road in question is thirty-two yards ahead.”

“Great,” Tony nodded to himself, looking in the rear-view mirror again and catching a concerned look between the two girls. “I hope this isn’t some sort of trick.” He whispered to himself under his breath, then thought about it, if it wasn’t a trick, then magic was real and he had a witch for a daughter. If it was some sort of trick or game, then he’d just driven three hours in uncomfortable silence for nothing. “Here goes,” He muttered, shaking his head as he slowed down and caught sight of the think dirt track that led off of the main road between another winding woodland.

He slowed down the car to a comfortable pace, driving slowly over the dirt track over one hill before the woodlands opened up into green meadows and rivers, letting him drive a bit faster and feel better without the oppressive woods surrounding him. “Just follow the road?” He asked, looking to the rear-view mirror to catch Ginny’s eyes.

“You’ll know it when you see it Mr Stark.” Hermione said quietly.

Tony sighed at being relegated back to Mr Stark after the day they’d had. He honestly thought they were doing better, she’d been calling him Tony and seemed to be settling in ok, even enjoying a meal with him and Pepper. He’d been planning to order Chinese for dinner and introduce the girls to every type of food he could think of, but all that seemed to vanish now because of his mistake in the workshop.

“Ok,” He said quietly, focusing on driving onwards and doing his best not to show how hurt he was at losing the ground he’d made up with Hermione. “What the…” He muttered as he followed the road around a hedgerow that followed a small river, coming up on the most impossible building he’d ever seen in his life. “Is that it?” He asked in what he hoped sounded like shock, and not disgust.

The house he was driving to, if it could be called a house, looked like an architect’s nightmare brought to life. He was pretty sure it must have started as a two-story house at some point in it’s life, but since then several more had been added on top of it, jutting out at odd angles and bringing it up to five floors that he could see above the ground, at least three of which he was pretty sure broke the laws of physics in how they were holding themselves up.

“I’ve been drugged, it’s the only explanation.” Tony muttered to himself as he drove on towards the impossible house, driving slowly up the dirt track that lead towards it and relaxing slightly when he saw Mrs Weasley come out of the house in question. “Ok, right place then. Impossible, but right.” He muttered to himself as he drove up to where Mrs Weasley was looking at the car, a stick in her hand as well that vanished up her sleeve when she saw him through the windscreen and worry coloured her face. “So that’s who you take after then,” Tony smirked when he realised he’d seen Mrs Weasley do the same thing with her stick that Ginny had done.

“Hi,” Tony said as he turned the car ignition off, waving as he got out of the car and moved around to open the door to let the girls out.

“What happened? Is everything alright dears?” Molly asked, rushing to the two girls.

“We’re fine,” Ginny said quickly. “There was… an accident,” She said bashfully. “I thought he was attacking us!” She defended herself quickly.

“Really wasn’t!” Tony said just as quickly when Mrs Weasley turned to him. “Mistake, really.” He said when he saw her glare.

“It was a mistake Mrs Weasley,” Hermione nodded as she got out of the car with Ginny’s help. “Mr Stark was showing us some… technology, and she thought he was going to attack us.” She explained.

“Oh Merlin!” Molly whispered, rolling her eyes. “What did you do?” She asked, looking at her daughter.

“Disarming spell,” Ginny said bashfully.

“Again with the spell word,” Tony frowned. “The girls said you can clear this all up?” He asked, looking from her back to the house, and raising an eyebrow at the impossible structure.

“Come on then dears, lets get you inside.” Molly smiled, busting the girls back to the house while Tony followed, a bit unsure what he was actually walking into here.

Tony’s eyes lit up as soon as he walked through the door where Mrs Weasley had led the girls, obviously a back door to the house that led into a kitchen slash dining room area, there was a large rustic table that stretched the length of the room where Ginny was helping Hermione into a seat, somehow the modern metal crutches feeling out of place in the old fashioned wooden surroundings.

The kitchen was definitely warm and inviting, with the smell of home cooking coming from the oven, but it was the way the washing up was doing itself automatically that made his eyes widen, scrubbing brushes floated around through the suds and worked on frying pans and saucepans while dishcloths hung in the air to take the items when they were done and dry them off.

“I’ve walked into wonderland,” Tony muttered, looking around at various other impossible things, noting the way the lights were hanging candle lamps, there was a large clock on the wall that only had one hand, but instead of numbers were nonsense phrases like ‘time to make tea’ and ‘you’re late’.

“I’ll floo Professor McGonagall, just get comfortable dears.” Mrs Weasley said with a smile, indicating for Tony to take a seat.

“Do you want a drink?” Ginny asked quietly as Tony continued to look around the ‘impossible kitchen’ as it was quickly becoming named in his mind. He nodded absently as he caught sight of a book case, idly looking at it then frowning at the title as he read it out loud. “Enchantment in Baking?” He asked in bemusement.

“It’s really useful,” Ginny said with a smile as she came back over.

“Sounds it.” Tony replied deadpan, not knowing what else to say as he accepted a cold glass of orange liquid from the girl. “Orange juice?”

“Pumpkin juice,” Hermione corrected him with a small smile.

“Right,” Tony nodded, putting the glass down on the big table gingerly and catching the small laugh that Hermione tried to smother. “Really?” He asked, looking at her.

“It’s really nice, when you get used to it.” Hermione said quietly.

“And how long does that take?” Tony asked, raising an eyebrow.

“A few months,” Hermione admitted.

“I’ll pass,” Tony said, hoping he wasn’t offending anyone. “But I’ve got to know, who built this house? And how is it still standing? I’m pretty good, ok, I'm amazing with buildings, and if I designed something like this, it wouldn’t get past the first floor before falling down.”

“It’s…” Hermione trailed off as Mrs Weasley came back into the kitchen, followed by Professor McGonagall behind her. “Professor!” Hermione said in surprise.

“I came as soon as Molly floo’d dear,” Professor McGonagall smiled reassuringly.

“I’m sorry, who?” Tony asked, looking between the people he knew and the new addition. The woman was wearing emerald green robes along with a very stereotypical witches hat over tied back black hair, and was looking at him with an appraising expression he’d normally seen on members of The Stark Board at meetings.

“Professor Minerva McGonagall,” Professor McGonagall introduced herself. “You are Mr Stark I presume?”

“You presume correctly,” Tony answered automatically.

“This isn’t the way we normally do things,” Professor McGonagall said, looking down at the two girls. “I had planned to come and see you on Monday in fact to talk about Miss Granger.” She explained. “But Molly tells me you have somewhat been enlightened already.”

“Sorry, talk, about…” Tony frowned, trying to get his head in gear when he was interrupted.

“About magic of course.” Professor McGonagall said sternly. “And Miss Granger’s continued education.”

“Ok, you lost me.” Tony said, shaking his head as he ran his fingers through his hair. “Do you mind?” He asked as he looked at an empty chair at the table.

“Of course,” Molly smiled, flicking her wand automatically at the chair, causing it to slide out and turn for him.

“Handy,” Tony quipped, sitting down gingerly in the self-moving chair. “More sticks then?” He asked. “Do you have one?” He asked curiously, looking at Hermione.

“It… it broke,” Hermione said softly, her eyes starting to tear up again.

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean…” Tony sighed, knowing he’d said completely the wrong thing again.

“Hush dear,” Molly said quietly, instantly swooping in and wrapping her arms around the girl in a gentle hug.

“Her wand was broken in the crash,” Ginny whispered quietly.

“Oh,” Tony whispered back, not knowing what else to say to that.

“We’ll get you to Diagon Alley soon dear,” Molly whispered. “Sooner than I’d have thought now I’d think.” She said, trying to bring a smile to the girl’s face.

“Can we start again? Because I’m lost here.” Tony asked, hoping he wasn’t going to say anything else that would upset Hermione.

“You are Miss Granger’s father?” Professor McGonagall asked, eying Tony carefully before flicking out here wand and pointing it at Tony.

It took all his will not to move as the strange woman muttered ‘colligatio aparecium’, causing the stick to flash bright green for a second, it was when he saw the same glow coming from Hermione that he got worried. “What did you…” Tony frowned as he pointed at the woman to demand an explanation, and saw a similar yellow glow coming from his hand, arm, and the rest of his body when he looked down. “I see just fine in the dark thanks, I don’t need to be a personal glowstick.” He said just before the glow around him and Hermione faded away.

“A simple spell to determine your relationship with Miss Granger, nothing more.” Professor McGonagall said calmly, her face a bit more relaxed now. “I established you are her father for my own, and Molly’s peace of mind. As well as official business of course.”

“Of course,” Tony muttered, but caught the look of relief on Hermione’s face. “Did that help?” He asked quietly, looking at Hermione then smiling when she nodded. “Ok then.” He said with a shrug, the woman had turned him and Hermione into a glow light for a few seconds, but aside from that it didn’t seem to do anything that he could see.

“Why the different colours Professor?” Hermione asked, and Tony flicked his eyes to Professor McGonagall as well, intrigued to the answer.

“Green for you, yellow for your father.” Professor McGonagall explained.

“And blue…” Tony caught on. “Blue and yellow make green.” He said, remembering basic colour mixing. “Must be useful at family gatherings.” He said with a chuckle, trying to move away from the fact that blue would have been Hermione’s mother if he followed the logical path.

“Indeed,” Professor McGonagall smiled wryly at him. “I apologise, but you understand the need to confirm these things.” She said as she sat down at the table opposite him.

“I’d have gone for a DNA test personally, but if the glowstick of destiny helped Hermione feel better, it works for me.” Tony admitted with a smile.

“It did,” Hermione said with a small nod.

“I’m all for it then.” Tony nodded back. “Now that that’s out of the way, will someone tell me what on earth is going on here?”

“Mr Stark, Miss Granger, much like myself, Miss Weasley, Molly and many others, is a witch.” Professor McGonagall said calmly. “Someone with the ability to use magic.”

“Magic? Like pulling rabbits out of hats?” Tony asked in amusement.

“I could turn you into a rabbit if you’d like,” Professor McGonagall said wryly. “Transfiguration is always a good way to prove things.”

“Pass,” Tony frowned at the idea. “I’m not really a furry person.”

“What would convince you that I am telling you the truth then?” Professor McGonagall asked with a raised eyebrow, turning it into a challenge.

“You want me to believe magic is real?” Tony asked, doing his best not to laugh as he could see Hermione’s watching him carefully. “Ok, hands up, I honestly…” He sighed when he saw all the serious faces around the table. “Fine, rabbit me.” He said. “If you can do that I’ll…” He didn’t have time to finish the sentence before Professor McGonagall flicked her wand at him again, and suddenly he felt a lot smaller sitting on the chair.

He blinked once, then again, then looked up as Ginny Weasley, now easily ten times the size she had been before, reached down and picked him up from the chair he’d been sat on and placed him on the table.

He tried to demand to know what was going on, but found he couldn’t speak. In the confusion he tried to look down at his mouth, only to see dark brown fur in front of his eyes. He slowly reached out an arm, only to see a furred paw reaching out instead. Looking down he could see for certain that yes, his body was that of a small dark brown furry animal, and he’d be willing to bet that there were large floppy ears coming off of his head as well.

‘Ok, I’m a rabbit.’ Was the only thing that went through Tony’s mind as the shock settled in, leaving him stunned and feeling very very lost.

“He makes a pretty cute bunny,” Ginny laughed, causing Tony to look over at her and glare. “Wow, I didn’t know bunnies could glare.” She said, continuing to laugh, and even Hermione smiled a bit at that.

He turned his head as he heard a door open again, seeing Mr Weasley come through smiling, the phone he’d given him in pieces in his hands. “Marvellous thing, genius muggles, however do they…”

Then there was a strange sensation through his body, and everything became the right size again, leaving him crouched on the table in his clothes and feeling very self-conscious. “I was not a cute bunny.” He said, looking over at Ginny as he climbed off the table.

“Oh, Mr Stark, you’re here!” Arthur said happily, putting the bits of the cellphone on the side for now. “What on earth are you doing in my kitchen?” He asked, seemingly catching himself and trying to find out what was going on.

“A good impression of a rabbit apparently,” Tony admitted, not really knowing what else to say.

“My word, were you really?” Arthur laughed.

“Ok, how did you do that?” Tony demanded, looking over to the woman who’d flicked her stick at him, apparently successfully turning him into a rabbit in answer to his challenge. “Magic, right.” He nodded, catching himself. “You can do that?” He asked, looking to Hermione.

“Advanced transfiguration is tricky,” Hermione answered bashfully. “Human Transfiguration is sixth year magic.” She explained. “We won’t start it for another year.”

“Quite, Miss Granger is one of my top students in fact.” Professor McGonagall said proudly.

“You teach that?” Tony asked in shock. “If I said I needed a drink, would anyone be surprised?” He asked with a small smile.

“Not at all,” Arthur smiled widely, heading to a cupboard and bringing out a bottle and a small glass tumbler, putting them on the table in front of him.

“Blishen's Firewhisky,” Tony read off the label. “Thanks.” He said, pouring out a large measure then tipping it back, swallowing it in one go.

“My word, good sport.” Arthur said proudly, patting Tony on the back when his face started to turn red. “Thirty-nine years old, good stuff.” He said happily.

“Smooth,” Tony choked out, doing his best to ignore the burning sensation in his throat and stomach.

“Do be careful, Firewhiskey is a lot stronger than normal alcohol.” Professor McGonagall said, Hermione catching the warning and nodding her head.

“Really Mr… Tony…” Hermione corrected herself quickly. “I wouldn’t.” She said quietly.

“Right,” Tony nodded, seeing that Hermione was worried for him after what he’d told her about his drinking before, between that and the fact he’d actually called him Tony again, he pushed the bottle and glass away. “Thanks though.” He said, looking to Hermione. “Thanks.” He nodded to her, smiling when she nodded back.

“Evening all,” Two voices shouted as they came in the door. “Blimey, Professor, what are you doing here? And… who are you?” One voice asked, causing Tony to turn his attention to the door again and catch sight of two identical twins walking through, both carrying broomsticks.

“Fred, George! Both of you, out, now!” Molly ordered firmly. “You know jolly well brooms stay in the shed, not in the kitchen!” She said, standing up from her chair.

“We just brought them in for waxing mum,” Fred said quickly. “The rain got into the shed, don’t want our brooms ruined.”

“We’d never play Quidditch again on ruined brooms.” George confirmed.

“Quidditch?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione and Ginny. “Like cricket?” He asked, remembering their earlier conversation in the car.

“This is Hermione’s father,” Arthur said proudly.

“Oh, nice to meet you.” Fred said happily.

“Must be right proud with a brain box like Hermione.” George confirmed.

“Um, I am.” Tony answered honestly.

“Brooms upstairs, now!” Molly interrupted before the twins could say anything else, herding them through the kitchen and out of view, catching sight of how Hermione was beaming at Tony saying he was proud of her.

“Brooms? Those were broomsticks, real broomsticks.” Tony asked, looking to Hermione and Ginny for an explanation. “You mean… flying?” He asked, raising his eyebrows.

“You play quidditch flying,” Ginny explained.

“It’s nothing like cricket really,” Hermione said, her face scrunched up as an apology.

“Ok, flying on brooms, turning people into rabbits.” Tony ticked off his fingers. “I’m beginning to see a pattern here.” He said with a small smile. “Witches?” He asked, looking around the table.

“Wizard if you don’t mind.” Arthur said proudly.

“Wizard,” Tony nodded. “Like… like Merlin.” He muttered as more pieces clicked into place.

“Remarkably so,” Arthur laughed at the shocked look on Tony’s face.

“Ok, so what else can you do?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione. “That disarming spell? Would it work on guns? Anything?” He asked, his brain running in a thousand different directions.

“Disarming spell?” Arthur frowned. “Girls? What happened?” He asked, not having put together why Mr Stark had driven the girls down to The Burrow yet.

“An accident, not their fault.” Tony waved the problem off. “I got careless showing the girls some new technology I was working on. It… it shocked them I think, next think I know I’ve got a stick…”

“Wand,” Hermione corrected him.

“Magic wand,” Tony sighed then nodded at her before continuing. “pointed at me.” He explained. “They said I should come here for an explanation, so, here we all are.” He explained, waving around the room.

“Good lord, really?” Arthur smiled excitedly. “What technology was it? I’d love to…”

“Not now Arthur,” Molly admonished him across the table. “Really, we have important things to talk about here, not indulging your curiosity.”

“Sorry dear,” Arthur nodded bashfully.

“As I said,” Professor McGonagall continued, drawing the conversation back on track. “I had planned to come and see you on Monday to talk about all of this with you and Miss Granger.” She explained. “But now we are here, might we forgo the girls needless suffering?” She asked.

“What?” Tony frowned, wondering what the strange woman was talking about before realising she was pointing her wand at the cast on Hermione’s arm. “Wait, what are you…” One flick and the sling and plaster cast around Hermione’s arm vanished in a twinkle of lights, another flick and swish and her arm glowed for a second before fading leaving her arm looking perfectly normal again.

“Thank you, professor,” Hermione said, breathing a sigh of relief as Professor McGonagall repeated the actions on her leg, leaving her feeling so much better.

“You can heal broken bones with a flick of your stick?” Tony asked in shock.

“Wand,” Hermione corrected him again.

“I do have some training as a medi-witch, broken bones are not the worst thing in the world to heal Mr Stark.” Professor McGonagall answered him. “I dare say I’ve healed my share over the years.” She said enigmatically. "Though Miss Granger will need plenty of sleep to recover from the spell."

“Useful,” Tony said, shutting his mouth before he could say anything stupid.

“I wanted to tell you, but… We’re not allowed without special permission.” Hermione explained.

“Permission from who?” Tony asked with a frown.

“Magic is kept secret for a reason Mr Stark, several reasons in fact.” Professor McGonagall explained sternly. “I trust you can appreciate that.”

Tony was about to say something but caught the look on Hermione’s face practically begging him not to argue with her about it. “Ok,” He settled with, trying to find something neutral to say.

“Miss Granger is a rather talented witch, quite one of the smartest I have ever come across.” Professor McGonagall explained. “One I believe has been upset at the thought of missing school because she was unable to talk to you about such matters.”

“Missing school?” Tony asked, wondering why the conversation had changed tracks from magic to education all of a sudden.

“Why yes, the girl cannot attend school without permission from their guardian.” Professor McGonagall explained. “We start Trans-species Transformation next year, and I know for a fact Miss Granger has been eagerly looking forward to it.”

“Trans…” Tony breathed out. “You teach magic.” He whispered, putting all the facts together before looking at Hermione. “You go to a magic school?” He asked in shock. “That’s why JARVIS couldn’t find your school records.” He sighed, putting everything together. “Sorry, hold on. Lots of pieces falling into place now, it’s like a puzzle and I just got the key to solving it all.”

“You’re handling it better than… than dad did.” Hermione said, whispering the last sadly.

“I’m…” Tony caught on to what Hermione had said and simply nodded at her, intent on not letting her down. “Ok, so Hermione’s a witch, like… like all of you.” He said, looking around the table. “World view just shifted a bit, give me a minute and I’ll be good.” He smiled, his tone full of self-assurance.

“Indeed,” Professor McGonagall smiled wryly at him. “I did visit The Ministry earlier and discussed things with Minister Thickness,” She explained, looking to Hermione. “It appears, either through various eager assistants or gossiping, that word of your family has reached schools in America as well.” She explained, looking at Mr Stark and then back to Hermione and continuing on when she saw Hermione’s shocked expression. “Both Ilvermorny and Salem Institute have contacted me and asked for copies of your transcripts. I’d expect you would hear from them both soon to offer you places at their respective schools.”

“Salem?” Ginny asked in shock. “Wow!”

“Salem Institute?” Tony asked, feeling very lost right now.

“A Witches Institute,” Professor McGonagall explained. “Quite prestigious.”

“Their quidditch team is amazing,” Ginny breathed out. “The Salem Sirens won the American National Seven years running!” She exclaimed.

“I thought you were a Hollyhead girl,” Molly smiled over.

“Hollyhead are amazing,” Ginny nodded firmly. “But the Sirens play all over the world, they’re famous all over for their games.”

“There’s a lot of words here that I’m getting confused with,” Tony admitted. “And I think I’m the only one, which is bugging me.”

“Quidditch is a sport played on brooms,” Ginny explained. “There’s the world cup, the British Leagues, American Nationals, and others.” She said eagerly, happy to talk about the Quidditch teams she supported. “Hollyhead are my favourite British team,” She said proudly. “Salem…”

“Salem are American, from this Institute,” Tony caught on. “Right, gotcha.” He nodded. “You play?” He asked, looking to Hermione. “And did she really just heal your arm and leg with a stick?”

“Wand,” Hermione corrected him yet again, rolling her eyes as she stood up so he could see that she was standing and moving her arms and legs without any pain.

“Strictly speaking, The Salem Institute isn’t a school as you would think of it, more an education organization dedicated to giving young witches the best start in their life.” Professor McGonagall explained.

“Four members of the American Quidditch Team came from Salem,” Ginny said proudly. “That’s over half just from one school! They were all Sirens, I’d kill to be able…” Ginny was cut off by her mother swiping her arm gently across the table.

“Enough about Quidditch dear,” Molly said firmly, having got used to the constant Quidditch talk over the years from all her children. “Tonight, we’re discussing Hermione’s future.”

“Quite,” Professor McGonagall nodded. “I am to understand both Salem and Ilvermorny will be offering you places to study shortly.” She explained. “A loss for Hogwarts I assure you.”

“I won’t be going to Hogwarts?” Hermione asked in shock, looking between Professor McGonagall and Mr Stark.

“That would be between you and your father,” Professor McGonagall said, catching how Hermione was looking at Mr Stark and then how she looked away quickly when she’d said ‘father’. “I apologise, that was thoughtless of me given your recent tragedy.” She said softly.

“It’s.. it’s alright professor,” Hermione said, her eyes clouding a bit. “You proved Mr… Tony… he’s really my dad.”

“I haven’t earned that name,” Tony said quietly, ‘not yet’ he added silently, promising to himself that he would though. “What are these schools like then? You said there’s Salem…”

“Ilvermorny,” Professor McGonagall nodded. “I visited several years ago, quite an impressive castle, a rich library I’m sure Miss Granger would appreciate.”

“And this…” Tony frowned, stumbling over the name. “Ilvermorny? That’s a witches school too?”

“Witches and Wizards,” Professor McGonagall nodded.

“Co-ed,” Tony nodded, fixing that with a more familiar term for his own peace of mind.

“If you like,” Professor McGonagall confirmed. “Much like Hogwarts, where Miss Granger has studied for the last three years.”

“Hogwarts is the best,” Hermione said happily, thinking of the school fondly.

“Ok, so you’re getting invitations to these other schools as well?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione. “Sorry, this is just a lot to take in.” He admitted, feeling a bit lost in the whole conversation. “I’m still processing the whole ‘magic is real’ thing.”

“Quite understandable dear,” Molly said with a small smile. “Spot of tea? Something to eat perhaps? You’re welcome to stay for dinner of course?”

“Oh mum! We had pizza for lunch!” Ginny grinned wildly. “It’s the most amazing food ever!”

“That’s nice dear,” Molly smiled patiently at her excited face. “I’ve got a chicken roast on if you’d like.” She said, looking at Mr Stark.

“Oh, um, sure.” Tony nodded absently.

“Wonderful,” Molly smiled, clapping her hands together. “Ron’s out camping and Percy’s working late, so it’ll be nice to have some more people in the house.” She explained happily. “Why don’t you all move into the living room, give me and Arthur some space to clear up and finish dinner?”

“Of course,” Professor McGonagall nodded, standing up from the chair. “We can continue our discussion there Mr Stark?”

“Yeah,” Tony nodded, still trying to wrap his head around everything he’d been told. “Wait, let me call Pepper, let her know what’s happened and why we drove off like that.”

“Pepper?” Professor McGonagall asked, narrowing her eyes at him. “Your wife perhaps?”

“Partner,” Tony said, nearly choking when the woman had said wife.

“I see,” Professor McGonagall nodded patiently. “Very well, we shall wait for you in the living room then. Girls?” She asked, prompting Ginny and Hermione out of their seats to follow her through into the living room.

“You’re doing just fine,” Arthur said with a wide smile as he clapped Tony on the back.

“Really doesn’t feel like it,” Tony admitted quietly. “My phone’s in the car, I’ll be one second ok?”

“Take your time dear,” Molly smiled at him before watching him leave the kitchen and head outside to his car. “Poor muggle, must be so confused with all this.” She said softly to Arthur.

“He’s doing fine,” Arthur said with a nod. “Just needs some time to adjust.”

“Seems to be quite taken with Hermione already,” Molly said thoughtfully. “I saw how he looked at her when Minerva called him her father.” She explained. “And it wasn’t a surprise to him at all.” She said as she cleared away the table. “He’s already the girls’ father in his heart, he just has to let his brain catch up with him.”

“Yes dear,” Arthur smiled, knowing better than to argue with his wife about things like that.

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


The Burrow
Ottery St Catchpole

Tony took a minute to breath as he leant against the hood of the car, he’d called Pepper and told her he’d taken the girls out to pick up some forgotten things from Ginny’s family, not really knowing what else to say. If he told her what the girls had told him, he was reasonably sure that Pepper would be waiting for him back at home with a straight jacket and several orderlies.

Looking up he took another look at the house that offended his sense of logic in so many ways, it shouldn’t be standing, by all rights it should have collapsed under the weight, if not toppled right over because of the odd angles of some of the extensions that had been built onto it without proper load bearing support, but it hadn’t, it was happily standing and looked like it had been so for quite a few years now without issue.

“I hate you,” He said emphatically to the house, his brain arguing that the laws of physics shouldn’t be broken like this, but the house in front of him was proof of what was happening.

His daughter was a witch. His daughter, and an entire family of friends, were witches. They used magic. Hell, they’d turned him into a fluffy bunny just for an example and it had actually worked. He had to admit, he’d still been hoping it had all been some sort of trick, maybe everything had been done with smoke and mirrors or something until then. He snorted in amusement at that, yeah, pulling his armour off of his arm into her waiting hands using just a stick, that had been done with smoke and mirrors. He might have been called obtuse by some people, but he wasn’t stupid, he knew what he’d seen despite how much his logical brain had rebelled against it, and now he needed to understand it.

Taking another deep breath he pushed himself off the car and walked back to the house, walking through the open door into the kitchen where Arthur was happily directing floating plates around the room with his wand and organising the table for them all.

“Everything aright dear?” Molly asked, looking up from where she was fiddling with some vegetables on another counter.

“Um, yeah, all good.” Tony nodded, unable to take his eyes off the floating plates.

“I know it must be a bit of a shock, you’ll get there though.” Molly smiled reassuringly at him. “I know it means a lot to Hermione that you’re doing your best with it.”

“Seeing, still working on understanding.” Tony nodded.

“Nobody expects you to understand magic dear,” Molly laughed with a smile as she came over. “Most witches and wizards don’t understand how things work either, but if anyone can help you, that girl of yours will be able to.” She said, reaching up and giving Tony’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “Now go on, go and talk with the girls and the Professor, I’m sure you have all sorts of questions for them.” She said, shuffling Tony through the kitchen into the living room. “I’ll call when dinner is ready.”

Tony nodded at that as he was left in the doorway of the living room, the two girls had already settled into a small couch while the strange woman that had turned him into a rabbit was sitting in a smaller chair doing her best to look professional while sinking into it’s soft furnishings.

“Is Pepper ok?” Ginny asked first, speaking up before anyone else.

“She’s good, just continuing on with work. I don’t think she’d even noticed we’d gone really.” Tony said with a smirk.

“Did you…” Hermione started to ask but trailed off when Tony shook his head.

“Not sure I even know what I’d tell her,” Tony admitted. “Not the sort of thing you explain over the phone.” He explained. “Without any proof or anything, she’d probably think I’d gone mad.” He said with a chuckle. “Madder.” He amended after thinking about it.

“Quite possibly,” Professor McGonagall nodded with a small smile quirking the corner of her mouth.

“Sorry, still working processing all of this.” Tony admitted. “I might have caught your name before, but after everything…” He admitted, floundering a bit.

“Professor Minerva McGonagall.” Professor McGonagall smiled, introducing herself again and smiling thinly at Mr Stark’s attempts to integrate himself. “I am the deputy headmaster at Hogwarts along with the transfiguration teacher.”

“The school Hermione goes to,” Tony nodded. “Ok, upto date.” He said with a smile. “I’ll probably have a load more questions as we go, so you’ll have to bear with me.” He admitted.

“I would expect nothing less,” Professor McGonagall chuckled. “I assure you Mr Stark, I have done this many times with muggle born children, and I will admit, you are taking it far better than most.”

“Thanks, I think?” Tony muttered, ruffling his hair with his fingers. “Muggle born?”

“Muggles are people without magic,” Hermione explained when Professor McGonagall gestured for her to join in the conversation.

“So this magic thing, it can happen spontaneously from parents without magic?” Tony asked, wondering where it actually came from.

“It is rare, but it happens.” Professor McGonagall nodded. “It is however more likely that somewhere in the past, one of Miss Granger’s ancestors, either on your side or her mothers, was a squib.” She explained. “And the magic simply re-emerged in Miss Granger.”

“Squib?” Tony frowned at the unfamiliar word.

“Someone born to magic parents but can’t use magic.” Hermione explained again.

“Ok, so it can happen both ways.” Tony nodded, musing over that and wondering if he could isolate the gene that allowed for this magic to occur so he could understand why and how it happened.

“Indeed,” Professor McGonagall nodded. “Why don’t you sit down, you’re making the place look untidy standing around like that.” She smiled at the lost look on Mr Stark’s face as he looked around before walking to an open chair.

“Professor, why would the American schools be asking for my transcripts?” Hermione asked, sensing a point in the conversation to ask her own questions now. “Do students transfer between schools a lot?”

“It is rare, but it happens.” Professor McGonagall nodded. “I know of several students that have transferred from Hogwarts to Durmstrang and Beauxbatons Academy in the past due to various reasons, however, as to why they are interested in you, I feel I must admit that that is my fault.”

“Your fault professor?” Hermione frowned, why would it be Professor McGonagall’s fault that other schools were contacting her.

“I asked, well, in the process of arranging things to speak with Mr Stark on Monday, I made the mistake of asking for some information on Mr Stark with the American Congress of Magic. Needing more information rather than the hearsay and whispers I had gathered so far.” Professor McGonagall explained. “I gather that in the conversation it came up that you were Mr Stark’s child, and I am to understand that you are someone of some influence and resources?” She asked, looking at Mr Stark.

“You could say that,” Tony smirked back.

“I feel that it is likely then that the schools in America wish to contact you to offer places to you,” Professor McGonagall explained. “Either for the prestige of bringing Mr Stark’s name to their school, or for any other number of reasons.” She continued when she saw the look of shock on Hermione’s face. “Don’t be surprised Miss Granger, the American Congress works far closer with their muggle counterparts than our own Ministry does. And from what I’m told, Mr Stark’s name is a rather well known one in those circles.”

“You are?” Hermione asked in shock, looking to Mr Stark.

“I’ve dealt with Congress before,” Tony nodded. “Quite a few times actually, and senators regularly, and The President.” He admitted. “Ok, yeah, I can see where your Professor is coming from here.” He admitted with a bashful smile. “Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about how people would react when they found out you… you were my daughter.” He explained. “I figured the press would go mad, that was a given. Maybe I’d have to get some extra security around you or something, but I hadn’t thought about schools or anything like that.”

“Is that normal then? In America?” Ginny asked. “For schools to get famous children to go there?”

“Normal?” Tony frowned. “Most times, if it’s someone famous or powerful, there are private schools that can offer better security than regular schools.” He explained. “But yes, the more prestigious schools might approach families offering spaces there for the children, either to bolster their own reputation, or for money.” He nodded.

“And you think this is why Salem and Ilvermorny are asking for Hermione?” Ginny asked in shock. “But she’s brilliant! Surely they’d want her on her own without any of that stuff.”

“Rest assured Miss Weasley, I am sure that once The Salem Institute and Ilvermorny receive Miss Granger’s transcripts, they will be beating down the door to offer her a place on her own merit rather than that of… Mr Stark’s.” Professor McGonagall smiled, happy that she’d caught herself before calling Mr Stark Hermione’s father again. “Though do not be surprised if conditions arise where funding and influence is brought into question. I am led to believe Mr Stark’s fortune is one of some wealth.”

“You could say that,” Tony smirked at that.

“How rich?” Ginny asked bluntly, then grinning when Hermione smacked her arm.

“Ginny!” Hermione frowned, blushing at her friend’s question.

“What? You’re saying he’s so rich schools would be asking him for money,” Ginny laughed. “Are we talking quidditch player rich here or Malfoy rich?”

“Off hand?” Tony asked. “Last estimate was somewhere in the twelve billion mark.” He explained. “That’s not including Stark Industries annual net worth of around twenty-three billion.” He said with a smirk at the shocked look on the three other faces in the room. “That’s dollars, I’ve no clue what the current exchange rate is.” He said with a shrug.

“Merlin,” Professor McGonagall whispered. “You must excuse the shock Mr Stark, I… I was told you had resources, but… my, that is quite a magnitude above what I had expected.”

“Billion?” Ginny whispered in shock, unable to wrap her head around the numbers Mr Stark was talking about.

“The exchange rate is about one galleon to….” Hermione trailed off in her explanation as she calculated the figure in her head, remembering the exchange rate from when Bill had been talking about it before with Mr Weasley when he was working with MACUSA on a curse breaking expedition in Nevada. “So that… oh Merlin!” Hermione whispered as she calculated Mr Stark’s worth in galleons, her eyes going wide at the number. “Nearly three billion galleons.”

“Galleons?” Tony asked, raising an eyebrow. “Don’t know that one.”

“We use our own currency Mr Stark,” Professor McGonagall explained, thankful to have something to talk about and think about instead of the very large number Hermione had just presented her with. “As American witches and wizards use a different currency as well.”

“Oh,” Tony nodded at that, looking over to see the two girls still looking at each other in shock.

“I fear the understanding of your personal wealth might have broken them Mr Stark,” Professor McGonagall chuckled good naturedly at the two shocked girls. “Such resources are extraordinarily rare to come across in our world.” She explained. “The Malfoy family, which Miss Weasley equated you to, is worth some several million.”

“I put that in a trust fund for Hermione,” Tony said blandly. “Ten million, when I was flying over.” He explained. “I… I didn’t know what would happen, if she’d want to see me or not. But either way, I didn’t want her to have any problems with money, not when she’s… she’s mine.” He said with a nod.

“You… you gave Hermione ten million?” Ginny asked in shock, her eyes wider than they’d ever been in her life.

“Dollars, not whatever money you’re talking about.” Tony said with a nod. “But… um, yeah.” He nodded, scratching the back of his neck and hoping Hermione wouldn’t be mad at him for it. “I had JARVIS set up a trust fund with it.” He explained.

“Ten… ten…” Hermione was breathing out, unable to comprehend what she’d just been told.

“Breath,” Ginny laughed at her. “Use your head, focus on something else. Work that out into normal money.” She said with a grin, watching as Hermione’s forehead furrowed as she calculated it before her eyes went wide again.

“Two… two million galleons.” Hermione whispered in shock, feeling extremely light headed as it sunk in.

“Is that a lot?” Tony asked, looking to the professor. “I can transfer more if she’ll need it?” He asked with a shrug causing Professor McGonagall to chuckle loudly at his confused look.

“I dare say that that is more than enough to cover Miss Granger’s finances for many years to come,” Professor McGonagall said between chuckles. "Whichever school she decides to attend."

“Great,” Tony nodded, satisfied that Hermione would be taken care of no matter what. “You’ll have to walk me through having it converted into whatever money she normally uses.” He said with a smile.

“I’m sure Miss Granger would be more than happy to explain these things to you,” Professor McGonagall said with a small smile. “Once she has recovered from the shock that is.” She added, seeing the two pale faces of the girls on the couch.

“Ok, I just wanted to…” Tony trailed off as a large orange ball of fur jumped onto his lap interrupting him, causing him to look down at the monster of fur. It looked like a very large cat, with a squished face and an extremely fluffed out tail. Somewhere between a Norwegian Forest Cat and something that had been hit in the face with a frying pan at birth. “Ok?” Tony muttered to himself as the large cat sniffed around him curiously before curling up in his lap. “Family pet?” He asked, looking to Ginny, and managing to break the girls out of their shocked silence.

“Crookshanks!” Hermione shouted, causing the kneasle cat hybrid to look up from where it had curled up happily before settling back down again and purring loudly.

“Well, that settles is then, you’re approved.” Ginny laughed at how comfortable Crookshanks looked on Mr Stark’s lap.

“Your cat?” Tony asked, looking at Hermione. “It is a cat right? Not some cat-tiger crossbreed?” He asked, trying to gauge how big the animal was under all it’s fluffed up fur.

“A kneasle cross,” Professor McGonagall explained with a small nod. “Quite an intelligent familiar for Miss Granger, one I’m told that is exceedingly good at filtering out untrustworthy persons.”

“A large psychic cat?” Tony asked, blinking at that. “I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that doesn’t surprise me at all, or the fact that it should.” He said with a wry smile.

“Crookshanks! Come here!” Hermione hissed, trying to bribe Crookshanks off of Mr Stark’s lap by clicking her fingers at him, only succeeding in making the Kneasle look at her then return to his curled-up position.

“He’s fine,” Tony waved the thought away. “He’s not going to claw me up or anything right? He is a he?”

“He,” Hermione confirmed. “No, he won’t attack you. He’s good at knowing who he likes.” She said happily.

“I should take the guy to board meetings, would save a lot of time,” Tony chuckled as he gently ruffled the fluffy fur on the cats head, causing him to purr louder at the attention.

“Dinner!” Ginny was off her seat first as the call sounded from her mother, with Hermione up next.

“I should be on my way then,” Professor McGonagall smiled thinly as she stood up from her chair. “I’m afraid we didn’t have as much time to cover the important questions I feel you must have. Though if you are still willing, I do still have plans to see you on Monday if that is acccpetable?” She asked as Mr Stark stood up from his chair, displacing Crookshanks who glared up at him from where he moved to the arm of the chair.

“Monday?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione. “Is that ok?” He checked, then turned back to Professor McGonagall when Hermione nodded. “Works for me.” He said with a smile, offering his hand to the professor to shake.

“Very well, I shall see you and Miss Granger then.” Professor McGonagall nodded before walking to the fireplace along the middle wall dividing the living room from the kitchen. “Hogwarts!” She enunciated clearly, throwing some floo powder into the fireplace before vanishing in a cloud of green fire.

“What the!!!” Tony shouted, falling back as the professor exploded into emerald flames.

“We didn’t tell him about the floo,” Ginny said with a giggle as Hermione smothered her laughter. “It’s ok Mr Stark, that’s perfectly normal.”

“Normal?” Tony demanded. “She… she…”

“Floo’d to Hogwarts,” Hermione explained, doing her best not to smile at the horrified shock on Mr Stark’s face. “It’s a normal way to travel around here.”

“It is?” Tony asked in shock, seeing how the two girls seemed completely fine with this. “You travel through fireplaces in green fire?”

“Pretty regularly,” Ginny nodded with a smile. “Food?” She asked, reminding everyone that dinner had been called.

“Come on,” Hermione smiled gently at him. “I’ll explain it to you while we’re eating.” She said gingerly.

“Still finding the whole healing with a stick thing weird,” Tony admitted. “Do you mind?” He asked, gesturing to Hermione’s arm that a few hours ago had been painfully broken in two places and badly bruised.

“Ginny dear, go and fetch your brothers,” Molly asked, coming to the doorway to see what was taking everyone so long. “Minerva left already?” She asked with a sigh. “I had hoped she’d stay as well.”

“She floo’d back to Hogwarts Mrs Weasley,” Hermione explained as Ginny jogged away and headed up the stairs in the corner of the room. “She’s coming back to see Mr Stark on Monday though.”

“Tony,” Tony said off hand. “Please?” He asked hopefully.

“Tony,” Hermione corrected herself with a small smile.

“That goes for me as well dear,” Molly said. “It’s Molly, to you as well.” She said, looking at Mr Stark. “Any family of Hermione’s is family here too.” She said firmly. “Now, come on before the food starts getting cold.” She said with a warm smile, herding Hermione and Tony through into the kitchen.


 

Tony sighed happily as he leaned back in his chair and quirked an eyebrow at the way Molly was directing plates and dishes towards the sink with her wand, causing them to silently fly through the air and land in the slowly filling sink to wash themselves up.

The meal had been surprisingly fun, Ginny’s twin brothers were natural born jokers and he could appreciate the sense of humour they brought to everything. Hermione had sat next to him with Ginny, explaining everything in text book like fashion whenever something was said that he didn’t understand. Apparently, it had been the same for her in her first few months finding out about magic, so she recognised the look on his face whenever something was said that didn’t make sense to him.

“So, how are you dealing dear?” Molly asked with a smile as she waved her wand, levitating a cup and a pot of tea over in front of Tony and pouring it for him. “Milk? Sugar?”

“Uh, please.” Tony nodded absently as he cocked his head to the side, looking around the floating tea pot in front of him to see if he could work out exactly how it was hovering in the air like that. “I’m…” Tony frowned, trying to think of a word that summed up how he was coping right now. “It’s a shock.” He settled with, blinking as two cubes of sugar floated over and swiftly dropped into the cup which stirred on its own.

“I dare say,” Arthur laughed from his seat at the table.

“Just wait until you see Diagon Alley, it’s amazing,” Hermione breathed out happily, fondly remembering her own first time visiting the magical world.

“Diagon…” Tony raised his eyebrows. “I’ve got a lot to learn don’t I?” He asked hesitantly. “Are there books? Pamphlets even? I’d take notes at this point?” He said with a laugh.

“I’ve got some school books you could look through?” Ginny said helpfully. “Even if you can’t do the magic, you might like reading them?”

“Oh, I’ll have to get you a copy of Hogwarts: A History, you’ll love reading about everything in there.” Hermione beamed at him. “It’s biased in parts, but still one of the best books if you want to know about Hogwarts.” She explained.

“That’s the school?” Tony nodded, recognising the name from when the professor had been talking about the various schools earlier. “Like Salem and…”

“Ilvermorny,” Hermione nodded before frowning. “I can’t believe Salem and Ilvermorny contacted Professor McGonagall.”

“Why not?” Tony asked curiously. “Aren’t they good schools?” He asked, hoping to find out a bit more about what Hermione wanted.

“Salem is,” Ginny nodded enthusiastically. “Not just the quidditch team,” She said quickly when Hermione looked at her. “They’ve got loads, they even teach Animagus Transfiguration in lessons there.” She explained.

“Wow,” Hermione nodded, not knowing that. She’d always focused on knowing about Hogwarts and the history of the school she was at, not thinking about all the other schools around the world and their histories.

“So, maybe you should hear them out?” Tony shrugged, not having a clue what animagus transfiguration was, but seeing it was something Hermione had been impressed by he made a mental note to ask about it later. “No reason not to, right? Or there’s places like MIT or CalTech as well.”

“I suppose,” Hermione nodded hesitantly, of course it make sense to look for the best school to teach her, it was only logical. “I don’t think I could go to a non-magical school though, it would be like hiding who I was.”

“That’s fair,” Tony nodded, he could accept that.

“Girls, it’s getting late.” Molly said, interrupting the conversation. “I’m sure Tony has a lot to think about tonight.”

“Yes, sorry.” Tony nodded, idly pulling out his phone to glance at the time. “Should probably be getting back.” He said with a smile. “Thank you for the food though, it was delicious.”

“My pleasure,” Molly beamed happily. “Will Ginny still be staying with you? I know Hermione has been fixed up now, but she’s still been through an awful ordeal.”

“I’m fine with it if she is,” Tony nodded. “I’m sure Hermione will be happier with someone around her own age to talk to as well.” He added with a smile.

“Of course,” Molly smiled happily, a lot more comfortable now that she’d actually had time to sit down and enjoy a comfortable meal with the man after Minerva had confirmed he was indeed Hermione’s father. “You’d better be off then, I dread to think how long it’ll take you to get back to the city.”

“Good point,” Tony nodded. “Anything you want to grab then?” He asked, looking at the girls. “Trunk’s empty, so if you’ve got anything then now’s the time.” He said with a smile, watching as Hermione looked at Ginny before they dashed off from the kitchen and upstairs.

“Stop running dears!” Molly shouted as the two girls vanished before shaking her head in dismay. “You’d think they’d have calmed down by now.” She said with a smile. “Finish up your tea dear, it’s a long drive back to London.”


 

The drive back to London was considerably more comfortable than the drive down had been, Ginny and Hermione had packed the car with some of Ginny’s school books for them to help Tony with, along with various other bits and pieces that he had no clue about.

Then for nearly two hours the girls had been talking about Hermione’s favourite classes at school, how she was doing brilliantly in all her lessons and what subjects she’d chosen for her OWLS, something Tony still wasn’t sure he knew what they stood for, but had chosen to stop asking questions for the drive and let the girls simply talk without him interrupting their discussions.

He did however allow himself a smirk as he drove past somewhere called ‘Basingstoke’ when he looked in the rear-view mirror after a period of quiet, which he’d assumed was the girls whispering between each other, only to see both of them asleep, with the smaller redhead comfortably leaning up against Hermione.

He was actually thankful for the break in conversation, giving him time to settle down and think. Today, hell, the past few days, had been a complete whirlwind for him. Racing across countries when he found out he had a daughter, seeing her in hospital and then introducing her to his home life. Then finding out about magic of all things, and that his daughter was a witch apparently. It was all… His thoughts trailed off as he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.

“Sir, Director Fury is attempting to contact you.” JARVIS announced from the car speakers, causing Tony to glance up and check that the girls were still sleeping.

“Put it through, half volume. Drivers side only.” Tony said with a nod to himself. “Fury, what have I done to earn the pleasure today?” He asked with a smirk.

“I don’t know, what have you done?” Fury’s impatient voice came back over the line. “I’ve got people I’ve never even heard of before crawling out of the woodwork asking about you. Including people you shouldn’t even know exist.”

Tony smirked at that, imagining Fury’s glare. “Oh? Do tell?” He asked through a grin.

“You tell me!” Fury demanded. “What’s this about you having a daughter, is she…”

“Leave her out of this!” Tony said firmly, cutting Fury off. “

“Stark, you don’t get to…”

“I mean it Fury,” Tony interrupted him again. “Come to me, talk to me, whatever. Throw your threats around, do whatever you want.” Tony bit out. “I see one SHIELD agent within ten feet of her, I’ll take your vaunted SHIELD database and post it on the internet for the world to see.”

“Stark, I don’t know who the hell you…”

“I’m not playing around here.” Tony cut him off again. “Come anywhere near her and I’ll declare war on SHIELD myself, and damned anyone who gets in my way.” He said firmly. “JARVIS, hang up.” He ordered, cutting the line before Fury could respond.

“Sir, Director Fury is attempting to contact you again.” JARVIS announced after a beat.

“Block it, no more calls tonight.” Tony said instantly, glancing at the mirror to check the girls hadn’t been woken up by his outburst before looking back to the road and concentrating on following the directions JARVIS had put up for him on the satnav screen and focusing his mind on other things away from Director Fury.


Stark Offices
London

It was after eleven when Tony finally drove into the underground parking lot at the Stark Offices, pulling the car around in front of the elevator and turning the ignition off. It had been quite a peaceful drive for the last hour, he’d refrained from turning the music on so he wouldn’t disturb the sleeping girls, something that would probably come as a shock to anyone that had said he only ever thought about himself, but the quiet had actually let him focus on getting his thoughts straight in his head over what to say or do about Hermione and all this magic stuff.

“We there?”

He turned around with a small smile as he heard the sleepy voice coming from the back seat. “Just arrived.” He nodded, slipping out of the car before quietly closing the door then opening the back door for Hermione.

“I should wake her up,” Hermione said before she got out.

“Leave her,” Tony smiled, shaking his head. “Come on, I’ve got her.” He explained, offering his hand to Hermione to help her out of the car.

“What about the bags and things?” Hermione asked as she stood to the side, watching as Tony reached in and scooped Ginny up and lifted her out of the car easily.

“I’ll have someone bring them up later on,” Tony explained as he moved away from the car, carrying the younger girl easily over to the elevator. “JARVIS open up.” He asked, knowing the camera would recognise him even without him using the security system.

He smiled as the doors opened, letting Hermione in first before he walked in with Ginny. “Up to the apartment.” He ordered before the elevator started moving in response to him. “It’s been a long weekend.” He admitted with a small smile to Hermione.

“Still got lots of questions?” Hermione asked, looking up at him.

“Oh more than lots,” Tony chuckled. “You sure you’re ok? After the… you know, your arm and leg?” He asked, nodding down at her.

“All healed,” Hermione nodded. “Means I can actually wear jeans again.” She said thankfully.

“Not a skirt person?” Tony asked curiously, eying the light brown skirt she’d been wearing all day.

“It’s Ginny’s,” Hermione explained. “I don’t think I even own a skirt that isn’t part of the school uniform.” She admitted with a small smile as the elevator doors opened with Pepper coming into view on the corridor waiting for them.

“Tony, what…”

“Shh,” Tony smirked, nodding to the sleeping girl in his arms before he walked out of the elevator with Hermione following him. “It’s a long story.” He explained to Pepper with a wry grin. Oh if only she knew, he chucked to himself at the thought.

“I’ve got it,” Hermione said, opening the door to the room that Tony had set aside for the girls earlier.

“Thanks,” Tony nodded as he waited for Hermione to go through first and then walked in, moving to the nearest bed where the big white fluffy bear he’d bought in the morning was propped up against the headboard. “She’ll be ok here?” He asked as he gently laid the girl down on the bed, being careful not to disturb her.

“We can do it from here,” Hermione nodded, moving over to the other bed. “Thanks.” She said with an honest smile.

“My pleasure,” Tony smiled back, feeling his heart jump a bit as he got the first real smile from his daughter. “See you in the morning ok? Just ask JARVIS if you need anything.”

“I will,” Hermione said quietly with a nod.

“Night,” Tony smiled as he moved to the door, lowering the lights automatically as he walked through and closed the door quietly behind him.

“Tony! What did you do?” Pepper hissed out as he got out of the room into the corridor.

“Me? Nothing?” Tony said quickly. “What makes you think I did anything?”

“Tony,” Pepper glared at him. “Not twelve hours ago that girl could barely walk, she had casts everywhere and needed painkillers to get a good nights sleep. Now she’s walking around like nothing’s wrong at all?”

“It’s…”

“A long story,” Pepper rolled her eyes at him. “It always is with you.” She muttered angrily. “Just… Just tell me you didn’t do anything stupid.”

“I didn’t,” Tony said honestly. “Really, nothing to do with me at all, it’s all her.”

“What? She just healed a broken leg like magic?” Pepper said in disbelief.

“Something like that,” Tony snorted in amusement at Pepper’s wording. “It’s been a long drive, can I just relax for a moment before I get the third degree?” He asked hopefully. “I’m sure the girls will tell you all about it in the morning.” He explained.

“Fine,” Pepper bit out before her face softened slightly. “At least she seemed to be getting along with you better now.” She admitted.

“I think I understand her a bit more,” Tony nodded in agreement. “I’ll be in the workshop ok?” He asked, heading back to the elevator.

“Don’t stay up too late,” Pepper said, knowing full well Tony would ignore her as she headed back to the living room to continue on with her work and the glass of wine she had waiting for her.


 

“Sir, Mr Johns has the bags from the car.” JARVIS announced, drawing Tony’s attention away from the circuit board he was working on at the moment.

“Bring them up, actually, bring them to the workshop,” Tony ordered before finishing his last bit of soldering and setting the board down ready to be wired in tomorrow. He’d just put the board down when the elevator doors opened.

“Sir,” One of the security guards from downstairs announced himself as he walked out of the elevator carrying the two bags.

“Just put them on the workbench, pick an empty one.” Tony said offhand, waving to the various workbenches around the workshop.

He focused on tidying up the workbench for a moment, replacing the gauntlet he’d been working on earlier that had started this whole mess on it’s stand so he could wire in the new board tomorrow. He hadn’t worked on the Mark Four systems in a while now, and after the summer upgrading the new arc reactor with the new modified cores, he had to readjust all of the old systems to accept the increased power so that they didn’t blow whenever he connected them together.

He tidied up a bit longer before curiosity got the better of him and he put everything aside to have a look at the bags the girls had packed to bring with them.

“Ok, what do we have here?” He muttered to himself, idly looking through the bag for anything that looked amusing, possibly magic potions that he could examine and test or maybe something else that could provide an equal distraction for him.

“Hmm?” He raised his eyebrow as the bag started to move on its own as if there was something alive inside it. His curiosity piqued he hunted around to see if he could find what was moving around in there, finally coming across what felt like a large furry book that he pulled out to examine.

The book was definitely furry, a sort of brown grey colour, with a moulded clasp over the front that looked like teeth, along with various bits hanging down from the cover that looked like tentacles or small legs or something equally strange. It was wrapped up tightly in scotch tape that flattened the fur down and made it easy to read the title. “The Monster Book of Monsters?” Tony read aloud with a wry smile, eying the four obviously fake beady eyes that were under the scotch tape as well. “Oh this sounds promising.” He said with a grin, looking around for a boxcutter before slicing the scotch tape open and peeling it away.

Immediately the book opened and growled at him, and his eyes went wide as he realised the moulded teeth clasp wasn’t moulded at all, but were actual teeth, and the fake eyes that had looked glassy and fake under the scotch tape were now looking at him hungrily. “What the…” Tony whispered in shock before the book lunged out of his hands towards him and drove him to the floor.


 

AN: Calculations for Tony Stark’s wealth comes from the various movies, and converted roughly into wizarding money using the ‘Beyond Hogwarts’ exchange rate calculator which I believe works out about $6.64 to a Galleon.

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


AN: First off, to answer a few questions that popped up in reviews

1. Ron has visited Hermione, I’ll go into detail more later on about his visit and why he’s not here yet… I just haven’t talked about his visit yet in character as I followed Tony’s introduction, not Hermione’s accident… Harry hasn’t visited because of obvious reasons as we know how the Dursley’s are about him over this period.

2. Pius Thicknesse doesn’t become Minister for Magic under Voldemort’s Imperius until HBP timeline, prior to then he was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and before that it was said he was in the same department before being promoted to head, which the Department of Magical Education is a sub section of… so I placed him here… Pius is NOT a Death Eater… in fact, the fact that Voldemort had to place an Imperius on him with great effort and Pius fought it, shows that if he hadn’t have been controlled, he likely would have been a member of The Order of the Phoenix. Cornelius Fudge was the Minister for Magic up until Rufus Scrimgeour took over during OOTP.

3. Few people have asked about Tony seeming ‘out of character’ and more vulnerable than normal… the past 9 chapters have only been spaced over 2 days… in that time, Tony has found out he had a daughter, that his daughter had been intentionally kept from him, and his daughter was in hospital after her parents died… That alone would put anyone in shock… and to a man like Tony who we see in IM1 when being held by the Ten Rings, wants a family… you see his face when Yinsen comments ‘you are a man that has everything, and nothing’. After the problems with his father and finding out his dad wasn’t who he thought he was, I feel that Tony would be vulnerable and unsure of himself when dealing with his daughter. He wouldn’t want to be his father, cold and distant… but also doesn’t know how to be anything else but his cocky overbearing self, which could drive her away from him… so writing him as unsure of himself but slowly becoming more himself when he adjusts, feels like the right path for the character.

I was going to go into all of these facts later on as the story develops, things some reviewers are marking as ‘plot holes’ are just gaps that I’ve left to fill in later with in character development and talking in the fic itself… but since they were asked more than a few times, I’ve answered them here instead.

And huge thanks to my new beta Jiffy185 for making this readable and fun... But now, on with the fic…


Monday morning

Sunday had been a rather subdued day for everyone, with Hermione and Ginny spending the day in their bedroom with a few excursions to the roof garden. Tony had put together the dates and worked out it had been this time last week that Hermione had been in the car accident and lost her parents, so while feeling awkward and not knowing how to comfort her, he’d figured the best way to do anything would be to give her the space she needed right now to work things through, and if she needed him then she could come to him whenever she was ready. That approach felt best to him as he knew that trying to force himself into his daughter’s life, even though it was extremely weird and he was dying to ask more questions about the magical side of things, would be the stupid thing to do right now.

Waking up on Monday had been a pretty surreal experience for Ginny, she’d been woken up by something tickling her nose, which had turned out to be Hermione’s bushy hair rubbing up against her. She’d woken up a few times in the night to hear Hermione crying, the second time after hugging her and listening to her for a while, she’d stayed in bed with her to help her try to get some sleep.

“Hmm?” A groggy Ginny asked as she looked around, trying to get her bearings in the dark room, the large double bed was definitely a luxury she still wasn’t familiar with and she enjoyed stretching out in it for a minute before rolling out of bed and trying to remember where everything was. She was so used to waking up in her bedroom with the dawn sun coming through her window that waking up in a dark room without any sunlight coming in was a very disorientating time.

Taking a moment she glanced over and checked that Hermione had slept through her getting out of bed, her hair was still all fluffed up from a tossing and turning on the pillows, but she was sleeping for now and would probably need it after her restless night of sleep.

Fumbling to one wall she followed it around and found the desks, and from there through into one of the bathrooms where she remembered what JARVIS had told her about when he was explaining how touching the black panels controlled the lights. She felt around, finding the black panel through touch and then slowly bringing the lights up to a comfortable level before wandering through into the bathroom, closing the door and then exploring the black panel on the bath as well with controls for the taps. They both worked easily enough and she found herself poking the various controls to test how they changed the water coming out, adjusting its pressure and temperature before heading back and closing the door, intent on enjoying a bath for once without her brothers banging on the door and demanding to get into the bathroom.

Being able to soak and actually enjoy the bath without interruptions was heavenly, by the time she dragged herself out of the water, having enjoyed the shampoo that had been provided in a small bottle next to the bath, her fingers and toes were well and truly shrivelled. One thing she had been surprised at was the large towels that had been hanging from metal bars in the room were warm and luxurious, she’d stared in awe at them for a while before drying herself off, trying to figure out how muggles kept their towels soft, warm and welcoming without the aid of a heating charm.

After drying herself off she frowned at the towel again, looking around the bathroom and wondering how muggles dried their hair. There were simple charms to dry and style hair that she’d use at Hogwarts, or her mum would charm it for her, but muggles obviously couldn’t do that, which made her wonder how they actually dried their hair off. Did they just use a towel until it was dry?

Still enjoying the mysteriously warm towel she made her way out of the bathroom and back into the dark of the bedroom, making sure that she wasn’t going to wake Hermione up as she dug through the bag of clothes they’d packed for some clean underwear, jeans and t-shirt before dressing quietly, leaving the towel on the desk for now before slipping out of the room quietly to leave Hermione to sleep.

The difference outside the room was like night and day, literally. Where the bedroom had been dark and sealed away from any light, the corridor outside was flooded with light coming from the large windows in the rooms opposite theirs, with the light streaming through the open doors and filling up the area.

She felt oddly better with the light coming through, the dark room might have made it easier to sleep through the dawn, but without any natural light at all the bedroom didn’t feel comfortable or welcoming, more like she imagined the Slytherin dungeons in Hogwarts would be like, under the castle and lake, very different from the Gryffindor tower that were home to her normally.

It felt weird looking around the muggle apartment without Hermione around, she moved quietly through the corridor to the sitting area where they’d had pizza before, glancing into the kitchen and looking for anyone that might be awake.

The sight that greeted her was enough to draw a startled snort of laughter from her before she managed to clap her hands over her mouth to stop herself from waking anyone up, on a tall work surface that must have been nearly up to her chest there was her Monster Book of Monsters from last year. They’d packed it to help talk with Mr Stark about magic and witches, though Hermione had packed pretty much all of Ginny’s school books into the car so that she’d have plenty to go through.

The ‘Monster Book of Monsters’ looked oddly scorched, with several nails puncturing it and was bound with red muggle wire that had been wrapped around it a dozen times, with a yellow square of paper stuck to it with ‘Do not touch! Pepper, seriously, don’t touch!’ scrawled across it in thick black ink.

She couldn’t help the snort of laughter that came from her as she realised that Mr Stark had obviously tried to read it yesterday while she’d been comforting Hermione, something had obviously happened and he’d managed to subdue the book somehow, though she was betting that he hadn’t fared any better with it than a lot of her friends had done when they’d had to use the books.

“That thing is evil!”

Ginny span around at the voice, catching sight of Mr Stark walking towards the kitchen from the living room area with a muggle device in one hand and a large mug in the other. “Morning?” She said hesitantly, doing her best not to laugh as she saw him glare at the book on the counter.

“Morning,” Tony nodded with a small smile. “How is she?”

“Sleeping,” Ginny said quietly. “She... she was up a lot in the night, nightmares.” She explained in a quiet voice.

“Yeah,” Tony nodded back as he walked into the kitchen and put his mug down before leaning against one of the worktops comfortably. “It’ll be a while before they stop.” He said with a frown. “Did you guys eat at all yesterday? I didn’t see you come out and I didn’t want to bother you.”

Ginny shook her head at that.

“She needs to eat, both of you do.” Tony frowned, shaking his head in amusement at the idea of him being the responsible one for once, it was definitely a strange feeling. “Fine, breakfast.” He nodded firmly, looking around the kitchen. “There’s bacon and sausages in the fridge, have a look, see if there’s anything else in there you fancy.” He said as he nodded to the fridge that was built into the designer kitchen area.

“Um... here?” Ginny asked hesitantly as she walked around, looking at where Mr Stark had nodded.

“Yup,” Tony nodded from where he was opening cupboards himself, looking over to make sure Ginny had found the right appliance. “You have fridges right?” He asked, curious now as he turned around from his cupboard hunt. “I didn’t see one in the kitchen, in fact, I didn’t see any electric appliances at all.” He frowned while he was thinking about it.

“Wow,” Ginny breathed out as she pulled open the door Mr Stark had indicated, it was a bit stiff at first but as she pulled the door open it swung open and lit up inside so she could see everything properly. “Fridges?” She asked, looking to Mr Stark for an explanation for the light in what looked like a large white cupboard.

“I’ll take that as a no,” Tony said, shaking his head in amusement. “It keeps stuff cold, preserves it for longer.” He explained, simplifying it down. “You don’t have that?” He asked, hopping up onto the worktop by where he’d left the Furry Book of Doom and sitting comfortably as he pulled down a box of cereal from the cupboard next to him and popped a handful into his mouth.

“No,” Ginny shook her head, turning back to the ‘fridge’ and looking at it curiously. “It keeps things cold?” She asked curiously.

“Basically,” Tony nodded as he tossed a few more cereal bites into his mouth. “What do you use?”

“Cooling charms mostly,” Ginny explained. “It’s easier just to cool a goblet down or warm it up to whatever we need.” She said as she turned around to face him. “I always wondered how muggles did it.” She said with a smile.

“That’s cooling down,” Tony said, nodding to the fridge door that was still open behind Ginny. “Oven,” He said, nodding to the modern oven built into the kitchen. “Or microwave, that works too.” He said, pointing over to the microwave in the corner of the kitchen. “So, you use magic for everything then?”

“Mostly,” Ginny admitted. “My dad is always on about muggle things though, he loves figuring out how you do all this.”

“I figured,” Tony smirked, now having learnt a bit more about the Weasley family it put Arthur’s comments and amazement in a whole new light.

“Tony!”

Both Ginny and Tony looked around at the shout, wondering what was going on.

“Pepper? What’s wrong?” Tony asked quickly, jumping off the worktop and jogging down towards the office before flinging the door open to see what was going on. The sight stopped him cold as Pepper was sat at the desk, practically frozen stiff with her eyes wide at two large birds that had come in through an open window and perched on the desk.

“Tony, what...”

“Ginny!” Tony yelled out, turning back to the door as he noted the thick curled parchment that both of the birds were carrying in the talons. “This isn’t normal, at least for us, so I’m guessing...” He trailed off with a smirk as Ginny came into the office hesitantly then smiled as she saw the two birds.

“We normally use owls,” Ginny said with a bashful smile.

“These aren’t owls,” Tony said with a smirk. “Hawks I think?” He asked then shrugged, it didn’t really matter. “You use owls to send letters?” He asked, looking at the tied parchment that came with both of the birds.

“Normally,” Ginny nodded, walking over and holding her arm out, she flinched a bit when one of the birds jumped up, flapping its wings and causing Pepper to screech and back away from the desk before it flew over and landed on her arm. “Hi there.” Ginny smiled, stroking the bird gently before taking the rolled parchment that it had brought. “It’s for Hermione.” She explained, looking at the name before handing it over to Tony.

“They just flew in!” Pepper exclaimed. “Carrier... hawks?” She asked, looking at Tony for an explanation. She’d heard of carrier pigeons before, but from the way Tony and Ginny were talking it sounded like England used owls more than pigeons apparently.

“I’ll get the other one,” Ginny said, holding out her hand where the hawk was perched automatically and letting it hop off onto Tony’s shoulder, eliciting a muffled choking noise from him before she held out her arm for the other bird. “Sorry, I didn’t think...” She trailed off, looking around to where Tony was frozen in place with the large predator bird perched on his shoulder.

“They’re tame?” Pepper asked hopefully, relaxing a bit as the second bird jumped off of her desk and flew for a second before landing on Ginny’s arm comfortably.

“Just like Pig,” Ginny nodded, stroking the bird for a second before taking the parchment.

“These are a bit bigger than your little owl,” Pepper whispered, leaning forwards and picking her phone up from the desk, holding it up and snapping a few photos of Tony and Ginny, both with the hawk’s perched happily on them.

“I’ve never seen birds like this before,” Ginny whispered, stroking the bird happily. “You’re a gorgeous guy aren’t you?” She smiled, stroking the feathers of the animal happily. “It’s for Hermione as well.” She explained, looking down to the parchment. “Are there birds like this in America?” She asked hesitantly, looking to Mr Stark.

“Hawks?” Tony asked, still staying very still with the bird on his shoulder, too close to his face for comfort. “Yeah, they’re pretty common.” He said, doing his best not to nod or speak too loudly. “I think these guys are chickenhawks, but don’t quote me on that.” He said quietly.

“Hermione would love to see them,” Ginny smiled wistfully as she looked back to the bird. “They must have come over from Salem and Ilvermorny.”

“The schools,” Tony caught on. “I thought they’d phone or send letters but... yeah, this is how you guys send letters.” He finished with a half-smile. “You comfy there?” He asked, gingerly looking around to the bird on his shoulder that let out a ‘kree-eee-ar’ screech in response. “I take that as a yes,” Tony smirked as the bird started preening its feathers.

“They brought letters for Hermione?” Pepper asked in shock, still trying to figure out what the hell was going on here.

“Yeah,” Tony nodded, still trying to stay still with the bird perched on him. “Actually... Pepper, can you go and get her?”

“She’ll love these,” Ginny nodded, walking away from the door so that Pepper could get past without getting too close to the birds. “She was still asleep when I woke up.” She explained, wincing a bit as the bird nuzzled its beak into her still wet hair.

“You’re sure?” Pepper asked hesitantly, using her phone to snap another picture of Ginny and Tony.

“Go on,” Tony said, nodding very slowly so he wouldn’t disturb the bird.

“I don’t know what treats you guys like,” Ginny frowned, stroking the bird and trying to keep its attention away from her hair. “Will owl treats do?” She asked, looking at Tony as Pepper slowly edged around them and out of the office.

“Don’t know,” Tony frowned thoughtfully. “JARVIS? What’s a chickenhawk’s diet like?”

“Exclusively carnivorous sir,” JARVIS’ voice came back. “The most common prey are small mammals, rodents and rabbits, but they will also consume birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and invertebrates.”

“Think we’ve got some ham in the fridge?” Tony asked hesitantly, looking to Ginny. “Think that’d work?”

“We could try,” Ginny nodded over. “Do you like ham?” She asked, looking at the bird on her arm that responded with another ‘kree-eee-ar’ screech.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Tony smirked. “Want to...” He asked, hoping the bird would take the hint as he slowly crouched down to Ginny’s level.

“Sorry,” Ginny smiled, holding out her other arm. “Come here.” She cawed, moving closer to Tony so the bird could hop off and move onto her shoulder comfortably.

“Thanks,” Tony breathed out in relief as he relaxed and stood back up. “Kitehen then.” He said as he walked out of the office slowly, looking back to make sure Ginny was following him comfortably with the two large birds. “You ok with them?” He asked as he made his way through the corridor.

“Fine,” Ginny nodded back. “The Kenmare Kestrels...” She paused when she saw Tony’s confused face. “A quidditch team, they use birds like this, a bit smaller though. I never thought I’d see one up close.”

“Gotcha,” Tony nodded as he moved to the kitchen, guessing that Ginny meant the team used the kestrel bird as well from their name, before heading straight for the still open fridge and hunting through. “Ok, ham, salami, sliced beef...” He muttered, pulling out the packets as he went.

“Oh wow!”

Tony smiled as he turned from the fridge, packets of meat still in hand as he saw Pepper and Hermione walking through, Hermione still dressed in soft blue pyjamas and bare feet.

“Post arrived,” Tony smirked as he turned from the fridge, putting the meat cuts on the counter before closing the door. “Parchment’s by your homicidal book by the way.” He explained, nodding to where he’d dropped the two rolls of parchment by the Furry Book of Doom but seeing that Hermione’s eyes were glued to the large birds in awe.

“They sent them here?” Hermione asked in shock.

“Flew right in the office window,” Tony grinned back. “Think they scared ten years off Pepper.” He said with a laugh as he peeled off a few slices of ham and tore them up in his hand.

“Oh Merlin, I’m sorry, I didn’t...” Hermione blushed as she stammered out an apology to the woman stood next to her.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Pepper said, seeing how flustered the young girl was. “They just surprised me that’s all.”

“They seem ok with Ginny,” Tony shrugged, glancing over his shoulder at where the young redhead was still stood with both the birds staring at him. “Ok, now they look hungry.” Tony said worriedly, tearing up some more of the meat quickly and throwing it on another counter before stepping back quickly as both birds took flight off of Ginny, causing Pepper to shriek again and step back, pulling Hermione with her automatically as the birds flew over to the meat on the counter and started pecking at it happily, tearing it apart in their beaks and swallowing strips of it at a time.

“Are these going to be a regular thing?” Tony asked, backing away from the birds and looking to Hermione and Ginny. “Because if so, I’ll have someone set something up in the garden for them.” He explained quickly.

“Not birds like this,” Hermione breathed out, stepping forwards to stand by Ginny. “Where did they come from?” She asked in amazement, still watching the two birds feast on the strips of meat.

“They’re both addressed to you,” Ginny explained, doing her best not to laugh as she nodded over to the parchment on the counter next to the bound and damaged book. “They’re from America I think?”

“Chickenhawk’s are pretty common,” Tony nodded in agreement looking back at the birds. “Guessing the red tail feathers will tell you what species they are.” He explained with a shrug.

“They’re beautiful,” Hermione smiled, looking at the exotic birds.

“They probably brought letters from Salem and Ilvermorny,” Ginny said, explaining her thoughts. “If it was from mum or Hogwarts they’d have used owls right?”

“Right,” Hermione nodded, agreeing with the logic as both birds took to the air again, causing Pepper to screech and duck, Tony ducking as well as the birds flapped their wings and flew back down the corridor and into the office where they’d arrived.

“They’ve gone!” Pepper exclaimed, having rushed to the office behind them to make sure they flew out the window and out into the city.

“That was a fun way to start the day,” Tony smirked over, relaxing finally and leaning against a cupboard in the kitchen.

“Fun for you,” Pepper frowned as she walked back down the corridor. “Those things scared the life out of me!” She said, glaring over at Tony.

“Sorry,” Hermione apologised again quickly. “I didn’t think anyone would be sending letters here yet.” She said softly.

“Not your fault,” Tony waved the comment away. “Not a big thing, really.” He explained with a smile. “Ok, it’s a bit weird, but we can deal.” He nodded reassuringly to her. “Though phones and email, so much easier, and doesn’t eat snacks either.” He finished with a smirk.

“But they were cool,” Ginny smiled eagerly, happy to have actually been around exotic birds like that that were far larger than the owls she’d grown up with.

“Ok, yeah, I’ll give you that.” Tony grinned over. “Heart attack aside, yes, that was very cool.”

“You use birds like that to send mail?” Pepper asked, the shock now leaving her body as she saw Tony and the girls all seemingly fine with it, the two girls seemed like this was normal for them.

“Mostly owls,” Hermione explained quietly.

“Really, it’s fine.” Tony said, seeing the hesitant look on Hermione’s face. “I’ll have someone set up a perch or something in the garden, then they can fly up there and not into the office.” He explained with a smirk over to Pepper.

“That’s why you have the little owl?” Pepper asked, remembering the girls little pet. “He carries letters for you?”

“He’s my brothers really,” Ginny explained with a bashful smile. “Mum told me to bring him along so we could write letters back to them.”

“See, totally normal.” Tony smirked. “Ok, normal for these two.” He said with a grin. “So they ate some meat bits, how often do we get to see birds like that?” He asked.

“We could always just go to a zoo?” Pepper shot back, shaking her head in amusement.

“Not as fun,” Tony frowned back. “Whatever,” He muttered. “Breakfast, you need to eat.” He said, nodding to Hermione. “Neither of you ate anything yesterday right?” He asked, remembering what Ginny had said.

“You didn’t eat at all?” Pepper sighed. “You, out!” She ordered, stepping around Tony. “You make enough of a mess around here without destroying the kitchen too.”

Tony just rolled his eyes as he walked past Pepper, swiping the two rolls of parchment from the counter and holding them out for Hermione. “Here you go.” He said, handing them over. “School letters I guess?” He asked, looking down at the calligraphy on the parchment that spelled out Hermione’s name. “Wait, how did the birds know how to bring them here?”

“Magic,” Hermione said with a small smile.

“They’re trained obviously,” Pepper said, ignoring the obviously smart-ass remark of ‘magic’ that sounded like a reply Tony would give to something he didn’t want to explain, missing the smile that passed between Tony and Hermione at her explanation. “I’ll start breakfast, you all go and clean up while I get things started.”

“Fine,” Tony nodded, walking away from the kitchen area with the girls. “How you doing today?” He asked quietly, looking down to Hermione with a concerned look.

“I’ll be ok,” Hermione answered softly. “It’s... I just...”

“I know,” Tony said with a reassuring smile. “I’m here if you need to talk ok, if you need someone that understands.” He explained.

“Thank you,” Hermione nodded, accepting the offer of help for what it was. “I mean it, for... for everything.”

“Anytime kid,” Tony smiled over fondly. “Go on, get dressed, whatever Pepper’s cooking will be ready whenever you are.” He said with a smile as he watched Ginny and Hermione vanish back into their room and close the door behind them.

“Birds? Really?” Pepper demanded in a hushed voice when she saw the girls had gone back to their room. “Tony, what is going on here?” She demanded, still angry that Tony still hadn’t explained what had happened to Hermione and why she was walking around without casts on her arm and leg after what had happened to her.

“I’ll explain everything,” Tony said quickly, holding up his hands in a surrender pose. “Ok, the girls will.” He said as he thought about it. “This is all them, nothing to do with me!” He said firmly.

“Secrets, crazy things happening, scaring years off of me? She’s definitely a Stark!” Pepper said with a frown, rolling her eyes as she walked back to the kitchen to try and make something suitable for them all to have for breakfast without causing the chaos in the kitchen she knew Tony would bring.

“Yeah, she is.” Tony whispered in response as he smirked while Pepper left him to his thoughts.


The Ministry of Magic

Professor Minerva McGonagall did her best not to scowl and glare as she walked through the Ministry offices on her way to Pius Thicknesse’ office, the weekend had not gone well at Hogwarts, with interference from The Ministry now at an all-time high.

Professor Dumbledore had been ‘asked’ to step down from The Wizengamot by The Minister, and she was fairly certain that it was only the first step in The Ministry’s plan to devide Hogwarts from Albus. Between that news, and the news that The Ministry themselves would be appointing the new Defence Against the Dark Art’s teacher for the upcoming year, something backed by the prominent pure-blood families on the Hogwarts’ Board of Governors.

Rumour had reached her through sources she trusted in The Ministry that Dolores Umbridge was going to be taking the role, a thought that made her shiver inside at the image of that despicable woman teaching young minds.

“Minerva?”

She was pulled out of her thoughts as she strode into the Department of Magical Education, seeing Pius already waiting for her with Percy Weasley.

“Sorry Pius, a lot on my mind today.” Minerva explained with a professional nod.

“So I’ve heard,” Pius nodded in agreement. “You have the standard introduction ready for Mr Stark?” He asked, wondering if there were any books or papers that were normally brought along to help during a muggle introduction.

“Actually, not in this case,” Minerva explained with a hesitant smile. “Over the weekend it seems Mr Stark learned about our world... well, an accident hastened his introduction shall we say?” She explained. “I have spoken briefly with him and would believe Miss Granger and Miss Weasley have explained things even further over the weekend.”

“Ah, I see.” Pius smiled. “I did speak to Arthur earlier on, he was planning on heading to see this Mr Stark himself today, so I invited him to join us. I hope that’s alright?” He asked, missing the dark look that flittered over Percy’s face at the mention of his father.

“Quite,” Minerva nodded. “The youngest Weasley is staying with Mr Stark currently I believe, so I had expected for Arthur to take an interest in things.”

“That and his love of the muggle world,” Pius chuckled good naturedly. “You don’t share Arthur’s interest?” He asked, catching sight of Percy’s stone-faced stance.

“Not entirely,” Percy admitted diplomatically.

“Oh you should,” Pius smiled. “Maybe not to Arthur’s extent, but some of those muggle creations are rather splendid to watch.” He explained.

“Shall we then?” Minerva asked, looking between Pius and Percy.

“Of course,” Pius nodded. “Let’s head down and fetch Arthur first, he tells me he’s already been to Mr Stark’s building, so he can lead us straight to him.”

“A good idea,” Minerva said thankfully as she followed Pius to the lift, having not been looking forward to trying to muddle through a muggle building to find Mr Stark and Hermione.

“You’ve met the man then?” Pius asked as he stepped into the lift, waiting for Minerva and Percy to join him before nodding to the attendant to close the golden grille. “Level Two.” He said, waiting for the attendant to set them in motion before turning back to Minerva. “What’s he like?”

“Mr Stark?” Minerva paused thoughtfully, thinking about her measure of the man she’d met before. “I’m not entirely sure, given how we met I would think he was still in shock given his rather forced introduction to things.” She explained. “He handled things better than some, I’ll give him that, and seemed rather open to things once everything had been explained to him.”

“So one of the better introductions then?” Pius mused, having heard the horror stories before of muggles that fought tooth and nail against the idea of magic or sending their child to a magical school.

“Indeed,” Minerva nodded in agreement. “The man’s wealth… I’ll admit, that did come as a surprise to be frank. I’m telling you this now so you aren’t walking into the situation blind as I did.”

“Oh?” Pius raised his eyebrow as the lift came to a halt, the attendant opening the golden grille professionally for them and stepping aside to let them out. “I remember Percy mentioning his wealth and influence.”

“If anything, the word from MACUSA understated the facts.” Minerva said diplomatically while nodding to Percy. “His resources far exceed anything I have experienced before Pius, I feel no shame in admitting that when he spoke of his wealth, I felt rather out of my depth.”

Pius frowned at that. “Are we dealing with someone like Lucius Malfoy then? Intent on using his money to put him above everyone else?” He asked, dreading the thought if that was the case.

“No, I’d think not.” Minerva admitted. “While the man did admit to transferring two million galleons alone solely for Miss Granger’s use, a fact that should tell you what sort of resources Mr Stark has at his command, he did not use his wealth to put him above the Weasley family during the meeting, in fact, he seemed rather at ease in the Weasley living room talking with us.”

“A good sign,” Pius nodded, having caught sight of Percy who’d nearly choked when Minerva had mentioned the amount of money he’d transferred for Miss Granger. “Really though, two million galleons? Are you sure he wasn’t exaggerating?”

“I think not,” Minerva shook her head. “He is head of a large muggle company that spans the entire world. As you can imagine, the man’s resources are quite frankly without compare.” She explained. “It’s rather thankful that he finds himself in good company with the Weasley family, I dread to think what a more unscrupulous family would do with resources like those available to them.”

“Quite,” Pius nodded as he led the way through level two of The Ministry, down towards the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office that Arthur Weasley led. “He’s friendly with Arthur and Molly then?”

“Oh yes,” Minerva smiled. “When I left them, they were sitting down for a meal together, I didn’t want to intrude on such an occasion.” She explained. “But he seemed rather at ease with both Arthur and Molly, to the degree where Miss Weasley is staying at Mr Stark’s place in London, as I said to you before.”

“Should take note of that Percy,” Pius smiled over. “He might be a muggle, but anyone with those sorts of resources making friends with Arthur is going to be noticed pretty quickly.” He explained with a laugh. “Arthur, you in there?” He asked loudly as he approached the office door for the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office, though ‘office’ was rather a grandiose term for the smallest area in the entire Ministry, he was actually certain that the cleaning elves had larger spaces set aside for brooms and dusting clothes.

“Pius!” Arthur smiled as he stepped out, Molly in tow behind him. “We were just getting ready to come up to you.”

“Thought I’d save you the bother,” Pius chuckled as he clapped Arthur on the shoulder. “Molly, good to see you again.” He said, smiling over to her. “Minerva was just telling me about Mr Stark’s visit to your house over the weekend.” He explained.

“Oh yes, rather exciting I’ll tell you.” Arthur laughed then sobered up when he caught sight of Percy standing to the side. “Percy.” He nodded sombrely.

“Thought it’d be good to have Percy along for this one,” Pius explained, missing the dark looks between Percy and Arthur. “He’s heading up the Department of International Magical Cooperation at the moment, and with Mr Stark’s status as an American, this falls more under their jurisdiction than ours.”

“Of course,” Arthur nodded, it made sense why Percy was here, but it didn’t make it any less awkward after their argument a few weeks back. He knew Percy had been avoiding him at The Ministry ever since he’d been promoted to Cornelius Fudge’s junior assistant, a fact that had made things even more awkward when Minister Fudge had started a campaign to slander and discredit both Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter.

“Good to see you again Minerva,” Molly broke through the awkward moment, smiling to her old professor.

“I trust things went well after I left?” Minerva asked curiously.

“Oh yes,” Molly smiled happily. “I’m sure Tony had his share of questions for the girls when they left, reminds me more and more of Hermione the more I think about him.” She said with a warm smile.

“I did rather get that impression,” Minerva chuckled to herself. “It’s fairly obvious now which side of the family Miss Granger takes after.”

“Shall we then?” Pius asked, looking around the group to make sure everyone was ready. “Arthur, lead the way.” He said, stepping aside for Arthur to take point.

“Of course,” Arthur smiled over. “Apparating to Canary Wharf will be our first order, the quiet park there perhaps? Muggle lunch hours won’t be for a while yet.” He explained.

“Excellent idea,” Pius nodded. “Are you familiar with the area?” He asked, looking to Minerva and Molly when Percy nodded back to him.

“Not entirely,” Minerva admitted.

“A side along then,” Pius mused, offering his arm to Minerva when Molly took Arthur’s arm. “See you there.” He said with a nod while he turned his hand on the spot, causing himself and Minerva to vanish with a quiet pop, followed shortly by Percy, Arthur and Molly.

 


Stark Apartment

“You know that’s disturbing right?” Tony asked, eyeing the Furry Book of Doom from his seat where he’d finished off the breakfast Pepper had cooked for them all, watching as both of the girls had happily settled for some bacon and sausage sandwiches, though Hermione had only picked at hers, with a few small bites, while he’d joined with Pepper in having eggs and toast with theirs.

“What?” Hermione asked, looking around to see what Tony was looking at and then her eyes going wide as she caught side of the book. “What happened to it?” She asked in shock, moving from the table to examine the Monster Book of Monsters, frowning at the way it had been tied up and attacked with nails as well as being scorched in several places.

“It attacked me!” Tony defended himself quickly. “Seriously, why’s it moving around and growling like that?” He asked.

“I thought that was one of your tricks?” Pepper asked hesitantly, she’d seen the note Tony had left and just assumed the book was something stupid he was working on for one reason or another, making sense of Tony’s projects was something she’d given up on a long time ago.

“Not mine,” Tony said, shaking his head.

“It’s mine,” Ginny admitted. “It was our third-year text book for Care of...” She trailed off, realising Pepper didn’t know anything yet.

“Care of Monsters?” Tony smirked. “I got that from the cover when it tried to eat me.” He explained.

“What did you do to it?” Hermione asked in shock, stroking the spine gently to reassure the poor book and untie the wire that was wrapped tightly around it.

“It attacked me!” Tony said quickly. “I only got away because I had a the repulsor gauntlet close by.” He explained. “The nailgun seemed to shut it up afterwards.”

“You poor thing,” Hermione said softly, tossing the wire aside so she could work on slowly pulling the nails out of the book while stroking it gently. “You could have killed it.” She whispered, fixing Tony with a glare.

“It tried to eat me!” Tony quipped back.

“The book tried to eat you?” Pepper asked in shock, turning around to watch Hermione more cautiously now.

“He won’t hurt you again, don’t worry.” Hermione said gingerly as she continued to pull the nails out.

“Sorry, I should have told you about that one,” Ginny explained from her seat at the table. “I forgot we packed it actually, we just grabbed all my school books so Hermione could go through them with you.”

“Right,” Tony nodded at that, accepting the explanation. “Ok, might have been my fault,” He said hesitantly, ruffling his hair with his hands. “I kinda went into the bags while you guys were asleep, I got curious.” He admitted.

“Tony!” Pepper glared over, slapping his arm.

“I learned my lesson,” Tony said quickly. “I’m not going anywhere near anything else those two bring in here.” He said firmly. ‘At least, not without the full Iron Man suit on anyway.’ He added in his head.

“Sir, you have visitors waiting in reception.” JARVIS’ voice announced, breaking into the conversation. “Mr and Mrs Weasley, along with three others.”

“What time is it?” Tony asked, standing up from the table.

“Two minutes to eleven sir.” JARVIS responded.

“Probably your professor and whoever else she brought,” Tony mused aloud. “Ok, I’ll head down to meet them.” He said thoughtfully. “You two want to head upstairs, we can use the next floor up for this.” He explained, looking to Hermione and Ginny.

“Ok,” Hermione nodded after a moment’s pause, collecting the Monster Book of Monsters to carry with her.

“Use the stairs,” Tony explained, pointing over to the spiral staircase that led up from the living room to the event hall that dominated the next floor up. “I’ll bring everyone up to you guys.” He said as he walked off down the corridor to the elevator.

“What’s going on?” Pepper asked, looking around and still frowning at the furry book that Hermione was carrying that was now almost purring and gurgling in her arms.

“One of my professors from school wanted to speak to Mr... to Tony,” Hermione explained hesitantly.

“Oh, ok,” Pepper smiled at that, happy that Tony had at least taken on board what she’d said about sorting out Hermione’s continued education and had planned something out for a meeting. “I’ve got some work to finish off now the birds aren’t bothering me anymore, I’ll be in the office if you need anything, ok?”

“We’ll be fine,” Hermione smiled back, feeling bad about keeping everything a secret from Pepper for now.

“Ok, I hope everything goes well.” Pepper smiled over. “Leave the plates and things, I’ll have someone clear everything up.” She explained before heading back to the office to continue on with her days work she’d started before being interrupted.

“Have you been upstairs yet?” Hermione whispered to Ginny as they both walked through to the living room area, noting that the couches were still in position where Tony had moved them to while they were having pizza on Saturday.

“No,” Ginny said, shaking her head as they reached the spiral staircase, heading up it slowly while her eyes were automatically drawn to the view outside the large windows that looked over the entire city.

Hermione nodded at that, heading up the stairs behind Ginny, wondering what Professor McGonagall was going to say and how everything would go now that Tony knew about magic and Hogwarts.

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.

 


“Arthur,” Tony smiled as he stepped out of the elevator. “Molly, didn’t expect you both to come.” He said, catching sight of the entire group of them that were standing awkwardly in the lobby of the Stark building looking rather conspicuous in clothes that definitely stood out against the business suits of people milling around them.

“Hope you don’t mind, Molly just wanted to talk with Ginny and Hermione, make sure everything’s alright.” Arthur explained.

“Of course,” Tony smiled openly. “Happy to have you, like I said, come by any time.” He said with a nod. “Professor...” Tony frowned, stumbling over the name he couldn’t remember.

“McGonagall,” Minerva said with professional smile and a nod. “Minerva if you prefer.”

“Tony then,” Tony smiled, holding out his hand for Minerva to shake.

“I think we should head somewhere a bit quieter before we go any further,” Minerva hinted, seeing how Pius and Percy both looked as uncomfortable as she felt standing in the muggle business lobby.

“Right, sorry.” Tony nodded, gesturing for them all to follow him back to the elevator. “The girls are upstairs already waiting for us.” He explained as the elevator doors opened for him to walk in.

“They’re both doing fine?” Molly asked as she followed him through, looking around a bit nervously at the muggle lift.

“Just finished breakfast,” Tony nodded over as everyone fit into the elevator. “Everyone in?” He asked, making sure he hadn’t left anyone out. “JARVIS, up to the event floor.” He ordered before the elevator doors closed and the elevator started moving upwards.

“Breakfast?” Molly asked, not wanting to ask exactly who Mr Stark had been talking to to make the lift start moving. “A late start?”

“Something like that,” Tony nodded. “Hermione had a bad night, so I let them sleep in.” He explained with a shrug. “Of course, then we were interrupted by two big birds flying in with letters for Hermione, so that kinda went out the window.” He said with a laugh.

“Good lord, really?” Arthur chuckled. “Owl post that late? Normally it’s here by breakfast.”

“Hawks I think?” Tony shrugged.

“Ah, letters from Ilvermorny and Salem perhaps?” Minerva asked curiously. She’d expected the schools to be in touch with Hermione but hadn’t actually thought of how they would actually do so.

“She hasn’t opened them yet,” Tony explained.

“Introductions then.” Minerva announced after a moment of quiet. “Pius Thicknesse, Department of Magical Education.” She explained, introducing him. “And Percy Weasley, Department of International Magical Cooperation.” She explained, gesturing to the younger Weasley male in the lift.

“Tony Stark,” Tony nodded at them both. “Though guess you already got that.” He said in amusement, shaking his head as the elevator doors opened to let them out.

The event floor was the same for most Stark Office layouts, a darker area with tinted windows, a large bar area along one side that was set up ready for any event at a moment’s notice, with lights that could be controlled for colour and brightness easily, letting the hall be set up for all sorts of events from business functions, to parties, or seated dinners.

“Mum!” Ginny exclaimed as soon as she saw her mum and dad come out of the lift.

“Ginny dear, how are you?” Molly smiled, rushing over to where Ginny and Hermione had been stood looking over the large hall.

“We’re fine,” Ginny smiled happily. “It’s fun here.” She explained with a grin. “Have you seen out the windows? We’re so high up!”

“We’re not all mad about heights like you,” Hermione laughed over as Tony led the rest of the group over.

“JARVIS, bring up the lights and drop the window tint.” Tony announced, causing the lights to brighten instantly and the windows to fall back to their normal see through appearance. “Events are normally in the evening,” He explained as the four adults in the group all looked at him in shock as the area brightened up drastically at his words.

“It’s not magic,” Hermione explained quickly, seeing the puzzled look on everyone’s faces.

“Right, no,” Tony explained, catching on and realising that everyone in the group was just like Ginny and didn’t know anything about modern technology or how he’d done what he’d just done.

“JARVIS is...” Hermione tried to explain but trailed off. “Oh, he’s like a house elf, or a ghost.” She explained, catching onto the idea. “But a muggle version.” She said, seeing how everyone looked a bit more appeased at that idea.

“An elf or a ghost?” Tony asked, looking at Hermione in amusement. “Ok, whatever works.” He laughed with a shrug. “Shall we?” He asked, gesturing to one of the scattered tables around, specifically a round table with a few chairs they could all fit around comfortably.

“Don’t worry mum,” Ginny smiled as she fell into step with her mother.

“I’m not worrying,” Molly whispered, admonishing her daughter gently. “It’s just… I feel rather out of place here, I think we all do.” She explained, thinking that even Arthur must feel a bit out of place in this extraordinary muggle environment.

“Grab a seat,” Tony said as they all reached the table. “Anyone want anything to drink?” He asked, gesturing to the bar before walking over and heading behind the bar, grabbing a can of coke for himself.

“Is there any water?” Hermione asked quickly. “We... fizzy drinks have a bit too much sugar in them... we... witches and wizards I mean, we don’t drink a lot of it.”

“Huh,” Tony mused, pondering that for a second. “Sure thing.” He said, grabbing some bottles of water and putting them onto the bar top as he counted them out.

“Oh, here dear, let me.” Molly smiled, flicking her wand and levitating the bottles of water over to the table.

“Handy,” Tony nodded with a smile as he followed the bottles of water, opening his can of coke as he walked and waited for everyone to sit down.

“Tony tells us you received some letters from American schools this morning dear?” Molly asked as she sat down, making sure she sat next to Ginny and close to Hermione.

“I haven’t read them yet,” Hermione answered nervously as she sat down.

“Why ever not?” Molly asked.

“I... I wanted to know what was going on first,” Hermione explained. “With... with everything.” She said quietly. “It just... everything’s happening so fast.” She said with a sigh.

“Ok,” Tony said loudly as he sat down, waiting for everyone else to sit down as well. “I’m sensing there’s an elephant in the room here.” He quipped with a smirk, causing both Arthur and Pius to laugh at him. “I’m the only person who… how do you say it?” He asked, looking to Hermione.

“Muggle,” Hermione smiled. “You haven’t got magic.”

“That,” Tony said, pointing to her. “Ok, is that a problem?”

“Ordinarily,” Pius nodded, looking at Mr Stark. “The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy is in place to prevent muggles from finding out about magic, the exceptions obviously are when a muggle or muggle born joins the magical community.”

“Why?” Tony asked flippantly, enjoying a mouthful of his coke. “No, seriously, why? Why hide away?” He asked, honestly curious.

“Our history... with muggles, hasn’t been pleasant.” Pius admitted. “As an American, are you more familiar with events like the Salem witch trials?”

“Point,” Tony conceded with a nod. “That was... ok, I’ve got no clue when that was, but we’re taking centuries ago right?” He asked with a frown. “JARVIS, Salem witch trials?” He asked aloud.

“Sixteen ninety-two to sixteen ninety-three sir,” JARVIS responded, shocking everyone in the room. “The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen women and six men.”

“Ok, over three hundred years ago.” Tony said easily, ignoring the shocked looked on the faces around him, only Hermione and Ginny seemed to take it in their stride. “Three hundred years and nothing’s changed?”

“MACUSA laws would be more apt for the discussion here,” Percy said, clearing his throat to draw attention to him. “MACUSA President Emily Rappaport enacted Rappaport's Law in Seventeen Ninety, in response to a breach of the International Statute of Secrecy when twenty-six muggles were shot and killed by a Scourer hunting witches and wizards due to information he received from a witch.”

“MACUSA? Scourer?” Tony asked, grabbing two words he wasn’t familiar with there.

“The Magical Congress of the United States of America,” Percy clarified with a nod. “Scourers are...” He frowned, trying to describe things in terms everyone at the table would understand. “Witches and wizards who turned on their own kind, hunting witches for muggles in exchange for money.”

“Gotcha,” Tony nodded. “That... Rapper’s law?”

“Rappaport's Law,” Percy corrected automatically. “It was repealed in nineteen sixty-five, but for nearly three hundred years the law prohibited witches and wizards marrying or interacting with muggles.”

“Damn,” Tony breathed out, taking that on board. “Ok, so I get why there was all the secrecy over this stuff,” He said, nodding thoughtfully. “And I’m still kinda taking it all on board myself.” He admitted. “But the world’s changed, in pretty big ways since all that happened.”

“We’re aware,” Pius nodded over. “Our communities may be separate from muggle cities, but we do keep abreast of muggle situations and how things are going.”

“You just don’t want to be part of it,” Tony said with a sigh. “I don’t get that.” He said, frowning around the table. “But... ok, let’s start with this. What can you actually do? With magic? I got the whole transforming thing, that’s pretty neat. But what else?”

“I don’t think...” Minerva started to say but Tony interrupted.

“Flying on brooms?” Tony asked with a shrug. “Ok, I can fly to. No big deal.”

“You can fly?” Ginny asked excitedly, grabbing this bit of information. “How?” She asked quickly before anyone else could derail the topic.

“The metal gauntlet you saw me working on?” Tony asked, watching as Ginny flushed at the memory of what had happened that afternoon. “Flight stabiliser, yes, I can fly.” He said firmly. “So, what else?”

“Mr Stark, I don’t think comparing what we can do with magic to your muggle toys is why we are here.” Minerva said firmly.

“Maybe,” Tony shrugged. “Look, you want me to understand this so I’m not freaking out with Hermione, right?” He asked before continuing. “Look, not freaking out.” He said firmly. “Now look at it from my side. You’re telling me my daughter is part of this group that hides away from everyone else, and you don’t expect me to want to understand or have part of it I can talk about it with her?” He demanded, looking around the table. “What happens with other...” He trailed off before remembering the word Hermione had used. “Muggle born kids? After school, what do they do?”

“Jobs, obviously.” Minerva answered as if Tony was asking something stupid.

“Doing what?” Tony asked. “You keep them in the community?”

“Why would a witch or wizard want to do anything else?” Minerva asked doubtfully. “You mean to ask do wizards or witches live and interact with muggles meaningfully?”

“Yes,” Tony nodded back. “Hermione could do anything, literally.” He said, pointing to her. “Pilot, business, teaching, engineering, hell, she could be an astronaut if she wanted.”

“Astro...” Ginny frowned at the strange word.

“Someone who goes into space.” Tony waved off the quick explanation, drawing more shocked looks from everyone at the table. “What?”

“Muggles, in space?” Percy snorted out.

“JARVIS, pull up footage.” Tony ordered, watching the windows dim again as the usual interface was projected onto the windows, showing various clips from the Apollo missions and moon landing. “Space.” He said, pointing to the footage for everyone to see.

“Good lord, really?” Arthur asked in shock, torn between seeing this amazing muggle technology and looking at Tony for more information. “Muggles, fascinating.”

“That,” Tony said, pointing to the footage of the moon landing. “Was Apollo Eleven in nineteen sixty-nine. Over forty years ago.”

“I read books about it in schools before... before Hogwarts I mean.” Hermione explained.

“I... I had no idea.” Minerva stammered out in shock.

“That’s my point,” Tony said. “JARVIS, enough.” He said, causing the display to vanish and the window tint to go back to transparent. “Isolating yourselves away from everything that’s happened, you’ve got no idea what’s going on in the world around you.” He said with a snort. “Civil rights movement, same sex marriage, the moon landings, planes that can travel faster than sound, the internet for crying out loud.” He explained agitatedly. “Ok... Ginny tells me you don’t even use fridges? Refrigerators, to keep food cold. Why?”

“It’s simpler to use charms,” Ginny shrugged.

“So, you just use magic for everything?” Tony asked, looking around the table. “Like using birds to send letters?”

“A rather efficient method,” Pius spoke up for the first time.

“Hardly,” Tony snorted. “Phones, email?” Tony asked. “If I wanted to send a letter to a friend in America, how long would that take? To send one and get a reply?”

“Three, maybe four days.” Pius nodded happily.

“I could do it in seconds.” Tony explained, bringing out his phone from his pocket. “Video call, I could talk to them face to face, from America.” He said, waving his phone around. “Or just send a letter on this, they reply, it’s with me in seconds.”

“Like a muggle version of a fire call?” Ginny asked, looking to her mum who nodded back thoughtfully.

“Fire call?” Tony asked. “Right, you guys travel in fireplaces?” He asked curiously.

“The floo network, yes.” Arthur nodded happily. “Step in one fireplace, and out the other.” He simplified it down to muggle explanations.

“Range?” Tony asked, actually impressed with that piece of magic.

“The floo network covers the entire country,” Minerva said firmly. “But we are far off topic here.” She said urgently, bringing things back to what she had come here to discuss. “You accept that Miss Granger needs to learn her magic?”

“I’m supporting her whatever she wants to do.” Tony said firmly. “If that’s magic, or business school, dentistry, or engineering.” He said with a shrug.

“Then you have no objections to her returning to Hogwarts to finish her education?” Minerva asked, inwardly happy that Mr Stark was supporting Hermione like that.

“If that’s what she wants to do,” Tony nodded over, looking at Hermione. “Or she can go to Salem, or... whatever, that other school.”

“Ilvermorny I’d believe, but yes, that is the question isn’t it.” Pius interrupted thoughtfully. “Typically, the students education is decided by where they live.” He explained. “Only rarely are exceptions made and students transfer between schools.”

“I just want Hermione to have the best education she can get.” Tony said simply, finishing off his can of coke. “Magical or whatever else she wants.” He explained. “We can visit Salem and that other one, or you can show me around Hogwarts and explain why she should go there?”

“Quite out of the question,” Minerva shook her head. “Hogwarts is for witches and wizards, muggles cannot find or enter the grounds. It is only under the most dire circumstances that the wards around the castle are lifted.” She explained, knowing of only two times in her entire tenure at Hogwarts when muggles had been allowed to enter the castle, and both of those times had included the student in question being injured so severely that their parents had to be notified and the child left the school with them to recover.

“You ask parents to send their children to a school without letting them visit or appraise the school for themselves?” Tony asked in awe of the stupidity. “What about these other schools, in America? You seem to know all about the American stuff?” He asked, turning to Percy.

“Ilvermorny does allow muggle visits for parents of muggle born students before term starts,” Percy admitted, causing a shocked look to draw on Minerva’s face. “It’s actually a rather fascinating history, Ilvermorny was founded by Isolt Sayre and her muggle husband James Steward in the sixteen...” He paused, trailing off when he saw the looks of everyone around him, which aside from Hermione, all bore impatient and irritated frowns. “The Salem institute...” He continued on, coughing to clear his throat before continuing. “Offers the same and has nights for parent teacher conferences when muggle born parents can visit and discuss the witches magical and muggle education to get ahead in the world.”

“So, it’s just Hogwarts that doesn’t let us anywhere near it?” Tony asked, checking he’d got that right, then turning to look around the table when Percy nodded back. “Let me see if I’ve got this right, you want me to sign off on Hermione going to a school I’ve never heard of, can never visit or see that she’s safe and being taught to the best of her abilities, in a community that secrets themselves away from everyone else...” He frowned, trailing off. “When there are schools in America that not only allow me to visit and see them, but allow me to meet the teachers and see what’s going on?”

He trailed off, looking around the table as that sunk in.

“I... I never thought about it from mum and dad’s point of view.” Hermione admitted. “My... dad,” She whispered, wiping some tears away. “He was angry about me going to Hogwarts... I just thought it was about the magic and that he didn’t understand what it was like.”

“He let you go because it made you happy,” Tony said softly, reassuring Hermione. “Even if they all kept him away from you, he wanted you to be happy.” He explained. “He wasn’t angry at you, he was angry that he couldn’t make sure you were getting the best education.” He said, seeing the look on Hermione’s face as it changed when she understood things more now.

“Good lord, I’d never thought of it like that before.” Arthur announced. “Must be hard for muggles to send their children off without knowing anything at all about where they’re being sent to.” He mused aloud to himself.

“Would you send Ginny off to somewhere you’ve never been or wouldn’t be allowed to see? Somewhere you know nothing about?” Tony asked curiously, looking between Arthur and Molly.

“Of course not!” Molly said quickly, feeling instinctively protective over her youngest daughter.

“So why ask me to do the same thing for Hermione?” Tony asked, looking at Molly and Arthur, and then around the table for any of the others that would answer him, not surprisingly the other two adults at the table looked away from him and refused to answer. “Do you want to visit these other schools?” He asked hopefully, looking at Hermione. “If they invited you?”

“Um,” Hermione blinked, seeing everyone on the table look around to her.

“Do it,” Ginny whispered excitedly, nudging from beside her. “Can you imagine seeing Salem or Ilvermorny? I’d love to see the Salem grounds and their quidditch…”

“Shhh,” Molly hissed from beside her. “Let Hermione decide for herself.” She said firmly.

“I think you should.” Minerva spoke out after a few moments silence, surprising everyone at the table as they turned to her. “If I may speak with Miss Granger alone for a few moments?” She asked, looking to Mr Stark.

“If she wants,” Tony said with a shrug, looking to Hermione who nodded back. “Go for it.” He said before heading back to the bar. “More drinks?” He asked, looking around but noticing that nobody else had even bothered opening their bottles of water yet, let alone drunk anything from them. Shaking his head in amusement he continued off to the bar to fetch himself a drink, watching as Hermione and Minerva moved away from the table to talk in private further down the side of the hall.

 


 

“Professor?” Hermione asked, watching as Professor McGonagall flicked her wand around and cast some privacy charms around them. “Mr Stark… He’s… he’s just… it’s a lot to accept.” She said, trying to understand and explain his behaviour.

“I feel as though I am the one who should apologise.” Minerva admitted. “I haven’t had the facts laid out like that for me before, and facing them paints our current situation in a rather bad light I have to admit.”

“Is… is that why you think I should visit the other schools?” Hermione asked curiously.

“You will be welcome back at Hogwarts regardless Miss Granger,” Minerva said firstly, making sure Hermione knew that before she continued. “No, the reasons I cannot go into much detail with you, but I will say that things at Hogwarts this year will not be the same as they were before, things are changing and I do not believe they are for the better.”

“Is everything alright?” Hermione asked quickly. “With Harry?”

“Mr Potter is fine,” Minerva said reassuringly. “There are… Well, after the tournament last year, The Ministry has decided to take a more active role in managing Hogwarts.” She explained coldly. “I don’t think I need to explain to you further how this changes things.”

“No Professor,” Hermione said, shaking her head as she remembered how Minister Fudge had been at the end of the tournament and his argument with Professor Dumbledore.

“While I could appeal to The Board of Governors and The Ministry for permission to allow Mr Stark visiting time to Hogwarts, I feel that it would simply be a waste of time given the current situation.” Minerva explained. “I’m telling you this in private, and while I expect you to use this information to help your decision, I also expect you to treat my confidence with the respect you are known for.” She said firmly before continuing. “Professor Dumbledore has been asked to step down from the Wizengamot, and I fully expect to hear of more overt changes to the Hogwarts staff by the Ministry within the next few days.”

“They can’t do that!” Hermione frowned over in disbelief, unable to believe that Minister Fudge would do such a thing.

“Miss Granger, both you and I know that... you-know-who has returned.” Minerva explained. “While Minister Fudge does not believe this, it does not change the facts.” She said. “Given how things are progressing, I cannot in good conscience say that Hogwarts will be safe for half-blood and muggle born children in the upcoming year.”

“You know something,” Hermione said before she could stop herself.

“Of course,” Minerva said, smiling over her glasses. “I would not suggest something like this otherwise.” She explained.

“Thank you, for telling me.” Hermione said softly. “I didn’t know things were that bad.” She admitted.

“Nobody ever does,” Minerva admitted. “If things change, I assure you that I will inform you as soon as possible so you can return if you so wish.”

“Thank you, Professor.” Hermione said with a smile as she watched Professor McGonagall clear the privacy charms so they could move back to the table and re-join everyone else.

 


 

Tony sighed as he opened his can of coke while walking back to the table, today’s meeting had definitely not gone as expected or hoped, but had been side-tracked with his usual flare that he’d promised himself he would keep under control. He glanced down the hall to where Hermione was talking with her Professor, and while he’d heard her suggest that it would be good for her to visit the other schools, he somehow doubted that the Professor was saying anything good about him to Hermione now after his little tirade.

“Hey,” Tony said as he came back to the table, looking to both Arthur and Molly. “Mind if we talk for a moment?” He asked, hoping they would both leave the table and join him.

“I think that would be a good idea.” Molly nodded in agreement, standing up with Arthur to follow Tony back to the bar with Ginny following them.

“Ok, first off, I should apologise.” Tony said simply, holding up his hands. “I didn’t mean for any of that to come out like that. You’ve all done so much for Hermione, I understand if you’re angry at everything I said back then, but...”

“Quite the opposite dear,” Molly smiled over at him, the look of shock on Tony’s face surprising her as well. “I admit, our... my... I acted in a rather poor manner to Hermione earlier in the year when I read some... Well, it’s in the past now dear, but I feel that this is my way to make up for how I acted.” She explained with a bashful look. “You showed us all how much you care about Hermione’s future, nobody could be angry at you for that.” She finished proudly.

“Thanks,” Tony said, surprised that anyone felt that way, and now curious about what had happened between Hermione and Molly. “I... I just... I hope Hermione sees it the same way.”

“I’m sure she does,” Ginny said with a smile from where she was stood next to her mum. “You’ll visit Salem and Ilvermorny with her?”

“If she wants me to,” Tony nodded. “She’ll probably have to explain all of it to me as we go, and I’ve got no idea how any of this stuff is taught or...” Tony trailed off, ruffling his hair as he thought of more and more problems and how out of his depth he really was here. “Ok, Salem,” He said, looking at Ginny. “You thought that was a good school, right?” He asked hopefully, trying to put a plan together in his head.

“It’s amazing,” Ginny nodded fervently. “Their quidditch team...”

“Enough dear,” Molly cut her off quickly. “You were saying?” She asked, looking back to Tony.

“Why don’t you come with me?” Tony asked hopefully. “You can help Hermione look around and be there when she needs to talk girl stuff.” He explained, looking at Ginny. “And you two can help me understand all of this and give me your thoughts on it.” He explained his plan. “I can talk with Hermione about all of this stuff, but let’s face it, I’m never going to understand it because...”

“Because you can’t do magic.” Ginny finished for him.

“Right,” Tony nodded in agreement. “This’ll give her someone to talk to who understands it, I’ll pay for your flights and hotel, in return, you be my guide to everything and help me find the best school for Hermione.” He explained. “Does that sound like a deal?” He asked, looking to Arthur and then to Molly.

“Good lord, I think I’m rather jealous now,” Arthur chuckled as he looked at Molly. “I don’t have enough time off at work to do something like this so soon.” He explained when Tony looked at him.

“Mum?” Ginny asked hopefully, looking at her thinking about it.

“How long would it be for?” Molly asked hesitantly, wanting to help Hermione when she could but uneasy at the thought of being away from her family for any length of time.

“Visiting the schools then back again.” Tony shrugged. “Whatever Hermione wants, it’s her choice.”

“If... if Hermione would like us to join her,” Molly conceded. “Then I will discuss it with the boys.” She said with a small smile.

“Thank you,” Tony beamed, happy that Molly seemed to see that he was doing his best here to make sure Hermione got the best that she could have. “Actually, that reminds me.” He said, looking down at Ginny this time. “You said... Hermione’s wand broke?”

“In the car crash,” Ginny said quietly with a nod.

“Where does she get a new one from?” Tony whispered back. “She needs one, right? I don’t think she’s ready for me to start asking twenty questions about stuff like this, especially if its things that she lost with her parents.”

“Diagon Alley dear,” Molly smiled patiently. “We could go today if you’d like, I know it would do Hermione the world of good to get outside again.”

“Done and done!” Tony nodded enthusiastically. “Can I come? Or is this another magical only thing?” He asked hesitantly.

“Muggles can come,” Molly laughed at his expression.

“Fantastic!” Tony grinned happily as he caught sight of Hermione and Minerva approaching the table from where they’d finished talking. “I’ll mention it to her later on.” He said with a smile. “And... thanks.” He said, feeling that it was enough for how the Weasley family were helping him at the moment.

“Don’t mention it dear,” Molly smiled over, squeezing his arm reassuringly as they all made their way back to the table.

“So?” Tony asked, watching as Hermione came back with a far more thoughtful expression on her face than she’d had when she’d left.

“I... I think I’d like to see the other schools.” Hermione admitted. “If that’s alright?” She asked, looking to Tony.

“Great!” Tony grinned happily.

“I had expected as much,” Percy nodded from his seat. “Very well, I will inform the MACUSA department of International Magical Cooperation that you will be visiting schools there. If you let me know the dates of your travel arrangements I will see to it that your wand permits are filled in and waiting for you along with your Magical International Stay Admission forms.”

“Sounds good,” Tony nodded back, catching sight of how Hermione’s face fell when the wand permit was mentioned.

“Well, I believe we have covered everything here.” Minerva said from where she was stood, not having bothered to sit down yet. “I would think than Miss Granger and Miss Weasley can answer any further questions you have Mr Stark.”

“Probably,” Tony admitted, catching onto the fact that she’d called him Mr Stark and was probably still upset with him for his little outburst earlier on.

“Then I shall take my leave,” Minerva said with a nod. “I have a rather busy day, I shall have your letter from Hogwarts sent here at the next opportunity,” She explained, looking to Hermione. “I understand this is a difficult time for you, but exceptions to the cut-off date cannot be made, and for that I do apologise.”

“I understand Professor,” Hermione smiled across the table to her.

“Very well.” Minerva offered a small smile back.

“Think that’s it for us too,” Pius nodded as he stood up with Percy. “Back to work this afternoon Arthur?” He asked.

“I’ll follow on,” Arthur nodded with a smile. “Quiet day in the department, you know how it is.”

“Of course,” Pius chuckled good naturedly at him.

“Sorry, do you need someone to show you down?” Tony asked, clapping his hands together now that the unofficial ‘meeting’ was over. “I don’t have a fireplace here for you to... do whatever it is you do with them.” He admitted with a shrug.

“You... you’d offer a fireplace even though you don’t have magic of your own?” Pius asked with a small amount of shock on his face.

“Well, yeah.” Tony shrugged. “If you guys want to leave however you normally do, go for it.” He explained. “Really, do whatever you normally do. I guess since Hermione uses them, I’ll probably end up setting one up somewhere for her anyway, if I can do that? Can I do that? Or can she do that I mean?” He asked, frowning to himself as he tried to get the thought straight in his head.

“Remarkable muggle,” Pius said, shaking his head. “Well then, the Ministry then?” He asked, looking to Percy and nodding. “Good to see you again Minerva.” He said with a smile. “Nice to meet you all.” He said, nodding to the table where everyone was sat before turning his hand on the spot and vanishing with a twist and a crack, Percy following a second behind him with Minerva.

“Ok, what was that?” Tony asked, staring in awe to what he’d just witnessed, where the three people looked like they’d twisted in on themselves and vanished with a loud noise.

“Apparating,” Hermione explained. “It’s pretty difficult to do, we’re going to get lessons when we’re seventeen.” She said with a smile.

“That was cool!” Tony grinned happily at what he’d just witnessed. “Shall we go downstairs?” He offered, looking to Molly and Arthur. “I bet you want to check on where the girls are staying and make sure everything’s fine?” He asked with a laugh when he saw Molly’s knowing face. “Come on.” He grinned, walking ahead so he could lead the way and then jumping away from the bar quickly when he saw that Hermione had left her Evil Book of Doom on the edge near the staircase down. “Still twisted!” He said, glaring at the book as he walked past, doing his best to ignore the muffled laughter coming from the two girls behind him.

 


 

“My word!” Arthur breathed out as he followed the steps down the spiral staircase behind Hermione and Ginny where they were following Mr Stark. The sight as they walked down was truly breath-taking with a view that looked out over almost the entire city.

“Right dad?” Ginny beamed as she reached the bottom of the staircase with Hermione, automatically stepping aside and walking to the window to stare out at the view as she tried to angle herself to look down at the smaller buildings below.

“Ginny, get away from there!” Molly said quickly, a bit fearful for how high up they were in the muggle building now.

“It’s fine,” Tony explained with a grin. “Really, bullet proof glass.” He explained. “I could throw a chair at it and it wouldn’t break.” He simplified for them.

“Remarkable, truly remarkable.” Arthur smiled as he reached the bottom of the stairs, coming last of the group. “I must say, the view is rather better during the day, I don’t think I noticed it before.” He explained.

“Probably not,” Tony nodded, trying to remember if he’d had the windows dimmed when Arthur had visited or not. “Did you want to have a look at those letters now? See what Arthur and Molly make of them?” He asked, looking over to Hermione.

“That’s a good idea I think.” Molly smiled.

“I left them in the bedroom,” Hermione nodded. “I’ll get them.”

“May I?” Molly asked curiously.

“Go on, give her the tour.” Tony laughed as Hermione looked at him. “Leave the office alone though, Pepper’s still in there I think.” He explained as Hermione and Ginny led Molly off towards the bedroom.

“Tony?” Pepper asked, opening the office door and coming out. “You called?”

“No, but come on out.” Tony said, waving her over into the living room. “Pepper, this is Arthur.” He said as Pepper came over. “Ginny’s dad.” He explained.

“Oh, nice to meet you.” Pepper smiled, shaking Arthur’s hand.

“And you,” Arthur smiled pleasantly. “Remarkable building, really.”

“Don’t get him started,” Pepper laughed. “Tony will talk about his buildings all day if you let him.” She said with a small smirk. “I was thinking about heading out for some lunch soon.” She explained, turning to Tony.

“Actually, we might have plans.” Tony said with a hesitant shrug. “Hermione and Ginny are showing her mom around at the moment, she needs to get some shopping, so we could all go out together?” He offered. “There’s probably some stuff we should talk about first though,” He said with a wince.

“What have you done now?” Pepper demanded, fixing Tony with a glare.

“Not me, nothing to do with me!” Tony said quickly. “It... Hermione, it’s her stuff really.”

“Like that book and how she managed to heal a broken leg and arm in an afternoon? And the birds that flew in to deliver letters on rolled up parchment?” Pepper demanded. “You think I didn’t notice all these things?”

“Remarkably observant,” Arthur smiled happily, ignoring the glaring that was going on between the two muggles.

“Oh, hello.”

Tony span around as he heard Molly’s voice come over. “Molly, this is Pepper.” He introduced her quickly, deflecting the ire he could feel building up in Pepper already. “I was just going to try to explain to her about Hermione.” He explained hesitantly.

“Your... partner was it?” Molly asked curiously, looking at the obviously expensive clothes and styled hair the woman had that seemed very much at odds with Tony’s dressed down jeans and t-shirt look.

“Nice to meet you,” Pepper smiled, stepping forward to shake Molly’s hand. “Sorry, we were just... I’ve been noticing little things and Tony hasn’t explained anything.”

“Men never do dear,” Molly chuckled drawing a laugh from Pepper at the same time.

“Can you?” Pepper asked with a wry smile at Molly’s comment.

“Hermione dear?” Molly asked, looking to her to check first.

“It might be better,” Hermione admitted with a nod. “If you don’t mind?”

“Of course not dear,” Molly beamed, happy that Hermione trusted her with something like this. “Well, it’s rather complicated.”

“She’s a witch,” Tony said simply, drawing looks from everyone around the room. “What? That’s not complicated.” He said with a shrug.

“Tony,” Pepper muttered, fixing Tony with a glare again, in no mood for his jokes now. “Sorry about him, go on.” She said, gesturing for Molly to continue her explanation without Tony’s smart-ass comments.

“No dear, he was right.” Molly smiled patiently. “Hermione, just like Ginny and myself, is a witch.” She explained.

Pepper blinked at that, then blinked again. “Did Tony put you up to this?” She asked with a sigh.

“Bunny me!” Tony grinned excitedly, bouncing on the spot before walking over. “You can do that right? Like Professor Whatshername did?”

“Professor McGonagall,” Hermione corrected quickly.

“Her,” Tony nodded, silently thanking Hermione for the name again. “Or another animal? Elephant? Eagle! Eagle me up!” He grinned happily.

“You’re sure?” Molly asked, staring in confusion at Mr Stark’s eagerness to have magic used on him like this.

“You might as well,” Hermione said with a small smile. “This is how he is, Merlin forbid we ever let him stay with Fred and George.” She said with a laugh.

“Hey!” Tony frowned mockingly. “Wait, the twins?” He asked, checking to make sure they were talking about who he thought they were. “They were funny!” He smiled when Hermione nodded back.

“Very well, if you think it’s best,” Molly shook her head in amusement as she brought her wand up, flicking it towards Mr Stark and saying “Vulpuluis.”

Pepper flinched as the orange light shot out from the stick Molly had been holding, impacting Tony with a flash and causing him to twist and shrink for a second before turning into a fox that was sat where he’d been stood and staring at them all.

“You... you turned him into a fox?!?” Pepper stammered out, looking between the fox and Molly in shock.

The fox at this yelped in surprise then whined a bit before yapping twice quickly.

“Just temporary,” Hermione explained quickly, seeing the shocked look on Pepper’s face. “Mrs Weasley can turn him back any time.” She said as Pepper turned to look at him.

“You... a witch?” Pepper asked, looking around the group in shock.

“Nothing to worry about dear,” Molly smiled reassuringly, flicking her wand back to the fox and transforming it back to Tony in a flash of orange light.

“That was not an eagle,” Tony said quickly as he stood up from where he’d transformed back and been in a crouching position.

“I need a drink,” Pepper muttered, shaking her head at what was going on.

“Cup of tea dear, think we could all do with one.” Molly said with a smile.

Pepper nodded along at that, inwardly thinking that she meant something a lot stronger than tea. “You knew about this?” She asked, looking at Tony.

“Only since Saturday,” Tony said quickly. “I didn’t want to say anything without the girls, and... you wouldn’t believe me.” He said with a shrug.

“Right,” Pepper snorted but then actually thought about it, realising that if Tony had said all this then she probably would have believed he was just pulling a prank or was drunk. “Witches, really?”

“Wizard if you don’t mind,” Arthur said proudly from where he’d been stood watching everything.

“Right,” Pepper sighed. “Why is it always you Tony?” She asked, breathing out in exasperation.

“Hey, this wasn’t my fault!” Tony laughed despite the situation. “Ok, so it’s a bit weird. Hermione can do the magic stuff? So, what?” He said with a shrug.

“So what?” Pepper asked firmly. “Tony, they just turned you into a fox!”

“Only because I asked them to!” Tony shot back. “How else was I going to prove all this to you? I don’t even know what Hermione can or can’t do yet, let alone anything else.” He argued.

“Perhaps we should go,” Molly said, not wanting to start an argument between the two muggles.

“No,” Tony shook his head firmly. “Look, Pepper, this is part of Hermione, she’s been learning it, using it, going to school for it her entire life.” He said firmly. “I’ve accepted it, ok, I’m trying to accept it.” He amended in his head. “The logic of it is still screwing with me, but that aside, it’s Hermione’s life, and if I want to be in her life, then I have to accept that.” He explained, pleading with Pepper to understand this with him.

“You can really do that?” Pepper asked, looking over to Hermione.

“Not that,” Hermione said softly, shaking her head. “Trans-Species transfiguration is really advanced magic, we don’t start learning until sixth year.” She explained.

“Oh,” Pepper whispered, opening and closing her mouth a bit at that.

“Their professor turned me into a rabbit to prove it to me.” Tony explained with a grin. “I still want to do the eagle thing though, flying would be amazing!” He said with a laugh.

“You have teachers for that?” Pepper asked in awe, looking around the room.

“Professor McGonagall,” Hermione nodded. “She teaches Transfiguration.” She explained. “We just finished switching-spells this year.”

“Switching spells?” Tony asked, curiously.

“A drink dear?” Molly asked, looking at the still shell-shocked face Pepper was looking around the room with. “Cup of tea perhaps?”

“I... yes,” Pepper stammered out, trying to get her brain back into gear.

“Let me help you,” Molly smiled. “Where’s the kitchen?”

“This... this way,” Pepper said before leading Molly off towards the kitchen.

“So, switching spells?” Tony asked, moving over to one of the couches and flopping down on it, gesturing to everyone else to do the same. “Come on, I’ve been bursting to ask these questions all weekend.” He grinned happily as Hermione and Ginny took one couch while Arthur sat on the black leather couch next to him.

“Cross species switching, we... we were learning how to switch part of an animal for another.” Hermione explained. “I used a hedgehog and switched its spines with feathers.”

“A duck hedgehog,” Tony laughed at the mental image that brought up.

“I can’t wait to study that!” Ginny smiled excitedly.

“What were you studying this year?” Tony asked, looking at the younger girl. “The same stuff? Trans... forming?”

“Transfiguration,” Hermione smiled over with a nod.

“Right, that?” Tony nodded back, thanking her for giving him the right word.

“Most of the end of year was the Draconifors Spell,” Ginny admitted. “It’s pretty difficult.”

“I had trouble with that one too,” Hermione admitted, making Ginny smile a bit knowing that Hermione had had trouble with it too.

“What’s that one do?” Tony asked, looking between the two girls.

“Transforms an object into a dragon,” Hermione explained, watching Tony’s eyes go wide at that bit of information.

“Show me!” Tony grinned excitedly.

“The girls can’t do magic outside of school,” Arthur said with a chuckle, seeing Tony’s excited face drop at the news. “Witches and wizards under seventeen can only use magic while they’re at Hogwarts.” He explained.

“Damn,” Tony sighed. “Ok, a year and a bit to go then.” He said with a smile to Hermione.

“And I don’t have a wand anymore,” Hermione explained, wiping her eyes as a few tears started to build up thinking about the car crash and everything that had happened.

“Right, about that...” Tony smiled hesitantly. “Molly said we could go shopping today? If you want?” He asked hopefully. “Somewhere where you can get a new wand?” He asked.

“Diagon Alley?” Hermione asked. “We could go today?” She asked with a small smile.

“That’s the place,” Tony nodded. “If you want to, you know, get out of the house a bit? Show me a bit of your world?” He asked hopefully.

“I... yes,” Hermione nodded. “I’d have to get some money changed first though.” She explained.

“I’ve got money,” Tony waved that thought away. “I’m guessing they don’t take American Express?” He asked with a sigh. “Right, you’ll have to show me where to exchange money then, or where I can transfer some money to your account, either way, both?” He asked, thinking that if Hermione was going to be shopping more in the magical world then it probably made more sense for him to transfer her trust fund into the magical world rather than keeping it with his normal bank.

“Gringotts,” Hermione smiled over. “Our bank.” She explained. “They can change muggle money for wizarding money.”

“First stop then,” Tony nodded thoughtfully.

 


 

“Are you alright dear?” Molly asked as she followed Pepper through to the kitchen, blinking in surprise and looking around the kitchen area for anything that she could vaguely recognise aside from the sink.

“I’m...” Pepper answered, shaking her head. “I don’t know?” She answered honestly.

“I know it’s a lot to take in,” Molly smiled patiently. “Come on, tell me where the kettle is and I’ll get the tea started.”

“Oh, sorry.” Pepper said, shaking her head. “I can do it, really.” She said, moving through and grabbing the kettle from its place on the electric stand and filling it up with water. “We’re normally coffee drinkers, I don’t know if we’ve got tea.” She admitted, putting the kettle back on its stand and opening a cupboard to look through.

“Let me dear,” Molly smiled, staring to look through cupboards herself and following Pepper’s technique to look through them. “You relax, it’s been a big day for you.”

“You could say that,” Pepper barked out a laugh, leaning up against the fridge and stepping out of Molly’s way. “First two big birds flew in the office window, scared me half to death.” She admitted. “Bringing letters for Hermione?”

“Quite normal,” Molly smiled patiently as she continued to look through cupboards.

“Then... all this... magic?” Pepper whispered. “Could you use magic to find the tea?” She asked hesitantly.

“If you don’t mind?” Molly asked, looking over to her then stepping back when she shook her head. “Accio tea.” She said with a flick of her wand, causing one of the cupboard doors to rattle slightly before it flung itself open and a box of tea bags came out and shot across into Molly’s waiting hand.

“I wish I could do that,” Pepper laughed in spite of herself, not knowing what else to do in the situation.

“I must admit...” Molly said in a hushed voice. “I don’t know how your kettle is doing that?” She asked with a bashful look.

“Boiling?” Pepper asked curiously. “Oh, you have an old stove top kettle?” She caught on. “No, we’re all electric here. Tony insists on it.” She explained.

“Electric kettles?” Molly asked in surprise. “We don’t use electricity at all really.” She explained. “A heating charm for the kettle if we need it in a hurry normally does the trick just fine.” She said with a smile.

“Magic,” Pepper sighed. “No electricity? Really?” She asked in shock. “And Tony visited?” She asked before letting out a laugh. “Sorry, that wasn’t meant at you.” She explained, trying to clamp a hand over her mouth. “It’s... it’s just Tony, the most high-tech man I know, he can’t even look at a book without thinking about how to make it fit in with his lifestyle.”

“He settled in just fine,” Molly smiled over. “The cups?” She asked, looking around the kitchen.

“In here,” Pepper said, reaching up to one of the taller cupboards that might have been out of Molly’s reach before bringing some mugs down. “Sugar? Milk?” She asked, moving to another cupboard to find the bag of sugar she’d seen earlier before getting the milk out of the fridge.

“My word, what is that?” Molly asked in shock, looking towards the large cupboard looking appliance Pepper had just opened.

“The fridge?” Pepper asked, looking around in confusion. “You don’t use those?” She asked, trying to figure out what Molly was talking about.

“No,” Molly shook her head, eyeing the strange cupboard. “Arthur would love to learn all about it I’m sure,” Molly laughed at the thought. “He always says muggles are rather ingenious with things like this.”

“Muggles?” Pepper asked at the curious word.

“People without magic dear,” Molly smiled as she explained. “Arthur works at the Ministry, Head of the he Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office.” She said proudly.

“What’s that?” Pepper asked, wanting to know more now.

“Well, it’s complicated,” Molly smiled while she got her thoughts together. “He deals with objects that have been enchanted or charmed to do certain things, and tries to keep them away from muggle households where they could be dangerous.”

“Ok, I can understand that.” Pepper nodded, thinking it through.

“He’s rather proud of what he does,” Molly explained happily. “I know only a few weeks ago he was dealing with some dancing socks that had been sold to muggles by pranking wizards, not our sons thankfully, though it sounded enough like something they would do that Arthur came home in the middle of the day to check.” She explained with a small laugh.

“Dancing... socks?” Pepper asked curiously.

“Sorry dear,” Molly shook her head, forgetting that she was speaking to a muggle. “Socks that were enchanted to force the wearer to dance whenever they put them on, the only way they could stop dancing was to take the socks off.”

“That’s... crazy,” Pepper exclaimed, not really knowing what else to say about that.

“Of course,” Molly chuckled. “Arthur had a few days rounding up all the pairs that had been sold and tracking down the wizard responsible. Got a hefty fine from what I’ve heard as well.”

Pepper simply shook her head at that, unable to really say anything else as she moved to the counter as the kettle boiled, pouring out three mugs of tea with the bags Molly had set aside for them to use. “Shall we take these through?” She asked, holding two of the mugs.

“Let me dear,” Molly nodded, flicking her wand to levitate the mugs up into the air and out of Pepper’s hands, the milk and sugar floating up next to them. “Shall we?” She asked, waiting for Pepper to lead the way so she could follow with the drinks alongside.

“This is a really weird day,” Pepper whispered to herself, eyeing the floating mugs before turning around and heading back towards the living room.

 

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.

 


 

“You look like I did when I first saw that,” Tony chuckled as he looked over to see Pepper walking back into the living area with Molly following next to her along with several floating mugs, a bowl of sugar with some spoons sticking out of it, and a bottle of milk. “Tried to see the wires yet?” He asked with a smirk, knowing that was the first thing he’d tried to look for when he’d walked into the Weasley kitchen.

“This is all really real?” Pepper asked hesitantly as she came to the couches, watching as Molly directed the floating mugs and bits down to the table where they landed silently.

“It’s real,” Tony laughed. “My daughter is a witch.” He said with a grin, missing how Hermione span around to look at him when he mentioned the ‘daughter’ word.

“Of course she is,” Pepper muttered to herself, fighting the urge to rub her temples in frustration.

“Anyway, they were just telling me about this spell where they turn things into dragons!” Tony explained, bringing Pepper and Molly up to date with the conversation they’d missed.

“Dragons?” Pepper asked in shock, looking at the two girls.

“Not real dragons,” Hermione explained with a little smile. “Only small ones.”

“Wait, there’s real dragons?” Tony interrupted with wide eyes. “Really real dragons?” He asked, parroting Pepper’s expression.

“My brother Charlie’s a dragon tamer,” Ginny explained. “He works out in Romania at a dragon preserve there.”

“We’re not visiting dragons Tony!” Pepper said quickly when she saw Tony’s face, quashing the idea before he could even vocalise it, much to the amusement of the two girls that laughed at her.

“Spoilsport,” Tony grumbled to himself. “Anyway, they can’t do the dragon spell thing anyway, they’re not allowed to do magic outside of school.”

“Oh?” Pepper looked up at this bit of news. “Why not?” She asked in confusion, from what she’d just seen in the kitchen she could imagine that magic was very handy to have around.

“It’s the law,” Hermione explained. “The law bans the use of underage magic outside of school.” She said with a sigh.

“Until we’re seventeen,” Ginny explained further.

“Oh,” Pepper frowned but accepted this for the moment.

“Anyway, dragons aside, and we will be talking more about dragons later on,” Tony said with a grin. “We were talking about going shopping? Hermione needs... she needs to get a few things. We could go out, do her shopping, have a wander around, can get something to eat while we’re out?”

“Ok,” Pepper nodded hesitantly, wondering now what sort of things Hermione needed.

“I should really be off myself,” Arthur said with a smile from his seat on the couch. “Back to the old grindstone.” He said with a chuckle. “Are you going shopping with the girls then?” He asked, looking at Molly.

“Yes dear, I think I will,” Molly smiled with a nod.

“Of course, I’ll be...” Arthur smiled hesitantly, looking to the two girls. “I’ve got a meeting tonight, so It will be a late one.” He explained, hoping Molly caught on that he was due to meet the rest of The Order tonight at Grimmauld Place to keep them up to date about what was going on inside the Ministry. “Well, it was lovely to meet you.” He said, smiling to Pepper. “And good to see both of you are doing well.” He said while looking at Ginny and Hermione. “Don’t forget, lots of questions, I want to know everything.” He said with a laugh, drawing an embarrassed blush from Ginny.

“Oh!” Tony bounced excitedly. “Are you going to do the thing? The vanishing twisty thing?” He asked hopefully, looking around to Hermione. “What’s it called?”

“Apparating,” Hermione said with a laugh. “Disapparition is when you leave.” She explained.

“Apparating,” Tony nodded, forcing himself to remember that.

“I was going to use the lift,” Arthur smiled bashfully. “Remarkable engineering, really, I’d love to hear all about how...”

“Not now Arthur,” Molly interrupted, swiping at his knee.

“Sorry dear,” Arthur chuckled as he stood up. “Well, if you insist.” He said with a smile. “Do you still want me to come around tomorrow?” He asked, looking between Molly and Tony.

“You’re welcome any time,” Tony shrugged.

“I think we’ll see how things go,” Molly nodded, feeling a bit more at ease now that she was sitting comfortably and talking with Tony and Pepper without any secrets between them.

“Then I shall see you when I see you,” Arthur smiled, bowing with a grin to everyone before twisting his hand on the spot and vanishing with a crack, causing Pepper to jump in her seat slightly, startled by the noise and effect of someone vanishing into mid-air.

“So cool,” Tony grinned, having eagerly watched Arthur vanish on the spot.

“What just happened?” Pepper demanded, staring at the spot where Arthur had just vanished.

“He... apparated? Am I saying it right?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione for confirmation. “Yes, got it right.” He grinned happily.

“It’s moving from one place to another, without going between,” Hermione explained to the confused Pepper. “Really tricky magic.”

“Can you do that?” Pepper asked, looking at the two girls.

“Not until sixth year,” Hermione shook her head. “You have to be seventeen for that too.” She explained.

“Charlie failed his apparition test first time,” Ginny explained with a laugh. “He appeared five miles away in a muggle market.” She said with a giggle.

“Don’t make fun of your brother,” Molly frowned over, admonishing her for sharing the story. “We’ll see how you do when you take your test.” She said firmly.

“Sorry mum,” Ginny whispered bashfully.

“Five miles?” Tony nodded respectfully. “That’s pretty far.”

“Professor McGonagall apparated back to Hogwarts,” Hermione explained with a smirk.

“Where’s that?” Tony asked, thinking that in all the conversation upstairs, he hadn’t even asked where this school of theirs was.

“Scotland,” Hermione said, breaking into a grin when she saw the realisation dawn on Tony’s face. “About seven hundred miles north.”

“I take it back, that’s cool!” Tony grinned back.

“Disappearing people aside for the moment,” Pepper sighed, shaking her head at the antics of everyone in the room, and doing her best not to notice how similar Tony and Hermione’s smiles were when they got excited about something. “Are you sure you’re ok for some shopping?” She asked, looking to Hermione.

“I’m sure,” Hermione nodded back. “I... I need to keep going, keep thinking about other things.” She explained.

“Ok,” Pepper smiled, accepting that for now. “Where do we need to go?”

“Charing Cross Road?” Hermione asked, looking to Molly to check. “We’ll have to go through the Leaky Cauldron.”

“JARVIS? What’s the traffic like to Charing Cross?” Tony asked aloud.

“Approximately twenty minutes’ drive sir,” JARVIS responded.

“Fine, forward directions to my phone,” Tony nodded. “Have one of the cars brought around to the parking lot, the Audi, enough space for us all.”

“I will notify the attendants sir.” JARVIS’ voice came back.

“Who was that?” Molly asked, curiosity getting the better of her. “Hermione said he’s like a ghost or a house elf?”

“JARVIS?” Tony asked. “Yeah, he’s a... Sorry, I’ve got no clue how to explain him to someone without talking about computers.” He said, looking to Hermione for help.

“Just think of him as a ghost Mrs... Molly,” Hermione explained, correcting herself at the last second. “He’s like a personal assistant, but without a body.”

“Without magic?” Molly asked dubiously.

“Definitely,” Hermione nodded firmly. “I can’t really explain it any more though, I don’t know enough about computers to explain him.”

“And I don’t know enough about magic to compare him to anything,” Tony filled in with a shrug. “What’s a house elf anyway? I got the ghost part... which means ghosts are real, and we’ll be having that discussion as well some time.”

“Tony,” Pepper muttered, shaking her head at him. “Come on, we should get going before traffic picks up for the lunch hour.”

“Right,” Tony nodded, standing up from his seat. “Discussion tabled until after shopping.” He grinned, making sure he had his wallet in his back pocket where he’d stored the British money Pepper had arranged for the office reception to have ready for him. “Bathrooms first before we go?” He asked, making sure everyone was ready. “Ok then, let’s go.” He smiled when the girls shook their head and stood up ready to follow him through to the lift.

 


Charing Cross Road

Tony frowned as he followed the two girls through the busy streets, inwardly keeping an eye out for any press or photographers that would be ready to mob them at a moment’s notice. The drive through the city had been oddly relaxing, despite being stuck in traffic most of the way, the girls had filled in the time by talking about Diagon Alley and what sort of shops they wanted to visit there.

“What am I looking for?” Tony asked as the girls pointed towards a few shops down the road from where they were walking. He could see an old book shop and what looked to be a vintage record shop, but neither looked like what they were looking for.

“Girls, Mr... Tony and Pepper can’t see The Leaky Cauldron,” Molly explained quietly.

“Right, sorry.” Hermione shook her head bashfully. “Professor McGonagall led... my mum and dad through before.” She explained quietly.

“I’ll show Pepper the way, why don’t you take Tony,” Molly said with a nod, holding out her hand towards Pepper. “Doesn’t hurt dear, nothing to be afraid of.” She explained when she saw Pepper’s hesitant look.

“Whatever,” Tony nodded, taking Hermione’s hand and letting her lead him between the two shops. His eyes kept focusing over to the record store and his feet seemed to want to walk there automatically, but Hermione kept pulling him forward and after a few steps more the urge to walk away left his body in a rush. “Whoa,” He muttered to himself, shaking his head as the strange feeling passed over him. “You feel that?” He asked, looking around to Pepper.

He was sure they’d been outside a moment ago, and didn’t remember walking through a door, but as he looked around to check on Pepper and Molly, he could see the old wooden door behind them and a gritty old stone wall between them and the road outside.

“Weasleys,”

Tony instantly flicked his head back at the voice after seeing Pepper was as confused as he was, seeing that they were in a rather small and old-fashioned bar, it definitely had an old-world aesthetic that grated on him instantly, with wood slab tables dotted around and a few customers talking and smoking on long pipes as they moved around the floor area.

“Tom, good to see you again.” Molly smiled over, letting go of Pepper’s hand as she walked through. “Just passing through dear.”

“Bit early for the school shopping ain’t it?” The man from behind the bar asked, raising an eyebrow. “Go on through, quite day for it.” He said with a nod.

“Come on,” Hermione nodded, letting go of Tony’s hand gingerly, feeling a bit awkward that that had been the first real physical contact they’d had been each other.

“What is this place?” Tony asked as he followed Hermione’s lead, looking around the bar and trying to figure out how he’d missed such an obviously dirty and out of place bar from the outside.

“The Leaky Cauldron,” Hermione explained as she led him through the pub. “It’s actually the oldest pub in London, there’s history here going all the way back to the fifteen hundreds.” She explained, looking up at Tony happily.

“Looks it,” Tony nodded, feeling that if anything the bar can’t have changed much in the last five hundred years at all.

“Here we are,” Hermione said as she led him through to a small courtyard out the back of the pub itself, breathing in a bit easier now that the smell of tobacco and huffleweed wasn’t permeating anything from the pipe smoking wizards inside the pub.

“I’ve got it dear,” Molly smiled, stepping between the two and bringing her wand up, tapping one of the bricks three times in quick succession.

“The entrance is hidden away,” Hermione explained at Tony’s curious look, watching as his eyes went wide when the bricks on the wall started to move and rearrange themselves, creating a large stone arch in what had been a solid brick wall before.

“You saw that right?” Tony asked, looking over at Pepper who was looking just as dumbfounded as he felt.

“Come on dears, we haven’t got all day.” Molly chided gently, walking through the archway onto the street that opened up on the other side.

“This is Diagon Alley,” Hermione explained, gently tapping Tony on the arm to get him to walk forwards alongside her.

“This is all hidden in the middle of London?” Pepper asked in amazement, taking a couple of quick steps to walk up next to Tony and the two girls.

Tony on the other hand couldn’t reply, his eyes were darting all around the various shops as Hermione led them down the old cobbled street. “Self-stirring cauldrons?” He asked aloud in a whisper, his head turning to try and glance in the window to get a better look before he was interrupted by loud screeching noises, causing him to turn his head again to the other side of the street.

“There’s owl emporiums,” Hermione explained, seeing where his attention was. “Harry got his owl from there, I think that’s where... where Pigwidgeon came from as well.” She explained, quickly omitting the fact that Sirius had bought Ron the little owl after Scabbers had turned out to be Peter Pettigrew.

“Right,” Tony nodded at this, trying to take that bit of information on board while being faced with all the shops and sights around him. “It’s like I walked back in time a hundred years.” He muttered to himself, seeing the various candle lit lamps outside each store that were extinguished at the moment.

“There’s the bank,” Hermione said, breaking Tony out of his thoughts, pointing down the street to a large white building with heavy bronze doors.

“Oh look mum, they’ve got the new Firebolts!”

Tony looked from where Hermione was pointing to the impressive white building over to the store Ginny was looking at. “Quality Quidditch Supplies?” He asked, looking to Hermione.

“The flying game,” Hermione explained.

“It’s a sport!” Ginny corrected her with a long-suffering smile. “That’s where you get your brooms, quaffles and broom wax from, they’ve got books and uniforms and...”

“We’re not here for Quidditch dear,” Molly interrupted, cutting off Ginny’s excited explanation of the store. “The bank is just ahead, have you got your key?” She asked, looking to Hermione.

“I keep it on a necklace,” Hermione explained, touching where it was hidden under her t-shirt. Inwardly thankful that the hospital hadn’t damaged or lost it after the accident. Thankfully it had been neatly placed in the bag Tony had given her, with her broken wand, keys and purse along with her other things.

“Always a good way to keep it safe,” Molly smiled over reassuringly as she led the way through the bank doors, holding them open for everyone to walk by and smiling in good humour at the way Tony’s eyes went wide at the goblin guards at either side inside the doors.

“Goblins,” Hermione whispered up to him, watching as he looked at the small magical beings in shock. “They run Gringotts,” She explained, moving forward to open the second silver doors that led into the main bank itself.

“Goblins?” Tony asked, looking over to Pepper who was trying to be as discreet as she could while staring at the two goblins in question. “What do they...”

“Bill, how are you dear!” Molly practically squealed as she moved into the bank, stepping around Tony easily to see her eldest son. “I didn’t know you were working today!” She exclaimed.

Tony stepped back to let Molly through, watching as she strode a few steps towards a tall man in a rumpled shirt and leather waistcoat, his long red hair was pulled back in a ponytail but a quick glance to Ginny’s smile showed similarities in the face and the same red hair.

“Mum, what are you doing here?” Bill asked, looking at the strange group. “I’m on desk duty today, just helping out with things really.” He explained. “Sorry to hear about... you know.” He said softly, looking to Hermione.

“Thanks,” Hermione whispered back, smiling sadly to Bill in response.

“This is Tony, and Pepper.” Molly said, introducing the two strangers. “This is Bill, our eldest.” She said proudly as Bill stepped forwards to shake Tony’s hand.

“Muggles,” Molly whispered. “Hermione’s... family.” She explained, not wanting to say anything else before Hermione had chance to explain everything.

“Gotcha,” Bill nodded as he shook Tony’s hand and then Pepper’s. “Nice to meet you both.” He said with a smile. “Here to exchange some money?” He asked, looking back to Tony. “Spegoth can help there, he’s on the exchange counter today. Pretty quiet day for him really, but he’s getting on a bit now.” He said with a wry chuckle.

“Yes, that,” Tony nodded, catching on to what Bill was asking. “Exchange money and find out about how I transfer money through from my account into hers.” He explained, nodding to Hermione.

“Ah right,” Bill nodded along. “You’ll want to go up a floor for that,” He said with a grin. “Fleur’s up there in the Muggle Accepted Transfers and Trade department.” He explained. “I’ll show you up.” He said eagerly.

“Fleur’s working here?” Hermione whispered, looking at Ginny who frowned back in response to the news.

“We’ll wait here dears,” Molly interrupted, putting her hand on Ginny’s shoulder. “Vault transfers are family business only.” She said when she caught Ginny’s despondent look.

“Right,” Hermione nodded, remembering that.

“I’ll wait too then,” Pepper said, still in awe of the building and looking around the polished white marble and gold inlay that ran through the entire hall, making it far more opulent than any bank she’d ever been in before.

“We could meet you at Floreans?” Hermione suggested. “That way you’re not just sitting around here.” She explained.

“Good idea dear,” Molly nodded over. “Ice cream while we wait?” She asked, looking at Pepper then down to Ginny.

“Sounds good,” Tony smiled back. “I’ll get this done then meet you there?” He said with a reassuring smile to Pepper before letting Bill lead him off with Hermione towards a set of marble stairs leading upwards.

 


 

Tony tried to keep his eyes off of the small ‘goblins’ that were scurrying around as Bill led them up the stairs to the next floor then along a corridor and past several offices that were behind closed and blacked off doors.

“In here,” Bill nodded, pointing to the door that had M.A.T.T. stencilled on the glass in gold filigree before pushing the door open and stepping through, holding the door from the other side so that Tony and Hermione could enter.

“Bill! What are you doing ‘ere?”

Tony looked over to where the voice had come from and faltered a few steps, the girl speaking was obviously a few years older than Hermione but not by much more than that, but was physically stunning to look at. He watched as she stood up to greet them, and must have equalled Pepper’s own height at least, with long blonde hair that was practically golden and shimmering in the light where it was tied back from her face.

“Just bringing these two up for you,” Bill chuckled as he walked over. “Hermione, you already know Fleur,” He said with a smile. “This is Tony.” He said, gesturing to where Tony was trying to shake himself out of staring at Fleur.

“Tony Stark, nice to meet you,” Tony managed to force out, stepping forwards from Hermione and offering his hand.

“And you,” Fleur smiled, shaking the offered hand. “‘ow can I ‘elp you?” She asked, gesturing for them to sit down at the seats by her desk.

“I didn’t know you were working here.” Hermione said quickly, feeling a bit put out over the way she’d just seen Tony looking at Fleur.

“Eet iz a quiet job, ze goblins wanted someone to ‘elp with the muggle side so zey did not ‘ave to bother wiz it.” Fleur explained. “It iz ‘elping me with my eenglish, but iz only part time during ze school ‘olidays.” She said with a smile.

“Oh,” Hermione nodded at that, understanding that obviously the goblins in Gringotts must have wizards to help them transfer muggle money back into circulation, as they’d stand out far too much in the muggle world.

“Right, yes,” Tony nodded, shaking his head again to clear his vision a bit. He was sure for a second he’d seen the girls’ skin glowing a feint silver when Bill had sat next to her, but it had obviously just been his imagination from a lack of sleep or coffee, or possibly both. “Hermione already has an account here. I’d set up a trust fund for her, but obviously it’d be better for her to have the money here rather than a bank.”

“Naturelle,” Fleur nodded in agreement. “You wiish to tranzfer ze money from zis muggle bank into ‘er vault?”

“Yes,” Tony said after translating the broken English for a second. “She can access it whenever she wants from wherever she wants right?” He asked, checking between the three people at the desk.

“Gringotts have branches in all the major wizarding cities,” Bill confirmed with a nod. “They can transfer access to the vault to whichever branch she visits.”

“Great,” Tony nodded at that, pulling out his phone. “How do we do this then? Do you have a sort code or bank details I can do the transfer with?” He asked, looking back to Fleur. “I’m guessing you don’t have a website or anything for me to transfer it through there?”

“Non,” Fleur chuckled for a moment, shaking her head. “Ze goblins are partnered with ze muggle banks in London.” She explained. “Ze...” She paused, looking to Bill for clarification.

“The Bank of England,” Bill explained. “We can open an account with an adjoining vault with them, or use your vault details to open an account there,” He said, gesturing to Hermione. “Since Hermione already has a vault, it’s a simple matter of transferring her details to the Bank of England to set up an adjoining account.”

“Great, how long will that take?” Tony asked curiously, hoping that he at least had enough money on him to exchange so that Hermione could get her wand today.

“Ten minutes, probably less, it’s a pretty quiet day before the school rush starts.” Bill explained, nodding to where Fleur was already bringing out some papers from her files along with a quill and a small bottle of ink.

“Fill ‘zese in,” Fleur explained, sliding the paper in front of Hermione. “I need your key as well,” She said with a smile.

“Right,” Hermione nodded, reaching to her neck and unclasping the thin gold chain her mum had bought her to keep the small key on, sliding it off of the chain before placing it on the desk next to the parchment Fleur had got ready for her.

“Want me to hold that?” Tony asked, looking at where Hermione was touching the gold chain with tears welling up in her eyes.

“It... it was the last thing mum bought for me,” Hermione explained, shaking her head. “Last Christmas she bought it so I wouldn’t have to keep the key in my purse.” She said softly, remembering the Christmas present fondly.

Tony nodded at that, seeing the fond attachment Hermione had to the chain and understanding why she’d never take it off now.

“‘ow much will you be tranzferring?” Fleur asked, looking to Tony now as Hermione wiped her eyes quietly before looking down to the parchment.

“Ten million, US.” Tony said simply, catching how Fleur and Bill both immediately stopped what they were doing and looked up at that, even Hermione nearly dropped the quill she’d been picking up when he spoke.

“Really, you... I can’t...” Hermione stammered out quickly.

“Look, it’s already in a trust fund for you,” Tony said with a shrug. “You can have it there, or have it here? But it’s yours, either way.” He explained. “I’ll transfer it straight to the account when it’s ready.” He said, looking back to Fleur.

“I cannot aut’rise a tranzfer zat large,” Fleur said with wide eyes. “Ze bank manag’r iz ze only person zat could.” She said quickly.

“I’ll get him,” Bill said, standing up from the desk. “He’ll want to be involved in this.” He explained before moving away from the desk and leaving the room, closing the door behind his nearly jogging movements before he practically ran to the stairs to head up to the bank managers office.

“I can’t just take...” Hermione started but was cut off by Tony shaking his head.

“You’re my daughter, it’s my responsibility to make sure you’re taken care of like this.” Tony explained firmly, not catching the way Fleur’s eyes went wide again when he mentioned Hermione was his daughter. “You’re going to have shares in the company as well, it’ll all go to you if anything happens to me.” He explained, seeing her wide-eyed reaction to that news before he turned back to Fleur. “Ten million, US.” He said with a nod.

“I... I see,” Fleur nodded quickly, realising she’d drastically underestimated the muggle in t-shirt and jeans now. “Will zere be...”

“Hmph, Mr Weasley says you need my authorisation.”

Tony looked around at the strange nasally voice, seeing an old bald goblin with a wiry beard and half-moon glasses walking slowly into the room with Bill behind him, watching as he saw the goblin was measuring him up just as much as he was staring at the goblin.

“Mr Warwick,” Fleur immediately stood up respectfully. “Zis is Meester Stark, ‘e wishes to tranzfer ten million dollars into Miss Grangerz vault.”

“Ah, I see.” The goblin nodded, grinning and baring his teeth at the pair sitting down. “You are filling out your vault details?” He asked, staring at Hermione.

“Yes sir,” Hermione said quickly, bowing her head slightly in respect to the old goblin that was talking to her.

“Good,” The Goblin smiled again, baring his teeth as he looked at Mr Stark. “Such a large transfer, you can accommodate this easily yes?”

“Easily,” Tony parroted back, staring back at the goblin and refusing to flinch from the sharpened teeth he was displaying.

“We will have to move your vault to accommodate this influx of capitol Miss Granger,” The Goblin explained. “A new Granger vault will be made available to you in our high security floor.”

“Can I see the vault?” Tony asked curiously.

“You doubt our security?” The goblin snarled, looking back to Tony and baring his teeth again.

“I’d be a fool not to double check security when it’s my money we’re dealing with.” Tony said, staring back at the goblin without blinking.

“Good!” The goblin spat out with a wide grin. “Bah, wizards think they know everything, never checking anything!” The goblin chuckled darkly. “Good to see muggles aren’t as ignorant.”

“Are you ok with zat?” Fleur asked, looking at where Hermione was trying to fill in the parchment with her details on while at the same time following the talk between Tony and the goblin.

“Yes... yes, sorry.” Hermione said, shaking her head as she finished off putting her details down. “I’m... I’m not living here anymore though.” She said quietly where she’d written down her parents address on the parchment automatically. “My mum and dad... there was an accident.” She explained, rubbing at her eyes.

“Quelle terrible nouvelle. Je suis désolé pour toi et ta famille,” Fleur bowed her head at the news, slipping back into French automatically before correcting herself. “I... I am sorry, I ‘ad not ‘eard.”

“Thank you,” Hermione whispered back. “Tony... Mr Stark... he’s... he’s my real father.” She explained. “He came when he heard... about the accident.”

“I see,” Fleur nodded, trying to understand what had happened. “You can c’ange your address later, it iz not important now.” She said with a small smile, trying her best to make things easier for Hermione.

“Is that all done?” The goblin asked, looking over as Fleur took the parchment from Hermione to look over.

“Yes Mr Warwick,” Fleur nodded, checking the account details were correct before picking up the key Hermione had left on the table.

“Have the account set up,” The goblin said firmly. “Vault seven twenty will be renamed to The Granger Vault.” He said, his voice taking on a very official tone as he spoke.

“Yes Mr Warwick,” Fleur said quickly, taking the key and parchment over to the filing area to send over to the wizards working at The Bank of England so they could set up the account on their side.

“Now we wait,” The goblin snarled, looking over at Hermione and Tony and nodding with grudging respect to him for how he’d acted.

 


 

“Are you sure?” Pepper asked hesitantly, looking down at her Chocolate Frog ice cream cone where little brown frogs were jumping in and out of the ice cream, burrowing holes in it before coming out the other side.

“Quite sure dear,” Molly smiled as she gestured for them all to take a seat. “I’m sure you’re providing Ginny with enough food, an ice cream treat each is hardly a bother.” She said as she took one of the seats at an empty table outside.

“They’re not real frogs,” Ginny smiled, enjoying her own strawberry and kiwi cone. “It’s just chocolate that’s been charmed like that.” She explained.

“Oh,” Pepper nodded but didn’t really take in the explanation, still watching the small frogs jump around.

“Don’t let it melt,” Molly smiled as she enjoyed her own pecan and caramel truffle cone, doing her best to hide a laugh when one of the small frogs jumped off of the chocolate and landed on Pepper’s hand, making her squeak in shock.

“It’s just chocolate,” Ginny explained again, reaching out and plucking the small frog off of Pepper’s hand with her thumb and forefinger. “They only have a few good jumps in them before the charm wears off.”

“Just chocolate?” Pepper asked hesitantly, looking at where the frog was indeed melting in Ginny’s fingers.

“See,” Ginny nodded, popping the small frog into her mouth and enjoying the taste before rubbing her fingers on her top. “Chocolate.”

Pepper nodded at that, picking one of the small frogs up with her own fingers this time, ignoring the fact that it was wriggling and trying to jump from her fingers before she swallowed her nerves and quickly put it in her mouth, half expecting it to jump out but then sighing when it melted almost instantly on her tongue, dissolving into the most delicious chocolate she’d ever tasted.

“See,” Ginny smiled over. “It’s a Honeydukes mix, they make it for Mr Fortescue special.”

“It’s delicious,” Pepper said in amazement.

“I like the strawberry,” Ginny explained. “Chocolate is good, but strawberry is my favourite.”

“I’m allergic,” Pepper said with a sad smile towards Ginny’s red ice cream. “It makes me break out in a rash.”

“Oh,” Ginny nodded, not knowing what else to say to that.

“Tell us about you dear,” Molly smiled over. “How long have you and Tony been together?” She asked, wanting to know a bit more about the woman now. “Careful you don’t get chocolate on those clothes, white stains dreadfully you know.”

Pepper nodded at that, using her finger to wipe up some of the melted ice cream that was dripping down her cone before licking it off. “May, well April really.” Pepper explained. “I’ve been working for Tony for years now, but it’s only really been official since April.”

“Oh my, still all new to you then,” Molly smiled wistfully. “I do hope Hermione hasn’t put any pressure on either of you.” She said hopefully, looking over to watch Pepper’s reaction. “It must be hard taking in a young girl like that.”

“Hermione? No, not at all.” Pepper shook her head quickly. “I came to be with Tony as soon as he told me about her.” She explained. “I’d... I never thought about kids myself, taking care of Tony is a big enough job without throwing children in the mix.” She said with a laugh. “Hermione... she’s part of Tony now, I see how he looks when he’s talking about her. He might not have been able to see her growing up, but he’s never going to let her out of his sight now he’s got her.”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking dear,” Molly started hesitantly. “It’s just... well, Tony hasn’t said much about why he wasn’t there for Hermione before.” She explained. “Did he leave her to focus on his job?” She asked, voicing one of the various situations that had come into her mind when thinking about what must have happened.

“Oh, oh no, nothing like that.” Pepper said quickly. “Tony... he didn’t know about Hermione before.” She explained, glancing at Ginny to remind herself to censor the story somewhat. “He told me he met Hermione’s mom at a party in London years before I even met him.” She explained.

“Hermione said she knew that she’d been born before her parents got married,” Ginny nodded along with the story.

“Oh I see,” Molly said, catching on to what Pepper was saying. “So... Hermione’s mother didn’t tell Tony about her?”

“I... She contacted someone,” Pepper hesitated, trying to figure out how to word this. “But the news didn’t get through to Tony.” She explained. “It was kept from him on purpose.” She said with a sigh. “The person responsible... he isn’t with the company anymore.” She said, inwardly happy with how she’d phrased that without saying that they’d actually blown him up inside a giant arc reactor, killing him and destroying his crazy giant iron suit in one go.

“Oh that’s terrible,” Molly whispered, her hand covering her mouth automatically at that news. “Someone actually kept the poor man’s daughter from him?”

“If he’d known, he’d have been there for her. I’m sure of that.” Pepper said solemnly.

“Of course dear,” Molly smiled, reassured now she’d heard the real story. “I just worry about Hermione, she’s had such a hard time lately, I just wanted to make sure things were going to be alright for her.” She explained.

“I’m sure they will,” Pepper promised with a nod. “It was good to see Tony actually taking an interest in Hermione’s education with those letters this morning.”

“Oh yes,” Molly beamed at that. “Ilvermorny and Salem, I can’t say I’ve actually been to either dear, but Ginny knows all about the Salem Institute.” She explained. “In fact, Tony did invite us to join Hermione when she visits them.”

“I’m so jealous,” Ginny grinned, her smile showing she was only kidding. “Salem is amazing, they teach animagus studies there in the class, Hogwarts has nothing like that!” She explained excitedly. “And their quidditch team, the Sirens are known all over the world!”

“I’d actually completely forgot Hermione was talking about a magic school,” Pepper breathed out, eating some more of her ice cream absently while it sank in. “What’s... Ani...?”

“Animagus,” Ginny nodded. “It’s really advanced magic where you can turn yourself into an animal whenever you want.” She explained.

“Wow,” Pepper nodded, trying to understand that. “Can you... chose the animal I guess?”

“No dear,” Molly shook her head with a smile. “An animagus form is determined by a witches personality, it’s not something you can change.”

“Oh,” Pepper nodded, saving that bit of information to remind herself to talk to Tony about it later on. “What’s the Sirens?” She asked, looking at Ginny.

“Oh no you don’t,” Molly chided, looking at Ginny. “If we start her talking about Quidditch, we’ll be here all day listening to her go on and on,” Molly said, shaking her head in amusement. “I swear, you’re worse than the boys sometimes with that sport of yours.”

“Mum!” Ginny flushed, her ears tinging red with embarrassment as her mum chuckled at her. “They’re the Salem team for Quidditch, it’s a sport played on flying brooms.” She explained quickly, seeing the question coming from Pepper but doing her best not get drawn into it.

“Flying... brooms?” Pepper asked, her eyes going wide at that news. “Does... Hermione?”

“Oh no,” Ginny shook her head. “She comes to cheer on the house team at school, but she doesn’t really like brooms for some reason.” She explained with a shrug. “I think she’s afraid of heights or something.”

“Ok,” Pepper nodded at that, making another mental note to tell Tony that Hermione was scared of heights. “Sorry, you said Tony invited you both to visit these schools?” She asked, catching on to what Molly had said. “In America?” She asked, wondering what Tony had arranged now when before he’d been set on leaving Hermione with her friends.

“Oh yes,” Molly nodded. “Both Ilvermorny and Salem are American schools, I hear they’re both quite excited to approach Hermione.” She said with a chuckle.

“Figures,” Pepper nodded, licking her ice cream patiently while wondering what exactly Tony had done to get these schools to pay attention to Hermione now.

 


 

“‘ere you are,” Fleur announced as she came back over to the desk, the owl flying in the window had already caught everyone’s attention, waiting eagerly as Fleur unwrapped the small parchment parcel the owl had carried before bringing it over to the desk.

“That was fast,” Tony nodded respectfully as Fleur handed the contents of the parcel over to Hermione, who was looking at the black bank card in amazement. “They normally take weeks to send out.” He explained, seeing how Bill and Fleur were looking at him.

“Muggles,” The goblin muttered, shaking his head. “Very well, transfer your funds and I will see you down to your vault.”

“Right,” Tony said, bringing out his phone and looking over at the card Hermione had been given. “JARVIS, transfer the trust fund I set up for Hermione.” He announced into the phone while keeping his eyes on Hermione’s bank card. “You mind?” He asked, reaching out to take the card from her before reading off the account number and sort code from the black card, eyeing the curious swirling ‘G’ logo that was embossed in gold in the top right corner of the card.

“Yes sir, transfer is in progress.” JARVIS announced from the phone.

“Convert that into British money for me will you?” Tony asked, curious now as he didn’t know the exchange rate off by heart and wanted to make sure Hermione had enough money regardless of what might happen with her schooling.

“Of course sir, the current exchange rate is zero point six one four to the dollar.” JARVIS’ voice came back. “Total transferred in sterling. Six million, one hundred and eighty-nine thousand, six hundred and thirty-six pounds, and forty-one pence.”

“Got it,” Tony nodded, sliding his phone back into his pocket again and looking over to where Bill, Fleur and the goblin were staring at him, or more precisely staring at where he’d just pocketed his phone again. “Is everyone going to be staring at me every time I do that?” He asked, turning to Hermione.

“We don’t really have anything like that,” Hermione explained quietly, still a bit dumbfounded at the numbers Tony was talking about. “It’s a muggle version of a house elf.” She explained to Bill and Fleur. “Like an assistant.”

“Right,” Bill nodded at that, able to understand the idea of a personal assistant easily enough.

“Very well,” The goblin mused, snarling a bit at the muggle technology brought into his bank. “This way to your vault.” He explained, turning on the spot and starting to walk to the door.

“Don’t I need my key?” Hermione asked as she stood up from the desk.

The goblin snorted at that, rolling his glassy eyes behind the half-moon glasses. “The named vaults do not require a key,” The goblin explained, shaking his head at the ignorance displayed. “We will secure the vault to your finger once we have determined your transfer was successful.”

“What would happen if someone else touched it?” Hermione asked, curious at the warning and magic the goblin was talking about. “Can I... can I keep the key?” She asked, looking to where Fleur was still holding it. “It’s... it’s sentimental.” She explained.

“If your transfer is successful,” The goblin mused, looking from Tony over to Hermione. “I will consider your purchase of the key.” He said with a nod before continuing. “To answer your question, they would be sucked inside,” The goblin warned, showing his sharpened teeth as he led the way out of the office with Hermione and Tony following, Bill and Fleur behind them. “The access they wanted would be granted.” He explained.

“Not a great security measure,” Tony frowned.

“They would be unable to open the vault door from the inside to leave,” The goblin finished off, grinning wildly at Tony and showing far too many teeth for him to be comfortable with.

“Riiiiight,” Tony drawled out, falling back a few steps away from the goblin and mentally upgrading the small creatures to small, vicious and possibly crazy creatures.

“Nobody’s ever stolen from Gringotts,” Bill explained in a hushed voice to Tony as they walked down the stairs to the main floor of the bank. “Not in over five hundred years.”

“Yeah, I can see why.” Tony nodded emphatically. Being arrested for robbing a bank was one thing, but to be sucked inside a vault to die of suffocation and starvation? That was definitely a warning worth remembering.

“This way,” The goblin ordered as they reached the bottom of the stairs, leading them back through the bank and through to a side corridor away from the main tellers and patrons and into a darker corridor that sloped down, lit by torches that burst into flame as they walked down.

“Ominous,” Tony quipped as he followed along, watching as both Fleur and Bill both looked at his chest in the darkness, seeing the glow of the arc reactor coming through his shirt in the darkness, but neither one asked any questions as they walked. “You been down here before?” Tony asked, looking down to Hermione.

“Only to the first level,” Hermione shook her head. “I only had a small vault my mum opened for me,” She explained quietly. “We didn’t go down this way.”

“Smaller vaults are kept on the level under the bank,” Bill explained. “The deeper down, the more security that goes into protecting them.”

“Gotcha,” Tony nodded, seeing the drastic difference between the goblin bank and the way normal banks were run with the same security over everyone’s account.

They paused as the goblin stopped, putting his fingers to his mouth and whistling sharply, the noise echoing in the narrow stone walkways. Then barely a second later, a large cart came down towards them, running on tracks that were set into the carved stone floor, stopping barely a foot from where the goblin was stood.

“In,” The goblin said firmly, climbing in the front of the cart and standing by a complicated set of levers and a hanging lantern.

Hermione climbed in first, with Tony moving to sit alongside her in the front of the cart next to where the goblin was stood, letting Bill and Fleur in to the back of the cart to sit on the wooden and leather bench behind them.

“Keep your hands inside,” Bill whispered, leaning forward to make sure Tony heard him.

“Why would...” Tony started to ask but was cut off as the goblin pointed his fingers forward, causing the cart to start moving at a speed he was damn sure should have been impossible given the old metal tracks and rattling cart they were travelling in.

The track twisted and turned, leaving Tony to grab onto the front of the cart, squeezing the metal and praying that the thing held together for their trip, a glance over to Hermione showed she was having a very similar reaction to him as the cart followed the track down a very steep incline, causing Hermione and Fleur, along with him, to let out screeches before it angled around on an angle that Tony was pretty damn sure should have forced his stomach to come out of his nose.

The only explanation was magic, and it was an explanation Tony now hated even more than when he’d used it to explain the Weasley house. The goblin wasn’t steering the cart either, it seemed to automatically switch tracks at junctions and travel under its own mind, completely ignoring and breaking several of the laws of physics as it twisted and turned on its way down the tracks.

Several knee jerking minutes later, the cart slowed down, giving Bill a chance to tap Tony on the shoulder and point further down the tracks. “Thief's Downfall,” He explained when Tony angled his neck around to look at him before looking ahead to where Bill was pointing. “The water’s been cursed, it’ll break any disguise or enchantment, washes away magic like nothing.” He explained with a grin as the cart approached the waterfall, the water washing over them all and soaking into their clothes.

“Thanks,” Tony sighed, ruffling his hair to get some of the water out and inwardly thankful that he’d designed all Starktech phones with IP-Sixty-Eight water resistance.

“I didn’t know about that,” Hermione muttered from her seat beside him where the water had drenched her bushy hair, soaking it down to her head and clothes. “I’m going to be frizzy all day now.” She grumbled to herself, pulling her hair around and wringing some of the water out in her hands.

“We’ll find a towel somewhere,” Tony nodded, not happy at the thought of spending the rest of the day soaking wet either and frowning over to the goblin as the cart came to a stop.

“Here,” Bill smiled as he got out of the cart with the goblin, offering his hand to Hermione to help her out. “Drying charm?” He asked, offering his wand.

“Yes!” Hermione breathed out in relief. “Thank you.” She said, putting as much gratitude into her voice as she could as Bill flicked his wand over her, drying her clothes and hair instantly.

“You mind?” Bill asked hesitantly, looking over as Tony climbed out of the card, unsure what the muggle’s stance on magic was at the moment.

“Hell yeah,” Tony nodded eagerly, causing Bill to grin at him before flicking his wand over him in the same way he’d done for Hermione before doing the same for himself, noting that Fleur had already taken care of herself. “Thanks.” He smiled over.

“Anytime,” Bill smiled back.

“Thief’s downfall is but one of the security measures in place,” The goblin said with a snarl. “Once I have confirmed your transfer, The Granger Vault will have extensive protection placed upon it, traditionally guarded by a dragon or sphinx, upon the vault managers choice.”

“Um,” Hermione frowned, not liking the idea of forcing a dragon or sphinx to guard her vault. “Do any vaults just have magical protection? No guards?” She asked, thinking quickly. “Creatures like that shouldn’t be forced to guard the vault for me.” She said firmly.

“If you wish,” The goblin nodded back as he continued leading the way through the large cavernous opening.

“Dragons?” Tony asked in a whisper, eager to actually see one with his own eyes.

“Well, look father, the mudblood has come down to see how real wizards keep their money!”

Hermione groaned aloud at the voice, cringing at the thought of how badly things were about to go as she looked up, seeing both Draco and Lucius Malfoy walking down the path the goblin was currently leading them down. “Malfoy,” She frowned.

“Don’t be crass Draco,” Lucius chided mockingly as they approached the larger group. “On a tour are we?” He asked with a smirk, looking over everyone before fixing his glare at Tony. “A muggle, a muggleborn and a half-breed,” He tutted, looking over at Bill. “And a Weasley, of course.” He said, shaking his head.

“We were just in father’s vault,” Draco announced proudly. “Yearly tallying up, took hours.” He smirked. “How long does it take you to count your vault Granger? Less than a minute?”

“They are not on a tour Mr Malfoy,” The goblin frowned up, baring his teeth. “You know well that Gringotts does not bring people down to the secure level without reason.”

“What reason is that?” Draco smirked back, ignoring the goblin entirely. “Offering her a job? Sweeping the dust away from the real vaults?” He said with a snide laugh.

“We’re opening a vault,” Tony said offhand, inwardly rolling his eyes at the stupid little blonde that seemed intent on aggravating Hermione as much as possible. “You don’t mind, but we’ve got places to be.” He said dismissively with a smirk.

“Opening a vault? Down here?” Draco asked in shock. “But father, I thought this was only for the rich families? purebloods, not mudbloods like her.” He asked, looking up at Lucius.

“Oh it is,” The goblin snarled over. “In fact, I’d say The Granger Vault is now larger than the Malfoys.” The goblin said, baring his teeth happily, fed up with the wizards posturing and disrespectful nature already.

“Father!” Draco demanded, unable to believe what the goblin was saying.

“Surely there has to be some mistake,” Lucius questioned smoothly, pushing Draco to the side with his cane as he walked to face the goblin before managing to identify him as the manager of the bank itself. “My apologies Master Warwick, I failed to recognise you in the light.”

“Are you questioning our accounting?” The goblin demanded, looking up at Lucius menacingly.

“Not at all Master Warwick,” Lucius said quickly before Draco could say anything. “But surely, this... The Granger Vault did you say? Cannot equal the size of the vault our family has had for generations.”

“Hermione’s finances are her own business,” Tony said simply, refusing to rise to the bait. “You don’t need to boast about money all the time to have it.”

“Indeed,” Lucius frowned, his attention back to Tony now. “And who are you?” He said, inwardly already dismissing the man in messy muggle clothing. “No one of import I’m sure.” He said before Tony could even reply. “Come Draco, let us leave these persons to their business, it would be uncouth to bother the rabble further.” He said, striding away.

“Mudblood lies,” Draco muttered to Hermione as he walked past, making sure she saw his disgusted look before he strode off after his father.

“Nice family,” Tony quipped with a grin. “Real peaches I can tell.” He smirked, drawing a small smile out of Hermione.

“Miss Granger, I...” The goblin snarled, struggling with the words. “I... apologise for my words.” He forced out, biting out each syllable. “The Gringotts vaults are highly secure, I should not have mentioned the size of your vault to another family.”

“Oh,” Hermione whispered, realising that this was apparently a big deal for the goblin. “Um, I accept your apology, no harm was done.” She said, trying to be as formal as she could be.

“My thanks,” The goblin bowed. “Such a breach of trust will not happen again.” He said with a nod. “Even when the Malfoy family insist on treating goblins with such disrespect, breaching your trust was not my intent. You may keep your vault key, I will have Miss Delacour retrieve it for you when your business is concluded.” He said, nodding deeply to Hermione.

“Seemed like a dick,” Tony nodded over. “What’s that thing he kept calling you? Muddy?”

“Mudblood,” Hermione said, shaking her head in disgust. “A disgusting name, not something you’d expect to hear anyone call someone else, at least not from anyone with manners anyway.”

“‘Eet is a ‘orrible thing to call someone,” Fleur confirmed. “Ze same people would call me creeture or ‘alf-breed.” She said, shaking her head in disgust.

“He’s an idiot,” Bill said, shaking his head as he put his arm around Fleur. “Just ignore his pure blood crap.” He explained with a wink.

“I didn’t get most of that,” Tony admitted, looking between Bill and Fleur then back to Hermione. “But he’s right, just ignore him.” He said with a nod, seeing that Hermione was more angry than upset at the insult. “Bullies are all talk and no balls, it’s not like you need his respect or approval for anything anyway.” He said with a shrug, reaching down and squeezing Hermione’s shoulder.

“Exactly!” Hermione nodded, looking up to him thankfully. “You’re right, The Malfoy’s don’t mean anything to me, and I’d sooner forget they even exist.”

“Good for you,” Bill grinned over.

“Exactement!” Fleur nodded.

“Your vault is this way,” The goblin interrupted, showing teeth as he grinned in recognition at what the wizards and witches were saying.

“Thank you Master Goblin,” Hermione nodded respectfully as she continued on, following the goblin alongside Tony round the stone path for a few more yards before the goblin stopped outside a dark wrought iron door that was easily twelve feet high and six feet across.

“I need one,” Tony grinned. “The doors I mean, this is neo-gothic gone mad.” He laughed, looking at the ornate carvings that flowed around the door. “Pepper would love this!” He said enthusiastically.

“Vault doors are goblin craft exclusively for Gringotts,” The goblin frowned, stepping forwards and placing his hand on the door. “Your hand.” He ordered, looking to Hermione. “Above mine, five fingers splayed open.” He directed, making sure Hermione was listening before he nodded for her to press her hand to the vault door in the space above his hand.

Hermione hissed quickly but kept her hand there as a burning sensation passed over the skin on her palm, then a pinch made her wince and the doors literally melted away, dissolving into black metallic sludge that vanished into the ornate carved archway around the gap left in the doors place.

“Ow,” Hermione whispered as she brought her hand back to look at it, eying the red mark that covered her entire palm and fingers, along with five little marks in the shape of a star on the palm itself. “Blood magic,” She whispered, realising that the door itself had taken her blood into itself to ensure her blood was the only thing capable of opening the door.

“Your transfer was successful,” The goblin bowed deeply, looking at both Hermione and Tony before reaching for a scroll of parchment that was hanging from the wall by the entrance. “The Granger Vault on opening contains two million, seventy-nine thousand, one hundred and nine Galleons, eight Sickles, and seventeen Knuts.” He announced, bringing up a quill before handing both to Hermione. “Prior to the current transfer, the contents were Four Galleons, and six Knuts in your old vault. Do you accept these figures?”

“I... I...” Hermione whispered, looking up from her hand at the giant mound of gold coins that was in the center of the room, with smaller piles taking up various side chambers that had been carved into the rock of the vault walls. “I do,” She whispered finally when the goblin coughed loudly.

“Sign here.” The goblin ordered, handing the quill and parchment over for Hermione to sign.

“Ok, this is impressive,” Tony admitted, walking into the vault and looking around in awe, trying to figure out exactly how the large cavern had been carved into the rock like this, and the magic melting door had really blown him away.

“The Goblins of Gringotts wish the Granger Family prosperous years and inept enemies to fall at your teeth.” The goblin said formally, bowing to them both. “I will wait outside for you to conduct your business.” He said before walking out of the vault.

“I can get on board with that guy,” Tony grinned, admiring the sentiment from the goblin with a chuckle. “Think I could get him to do my finances?” He asked with a smirk, seeing the shell-shocked face on Hermione as she looked around the vault.

“That... that...” Hermione whispered, unable to comprehend the number of galleons in front of her. Millions of gold coils, literally, and they were all in her name. “I can’t... I can’t accept this.” She whispered, looking at Tony where he’d walked to one side and was flipping a bronze coin in the air with his thumb.

“It’s yours now,” Tony shrugged. “You’re part of the family, and this...” He said, waving his hands around the vault. “Ok, seeing it like this is actually pretty impressive.” He admitted with a grin to the piles of gold. “This is just part of it. You’re a Stark, maybe not in name, but you are.” He said with a smile, resting his hand on her shoulder gently. “Ok, what’s this one?” He asked, holding up the bronze coin. “Because all this money means nothing to me?” He said with a grin.

“That... that’s a Knut,” Hermione said as she looked over, seeing what Tony was trying to do by distracting her, and smiled to him, thankful for it.

“I’m never making fun of the quarter again,” Tony laughed, flipping the coin in his fingers before tossing it back on the pile where he’d picked it up from.

“Those are Sickles,” Hermione explained, pointing to the silver pile in one of the carved-out sections in the wall. “And... Galleons.” She whispered to herself, looking around the gold with wide eyes, still in disbelief over what Tony had done for her.

“Cool,” Tony nodded, knowing he wouldn’t remember any of those names aside from Knuts, where he was already making up a few jokes about them to tell Pepper later on. “Ok, grab what you want, then we can go shopping.” He said with a smile, looking back to where Bill and Fleur were stood just outside of the vault door. “You said I can exchange some money here as well?” He asked.

“Upstairs,” Bill nodded, a bit taken aback by the amount of gold in the vault and the way the muggle was treating it like it was nothing to him. “I’ll show you on our way through.”

“Great,” Tony smiled in thanks before looking back to Hermione and seeing she hadn’t moved an inch from where she was stood. “So what are these worth?” He asked, walking over to Hermione and picking up a few of the gold coins to examine. “You know, in normal money?” He asked curiously.

“A... a galleon?” Hermione said, breaking herself out of her awestruck thoughts. “About five pounds.” She explained, looking at the coins in Tony’s hand. “That’s twenty pounds.” She said, noting the four coins he’d picked up.

“Heads or...” Tony mused, flipping the coin over in his hand. “Heads or dragons apparently,” He said with a snort of laughter as he saw the embossed design on the back of the coin. “You want to take anything? I’ll get some money upstairs anyway, but take what you want, it’s yours now.” He explained with a smile then held up his hand. “And don’t say you can’t take this again.” He said with a smirk. “Like the goblin said, it’s your vault now.” He said, holding out his hand for her to take the four gold coins from him. “What do you want to buy?”

“A new wand,” Hermione said softly after a moment. “And some new books?” She asked hesitantly. “And some clothes?”

“How much do you need then?” Tony asked, already intent on replacing however much she withdrew automatically anyway.

“If I... thirty galleons should be enough,” Hermione said quietly, thinking about what she needed to buy.

“Got it,” Tony nodded, reaching down and pulling up a pile like poker chips. “Eight,” He said, handing them over to Hermione to add to the four in her hand before reaching for some more. “Eleven here.” He said with a shrug as he picked up another pile. “And ten, thirty-three, that enough?” He asked, checking with her.

“Definitely,” Hermione nodded back.

“Great, let’s go.” Tony grinned. “I miss daylight already.” He said with a laugh as he led Hermione out of the vault back to Bill and Fleur, and then back to where the goblin was waiting outside with the rolled parchment ledger for Hermione to take.

 

Chapter Text

TITLE: Spellbound

DISCLAIMER: All things Harry Potter belong J K Rowling. Tony Stark, SHIELD, Nick Fury, and everyone else belong to Marvel Comics / Marvel studios, as does any of the characters in the MCU that get dragged kicking and screaming into this... basically, if you recognise it, it isn’t mine… I’m just here for the fun.


Diagon Alley 

 

Walking out of Gringotts after saying goodbye to Bill and Fleur and thanking them for their help, both Tony and Hermione had to squint in the bright sunlight after being inside and underground while their eyes had adjusted to the dark.

“Sunglasses, next stop we buy sunglasses,” Tony groused, shielding his eyes from the sun with his hand as he looked around and easily saw the trio of redheads sat outside a shop only a few doors down and across the alley from the bank. “There they are,” He said, pointing the three of them out to Hermione who looked to be having the same problems with sunlight that he was having.

Walking down the steps from the bank he shook his head in amusement at the jingling from the small leather pouch in his pocket, he’d bought one for five galleons each for himself and another for Hermione when he’d exchanged his money at the counter, inwardly thanking Pepper for having the envelope full of funny money left for him at the Stark office reception, and now happily had a ‘magic pouch’ of a two hundred and sixty five gold coins, six silver coins, and a hand-full of Knuts, which was endlessly going to amuse him, not to mention the sheer entertainment of a small leather bag that he could reach inside up to his elbow with.

“Hey all,” Tony smiled as he walked over, trying to get used to the feeling of the pouch of metal in his pocket. “What’s happening?”

“Ice cream,” Pepper smiled up from her seat. “Or there was, but it had little jumping frogs on it.” She explained with a frown.

“Frogs?” Tony raised an eyebrow at this, looking to where Hermione had moved to stand next to Ginny. “Jumping frogs on ice cream?” He asked.

“It’s just chocolate,” Hermione smiled. “It’s charmed like that, they don’t last long.” She explained. “You can get bigger ones in the shop as well, they’ve only got one or two jumps in them though.”

“Check, jumping chocolate frogs,” Tony mused to himself. “Anything else exciting?”

“How did the bank go?” Pepper asked curiously.

“Got it all set up,” Tony nodded back. “Transferred the money into her vault, now she shouldn’t have any problems.” He smiled over, leaning down to kiss Pepper on the forehead. “So, what’s next?” He asked, looking to Hermione.

“My wand,” Hermione said softly.

“Great,” Tony smiled enthusiastically. “Lead the way?” He said, offering his hand to help Pepper out of her seat as Ginny and Molly stood up to join them.

“Ollivanders is right at the end of the alley,” Hermione explained, pointing down past the bank and further down the alley.

“Stop there first then work our way back through the shops?” Tony asked, heading off in the direction Hermione had pointed and making sure the other four were walking with him. “Anywhere you need to go?” He asked, looking to Molly and Ginny. “Come on, I can see you want to.” He laughed, looking at Ginny.

“Quality Quidditch Supplies,” Ginny said with a small grin. “I need some new broom wax this year, but I’ll have to see how much it is.” She explained.

“That’s back there,” Hermione explained, pointing back to where the alley curved around before leading back to The Leaky Cauldron. “Next to the Apothecary for potions ingredients.” She explained as she followed Tony past Gringotts again, smiling fondly at the Magical Menagerie store as they walked past, remembering when she’d first walked in and bought Crookshanks from there.

“Potions?” Tony asked, looking over in interest. “Tell me more?” He asked hopefully.

“I’ll give you our potions text book when we get back,” Hermione laughed, trying to imagine Tony’s face when faced with all the strange ingredients and potion mixing techniques.

“That book isn’t going to try to eat me as well right?” Tony asked dubiously, remembering the Furry Book of Doom too well.

“No,” Hermione shook her head, trying to keep the smile off her face as she mock frowned at Tony. “Though I don’t know if I should let you borrow it now after seeing what you did to Ginny’s book.”

“I’ll replace it,” Tony said quickly, holding up his hands in surrender and looking to Ginny. “I’ll buy you a new one, promise.” He said fervently, wanting to stay on the Weasley’s good side while they helped him through this strange and fun new world.

“What book dear?” Molly asked, looking over to Ginny for an explanation.

“The Monster Book of Monsters,” Ginny explained, doing her best not to laugh at Tony.

“The Homicidal Book of Evil!” Tony corrected her. “Her bag starts moving on its own, so I go to make sure everything’s ok,” He explained. “I take the book out to see what’s going on, and it attacked me!” He shouted with a grin. “So I defended myself naturally, and the book didn’t stand a chance.” He finished with a smirk.

“Translation, he was snooping and something objected,” Pepper said, shaking her head at Tony’s antics. “Can a book really attack someone?” She asked, now wondering exactly how much of Tony’s story was made up.

“That one can,” Ginny nodded firmly. “I taped it up with spellotape to stop it from eating my other books.” She explained.

“Oh,” Pepper whispered, not knowing what else to say when someone else confirmed one of Tony’s crazy stories. “Doesn’t that mean Tony cut the tape?” She asked, looking to Ginny.

“Of course,” Ginny nodded. “So Pepper was right,” She grinned at Tony.

“Knew it,” Pepper laughed at Tony’s mock hurt expression as Hermione stopped walking.

“Ollivanders,” Hermione said by way of explanation, pointing to the shop she’d led them to.

“Makers of fine wands since...” Tony blinked, reading off the gold lettering above the door of the shop. “Since three hundred and eighty-two BC?” He asked in awe. “Over two thousand years?” He demanded, looking to Hermione.

“It’s been in the Ollivander family all that time,” Hermione confirmed. “The store is even mentioned a few times in Hogwart’s: A history when it talks about Godrick Griffindor’s wand.” She explained eagerly. “Twelve inches, oak and gold, with a griffin feather core.”

“That’s impressive,” Tony nodded at the information, having a business pass from generation to generation for over two thousand years was definitely a feat worthy of the history books.

“Um...” Hermione paused before walking into the store, hesitating by the door. “Don’t touch anything?” She asked hopefully, looking at Tony and Pepper.

“Why not?” Tony asked curiously.

“Wands don’t like it when muggles touch them,” Hermione explained. “There’s stories of people being knocked out by wands or turned into rats or monkeys.” She said gingerly.

“Right, no touching!” Pepper said firmly from next to Tony, making sure he understood.

“I didn’t know that,” Ginny said, walking with Hermione as she opened the door to walk into Ollivanders. “Do wands really attack muggles?”

“In quite a few cases,” Hermione nodded as she led the way into the store.

“Miss Granger,”

Hermione looked up at her name, seeing the old wandmaker where he was stood by a desk away from his usual counter, shaving down a piece of wood absently with some sandpaper. “Hello Mr Ollivander.” She said politely.

“Vine wood, ten and three quarters, dragon heartstring.” Mr Ollivander smiled as he turned away from his desk, putting down the wand he’d been currently carving. “It’s been treating you well I assume?”

“It... it was,” Hermione said sadly, looking over to Mr Ollivander. “It broke, there was an accident.” She explained in a soft voice.

“Oh dear,” Mr Ollivander shook his head, walking over to the group. “Beyond repair?” He asked.

“Three different pieces,” Hermione winced as she remembered how her wand had looked when she’s managed to fish all the pieces out of the bag from the hospital.

“Oh my,” Mr Ollivander whispered. “Certainly beyond repair if the core was damaged so severely,” He nodded in agreement. “Here for a replacement then?” He nodded. “And brought an audience with you I see,” He smiled, looking at the group. “Hmmm, don’t remember you.” He said with a frown, looking at Ginny. “No, not either of you.” He muttered, looking past Tony and Pepper. “Molly dear, Ash, nine and a half inches, with a unicorn hair. I remember it being a rather swishy wand, exceedingly good for charms.” He smiled over.

“You remember all that?” Tony asked curiously.

“Of course,” Mr Ollivander smiled. “I remember every wand I sell.” He said proudly. “Which is curious, because I don’t remember you.” He frowned, turning his attention back to Ginny. “Wand?” He asked, holding out his hand.

“It’s one of yours,” Ginny smiled bashfully as she handed her wand over from her pocket.

“Hmmm, yes indeed.” Mr Ollivander nodded. “No, no, not mine.” He mused, running his finger over the subtle twists carved into the grip of the wand. “My fathers,” He announced. “I recognise the technique he taught me.” He said with a smile. “No, this wand was certainly not sold to you my dear.”

“It’s a family wand,” Molly said quickly. “Genevive Prewett, my mother.” She said proudly. “She left it to Ginny when she passed.”

“Ahh,” Mr Ollivander nodded at that. “A lot of families pass their wands down, never as good as a wand that choses the witch though.” He mused aloud. “The Longbottoms did this as well, same for your son I believe, Ronald?” He asked, looking at Molly for confirmation. “Not two years ago I remember replacing that wand of his.”

“Ginny’s doing just fine with it thank you,” Molly said quickly, cutting off Mr Ollivander’s comments.

“Be that as it may, my point still stands,” Mr Ollivander said, turning back to Hermione. “Very well, let’s see what we have here then.” He mused, flicking his wand to the counter behind him and floating over. “Wand arm,” He ordered as the tape measure unrolled itself in the air, floating over automatically to where Hermione was holding her right arm out and lining up against her arm, measuring wrist to elbow then from shoulder to fingertip.

“He has to measure all that?” Pepper asked, looking at Molly for an explanation while noticing that Ginny was looking at her wand more curiously now than she had been before.

“Oh yes dear, a witch’s wand is very personal,” Molly smiled over. “Mr Ollivander makes all the wands here, I dare say almost all the wands for every witch and wizard in England.”

“May I... do you mind?” Pepper asked hesitantly, looking at where Molly’s wand was poking out of her knitted jumper pocket.

“Not at all dear,” Molly smiled, bringing the wand out for Pepper to look at more closely this time, it wasn’t a flashy wand by any standard, heavily warn from decades of use, and weathered around the grip from where she’d held it every day.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t stare,” Pepper said, shaking herself away from where she’d been admiring the pale brown wand, it looked very simple but obviously well used and taken care of, much like everything she’d come to know about The Weasley’s now.

“Quite alright dear,” Molly laughed as she replaced her wand in her pocket. “This is all very new to you, I understand you have so many questions.”

“More than a few,” Pepper admitted with a small laugh as she turned back to see the silver measuring tape now measuring down Hermione’s nose before twisting around to measure between her eyes.

“Interesting, interesting...” Mr Ollivander mused, flicking his wand and sending the tape measure back to its home on the counter as he walked into the stacks of boxes to the rear of the shop. “Very interesting,” He continued to mutter as he walked out of view.

“What’s interesting?” Tony asked in a whisper, looking to Hermione for an explanation.

“Don’t look at me,” Hermione whispered back with a shrug. “Wand lore is a mystery, they don’t even teach it at school, you have to go into an apprenticeship to learn anything about them.” She explained.

“Secret magic?” Tony asked, looking around the store curiously now.

“I’ve always wondered,” Hermione nodded over. “I’d love to find some proper books on wand lore and read about how wands have changed over time, I bet there’s some fascinating history that went into the design.”

“Probably,” Tony nodded back thoughtfully. “Who knows, maybe you’ll...”

“Here we are!” Mr Ollivander announced loudly as he came back from the stacks of boxes, carrying six or seven slender black boxes in his arms before putting them down on the counter. “Hmmm, yes, yes, this one first I think.” He mused aloud, pulling the third box from the bottom out and lifting the lid up, pulling the wand out for Hermione to see. “Hawthorne, eleven inches, with a dragon heartstring core.” He explained as he handed over the wand to Hermione.

“It’s...” Hermione smiled as she took the wand, only to have Mr Ollivander swipe it out of her hand a moment later.

“Nope, not that one.” Mr Ollivander muttered, replacing it in the box before reaching for another. “Walnut, twelve inches,” He mused, picking up another box and lifting the lid. “Unicorn hair perhaps?” He frowned as he handed over the wand.

Hermione took this one hesitantly, eyeing the strangely curved grip of the wand that was very different from her own natural feeling wand.

“No, most certainly not.” Mr Ollivander said, shaking his head as he took the wand back and replaced it in its box.

“I didn’t like that one,” Hermione said, looking to Tony while Mr Ollivander looked through his boxes again.

“Don’t you get to choose?” Tony asked curiously, having been watching with interest as the wands quickly switched hands between the two.

“Oh no,” Mr Ollivander shook his head firmly. “No no no, the wand choses the witch, not the other way around.” He explained without even turning to face Tony. “Young Ronald here tried out two dozen before finding his new wand.” He said.

“Right,” Tony drawled out, looking around the shop idly while Mr Ollivander opened another box.

“Yew, nine inches, unicorn hair...” Mr Ollivander explained, handing the wand to Hermione. “Hmmmm,” He frowned, looking at the wand and Hermione’s hand as she held it. “Go on, give it a flick.” He ordered, stepping aside for Hermione to test the wand.

Hermione nodded, angling herself away from everyone else before flicking the wand, sending a shower of green flames out that licked over the counter before vanishing in a crackle of light.

“No, no, no, no,” Mr Ollivander said quickly, taking the wand off of her again and replacing it back in the box. “Definitely not yew.”

“No?” Tony looked up from where he’d been staring at the green fire in joy. “That one’s a no?” He asked in amusement.

“Most certainly not,” Mr Ollivander confirmed, lifting up another box and opening it up. “Try this one perhaps?” He announced, bringing around the wand for Hermione to take. “Walnut, thirteen and a half inches,” He explained as Hermione took the wand, eying the thin engraved wood that tapered from an ornate grip through to a smooth finish. “Phoenix feather.” He finished off as Hermione smiled eagerly when the wand slipped into her fingers. “A bit long and very flexible, but it looks like we’ve found a match.”

“Oh yes,” Hermione whispered, feeling the warmth rush down her fingers and tingle along her arm.

“Well, give it a try dear,” My Ollivander chuckled. “Walnut is a very demanding wand, only the most brilliant witches can try to master one.” He explained. “Walnut and Phoenix feather, quite unique. Independent and fierce, flexible and intelligent but with a strong and wild heart, quite the combination.”

Hermione nodded at that, flicking her wand to the counter and letting out a shower of golden sparks that danced through the air before turning into butterflies that fluttered for a moment and vanished in a shower of sparkling light.

“Oh yes, quite the match,” Mr Ollivander beamed happily at the display. “I rather think I underestimated you my dear, walnut is more than a match for your mind.” He said with a proud smile. “I wonder why vine...” He muttered to himself as he closed the empty box and handed it to Hermione before pushing the other boxed wands to the side. “No, no matter.” He smiled to himself. “Seven galleons for that one.” He said as he walked around the counter.

“Let me,” Tony said, walking forwards and lifting out the leather pouch from his pocket.

“No,” Hermione said quickly, shaking her head firmly. “You’ve done so much for me already,” She said forcefully, lifting up her own purse that Tony had bought for her to keep her money in.

“It’s gorgeous,” Ginny whispered as she came over to admire Hermione’s new wand. Looking at the warm brown shine that glistened over the carvings that made up the hilt, twisting around until they faded into the length of the wand, leaving it thin and elegant looking but with an ornate and thicker grip that looked like the thinner wand was trying to control a larger and wilder grip.

“I didn’t know yours was your grandmums,” Hermione smiled as she fiddled with her purse, finding the unfamiliar leather strap and pulling it loose.

“She left it to me when I was six,” Ginny nodded. “I always knew I’d use it when I went to Hogwarts.” She said with a smile.

“It must be nice having family traditions like that,” Hermione nodded as she started counting out seven galleons from her purse, reading to hand them over to Mr Ollivander for her wand.

“How much is in there?” Ginny whispered, looking at the leather purse.

“Thirty-three galleons,” Hermione smiled. “I forgot how much wands were.” She said as she finished counting out the money and put the seven gold coins on the counter for Mr Ollivander to take.

“Anything else dears?” Mr Ollivander asked, looking to Hermione and then pointedly to Ginny.

“We’re fine,” Ginny said, gripping her wand proudly, happy with his history and her bond to it.

“Very well,” Mr Ollivander sighed, ringing up the purchase on his till and dropping the gold coins into the tray before closing it quietly. “I stand by my word that a wand that choses you will be better for you dear.”

“I like this one,” Ginny said with a smile as Hermione tied the leather around her purse again to keep it closed. “Where to next?” She asked.

“What did you want to look at?” Hermione asked, looking up from Ginny to where Tony was still eying the wands cautiously with his hands held behind his back firmly while Pepper was watching him.

“Anything, everything.” Tony admitted with a grin. “You sure I can’t just...” He trailed off, reaching out with one hand before Pepper slapped him hard on the arm.

“You! No touching, anything!” Pepper ordered sharply. “You heard what Hermione said, I don’t want to have to take you to a hospital with a cracked skull because you couldn’t stop touching things!”

“Come on, we’d better go,” Hermione laughed at Pepper’s scowling towards Tony. “Thanks Mr Ollivander.”

“Any time dear,” Mr Ollivander smiled as Molly opened the door, jingling the small bell above it as she led the way out into the alley again.

 


 

“I really think I should be off dears,” Molly smiled as they walked down Diagon Alley, with Hermione and Ginny pointing out the various shops and what they sold, explaining things to Tony and Pepper as they walked, ignoring the judgemental stares from some of the witches and wizards around them. “Must get tea started, and Merlin only knows what Ron, Fred and George have been up to all day while I’ve been galivanting around with you.” She said with a chuckle.

“It was lovely to meet you,” Pepper said with a warm smile.

“Definitely,” Tony agreed happily. “Thanks... for everything.” He said with a nod.

“I’ll talk to the boys tonight dear,” Molly nodded back. “I can’t promise anything, but I’ll see what we all think.”

“That’s all I’m asking,” Tony said, thankful that Molly was even considering the idea.

“Very well, do owl if you need anything dears,” Molly smiled, turning back to Hermione and Ginny. “And behave yourself.” She said, glancing at Ginny in particular.

“Yes mum,” Ginny nodded, her ears blushing a bit at the warning.

“Enjoy your day, and pop down anytime you like dears, would be lovely to have a big dinner for you all.” Molly smiled before turning on the spot and vanishing with a crack, startling both Tony and Pepper while Hermione and Ginny forced back laughter at their response.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that,” Pepper admitted, looking to Tony who was grinning happily at the sight of more magic.

“It’s great,” Tony laughed. “Ok, where to next?” He asked, looking to Hermione. “Show me everything!” He grinned excitedly.

“There’s the Magical Menagerie,” Hermione said, pointing over to the pet store ahead on their left. “That’s where I got Crookshanks from.” She explained proudly. “They’ve got cats, toads, rats, kneasles, weasels and ferrets.” She smiled, sharing a small smirk with Ginny as she mentioned ferrets, both of them having heard the story from Harry about Malfoy the amazing bouncing ferret earlier in the year.

“Pet store,” Tony nodded, a bit nonplussed at that really though. “What’s this game Ginny’s always talking about?” He asked, turning to Ginny. “Brooms?” He asked eagerly.

“Quidditch,” Ginny nodded back, ignoring Hermione’s rolling eyes.

“That’s the one where you fly around on broomsticks?” Tony double checked, trying to remember everything he’d been told in the last few days.

“That’s the one,” Ginny laughed. “The Quality Quidditch Supplies store is up the end of the alley,” She explained, pointing down the alleyway.

“What about heading for some lunch soon?” Pepper asked, looking around the group. “I don’t know about you, but I could do with something to eat.” She asked, looking meaningfully at Tony for him to get the hint that the two girls needed to eat something proper today and not just nibble at bits of sandwiches in the morning.

“Ok,” Tony nodded in agreement. “Book store,” He said, pointing to Hermione. “Quittich store?” He asked as he pointed to Ginny. “Then out to London to find a restaurant?” He asked, finally looking at Pepper.

“Deal,” Pepper agreed at the same time as Ginny corrected him with “Quidditch.”

“Flourish and Blotts is down past the bank,” Hermione nodded in agreement, her stomach starting to rumble at the talk of food. “We could go there first on our way through?” She asked, looking up at Tony.

“Great plan,” Tony smiled, seeing the eager smile starting to come through on Hermione’s face as she mentioned the book store. “Lead on,” He said, stepping aside for Hermione and Ginny to take the lead again.

“She seems nice,” Pepper whispered as she fell instep with Tony walking a few steps behind Hermione and Ginny. “This magic stuff is all a bit... you know, though.”

“Molly? Reminds my of mom actually,” Tony said with a snort of laughter. “Get the feeling she’s a bit overprotective of the kids.” He said, nodding to the two girls ahead of them that were talking quietly between themselves.

“Isn’t all this magic stuff bothering you?” Pepper asked curiously.

“Honestly?” Tony asked, then continued when Pepper nodded. “Ok, a bit,” He nodded. “The physics just don’t match up here,” He said, waving around the alley where they were walking. “Half of these shops should have fallen down within a minute of them being put up, but they’ve been here for god knows how long.” He explained. “Back in the bank, I saw an iron door dissolve completely at Hermione’s touch, breaking at least four fundamental laws that I can think of.”

“So it is bothering you,” Pepper nodded knowingly.

“Until I figure it out,” Tony smirked back. “There’s got to be laws and explanations for all this stuff, even if it doesn’t fit with the physics we know, there’s got to be a logical explanation for it all.”

“Nothing here is logical,” Pepper pointed out. “Chocolate frogs that jump around on ice cream? That’s not logical at all.”

“Point,” Tony nodded with a sigh. “Look, I’m just trying to deal with it and let Hermione be excited about it, this is her life, if she’s happy then that’s what she wants.” He explained. “If I have to shut up with questions and just let her enjoy it, then that’s what I’ll do.”

“You? Shut up?” Pepper asked mockingly with a smirk. “I’ll believe it when I see it.” She said with a small laugh, looking ahead to see where the girls had stopped outside a double length shop with large windows showing off the interior, where several books far larger than any book she’d seen before were proudly being displayed.

“Those aren’t books, they’re bricks with covers,” Tony quipped, walking up to the window alongside where Hermione was admiring the large book. “Potions and Lore, a Potion Master’s Guide to Advanced Alchemy?” Tony raised his eyebrow as he read off the gold embossed title from the blue leather cover. “Advanced alchemy?” He asked as the title filtered through to his brain, looking to Hermione and then over to Pepper. “I need it.” He said solemnly before darting around and moving into the book store before anyone could stop him.

“Alchemy?” Pepper asked, looking at Hermione as they both followed Tony quickly into the store. “Like, turning lead into gold alchemy?” She asked, her eyes going wide when Hermione nodded in response.

“Nicolas Flamel wrote it,” Hermione whispered as she hurried over to the counter where Tony was already trying to make his way through. “It’s really rare, there’s only about a dozen copies of it.” She explained.

“Don’t tell him that,” Pepper almost whimpered as she followed Hermione through, making sure Ginny was following with them through the maze of books inside.

“The alchemy book in the window, how much?” Tony asked as he finally found his way to the counter.

“Potions and Lore?” The assistant behind the counter asked, raising his eyebrow at the question and looking over Tony with a frown. “If you have to ask...”

“I have to ask because I didn’t see a price,” Tony interrupted, waving away the comment. “Whatever, I’m buying it. Along with others, probably lots of others.” He said firmly. “You deliver?” He asked.

“Yes... yes of course.” The assistant stammered out, not used to having someone talk like this.

“Tony, you’re scaring the boy,” Pepper chided him as she approached, resting her hand on Tony’s shoulder. “He’ll take it, along with whatever the girls need.” She smiled, gesturing to Ginny and Hermione.

“Miss Granger, I didn’t see you there.” The assistant sighed in relief at the familiar face. “Are... is this gentleman with you?” He asked, looking back to Tony.

“Hello Neville,” Hermione smiled over, remembering his name only because it was the same as Neville’s at school, even though the assistant was a few years older and sported neatly cut blonde hair, rather different from Neville’s at school. “Yes, he’s... he’s family.” She said with a small smile, having seen Tony’s enthusiasm for knowledge now and starting to wonder what else they had in common.

“Of course, we’d be happy to deliver for Miss Granger,” The assistant smiled warmly. “Let me get the manager from the back so we can organise your account.” He explained as he stepped out from behind the counter. “Won’t be long, I trust you’ll keep an eye on things?” He asked, looking to Hermione.

“Always,” Hermione laughed at him, watching as he made his way around the maze of books and vanished from view into the rear of the shop.

“You know him?” Ginny asked curiously, not recognising the assistant from Hogwarts anywhere. “How much time do you spend in here?” She asked with a smirk.

“He trusts you to keep an eye on the store while he heads into the back?” Pepper prompted with a curious glance around. “Some of these books look hundreds of years old.” She whispered, looking to a stack of leather bound books that she was sure the titles were written in Latin.

“Yes, I’m in here a lot.” Hermione huffed, rolling her eyes. “Neville lets me read whatever I want without disturbing me, it’s the best place away from the Hogwarts Library I’ve got.” She explained.

“It’s great!” Tony grinned, looking around and grabbing a book from the shelf with a name he recognised. “A Thousand Years of Quidditch?” He read off the title. “From Ten-Fifty to Modern Day?”

“Quidditch is that old?” Hermione asked in shock, looking to Ginny for confirmation.

“I haven’t read it,” Ginny admitted. “But I know the history.” She nodded. “They have books like that in the library at school, but they’re always checked out.” She added with a sigh. “I could never afford one of those.”

Tony frowned at that, flipping over the cover to glance inside. “Nine galleons five sickles?” He read off the cover. “We’ll start a pile,” He said, tossing it on the counter. “Ok... what else have we got...” He mused, flicking through various books and running his fingers across shelves at a time, looking for anything that would jump out at him.

“You... I... I didn’t...” Ginny stammered out, looking to Hermione and Pepper.

“Get used to it,” Pepper sighed in response as she idly looked at a book that was apparently to do with magical portraiture and mixing alchemy with paints. “If he goes overboard... there’s nothing we can really do, just try and reign him in from time to...” She trailed off as the assistant came back into the room, followed by an older man with silver hair and a neatly trimmed beard that flowed over his black robes.

“Miss Granger, I thought it had been too long since your last visit,” The older man said as he looked down, seeing Hermione. “You’re here to read today or...”

“Buying,” Tony said from where he was picking up two more books. “Standard book of spells four, five, six...” He trailed off, looking for any more. “Seven.” He commented, adding it to the pile before lifting them over and putting them on the counter ontop of the quidditch book he’d already placed there. “These, plus the Alchemy book in the window.” He said with a grin. “Tally up, tell me when we reach two hundred.” He said simply.

“Galleons?” The man asked, blinking in shock at Tony’s comment.

“The gold ones?” Tony asked, looking to Hermione for confirmation. “Those,” He nodded. “Delivery charge?” He asked.

“For an order this size? And for Miss Granger? I won’t hear of it.” The man smiled widely. “Close the shop Neville, private customers get priority.” He ordered happily, waving Neville to hurry up with closing the front door up. “And fetch Miss Granger’s new book from the window.” He added, settling in behind the counter with some parchment and a quill to start tallying up the books that had already been placed on the pile.

“If you want anything, I’d grab it now before Tony fills up,” Pepper mock whispered to Hermione and Ginny.

“I heard that!” Tony yelled from where he’d vanished into some book stacks behind a shelf, coming out with three more books in his arms. “Moste Potente Potions?” He asked, holding up a thick black covered book to Hermione. “Advanced Trans... Transfiguration?” He asked, having to double check the word as he read it. “Predicting the Unpredictable?” He asked, holding up the third book while putting the first two on the pile. “Using Divination to Insulate Yourself Against Shocks?”

“Not divination,” Hermione shook her head. “I dropped it third year.” She explained.

“Not any good?” Tony asked, holding the book more disdainfully now as he saw Hermione’s dismissive look to its name, then shrugging when Hermione shook her head so he put it back on a random shelf.

“Really,” Hermione huffed, wandering over and picking up the divination book, taking it back into the stacks where she knew where it belonged.

“What are we up to?” Tony asked, eying where the shop manager was tallying up the books on the counter, having made an extra-large space for the alchemy book from the window.

“Sixty-four galleons and two sickles.” The manager reported professionally.

“Keep going then,” Tony grinned, looking back to the stacks before choosing an area at random to wander off towards.

“Is he always like this?” Ginny asked, looking up at where Pepper was leafing through the portraiture book with interest, blushing a bit at asking the question.

“Sadly,” Pepper smirked, closing the book and adding it to the pile Tony was making on the counter. “I take it this is something else Hermione shares with Tony?” She asked, looking at Ginny curiously.

“With books?” Ginny nodded firmly. “I don’t... I mean, I’ve never seen her buy this many before though.” She explained.

“What about you?” Pepper asked with a smile. “Do you need anything here?” She asked. “I noticed Tony already put the book you mentioned wanting on his pile.”

“I didn’t mean for him to do that!” Ginny said quickly.

“You’ll get used to it,” Pepper laughed at Ginny’s face, shaking her head in amusement. “This is a man that two years ago bought a hundred-and-twenty million dollar Jackson Pollock, just because he wanted it. He’s never even looked at the painting.” She explained, rolling her eyes.

“A... a hundred...” Ginny whispered, blinking as she tried to understand that. Why would anyone pay millions for a painting and not even look at it?

“Really, put anything you want on the pile,” Pepper prompted her good naturedly. “At least with these I know someone is going to appreciate them,” She said with a wry smile towards where Hermione was now actually looking at a book she’d pulled off of a shelf.

Ginny nodded at that, feeling very awkward about the situation as she walked over to see what Hermione was looking at. “What’s that one?” She asked, standing on tiptoes to look over Hermione’s shoulder at the book she was reading.

“A history of transfiguration,” Hermione explained, closing it so she could turn around and look at Ginny.

“Getting it?” Ginny asked curiously, wanting to see how Hermione was dealing with this as well.

“I... I want to,” Hermione nodded. “It’s... it’s just...”

“Weird?” Ginny nodded.

“Merlin yes!” Hermione laughed back.

“Pepper was just telling me, she says he bought a hundred-million-dollar painting that he’s never even looked at!” Ginny exclaimed. “Who does that?” She demanded.

“Apparently, he does,” Hermione whispered, shaking her head at the idea. “You didn’t believe me when I told you how rich he was, did you?”

“It... it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Ginny admitted. “He can buy two hundred galleons worth of books just because he wanted them? I can’t even think about the sort of money he has.” She explained, remembering how Tony had talked about his money with Professor McGonagall and the ‘billions’ word had been mentioned more than a few times.

“That’s only what he got from the bank,” Hermione whispered over, feeling uneasy admitting the huge piles of gold she now had in her own vault at Gringotts.

“Another,” Tony said, walking by the two girls and pulling the book from Hermione’s hands, adding it to a pile of five books he already had in his arms and carrying them to the counter. “Tally?” He asked as he drummed his fingers idly on the counter.

“A hundred and forty-six galleons, seven sickles.” The manager said, a bit in shock as he picked up one of the books from the new pile and started adding the new ones to the tally.

“Pep? Girls?” Tony asked, looking around to the three of them. “I’m serious, grab what you want.” He said firmly before turning back to the manager. “Got forms for me to fill in for delivery?” He asked.

“Of course,” The manager smiled happily, bringing up some more parchment and another quill. “Please write your address here, be sure to indicate if it’s a magical or muggle address.”

“Muggle,” Tony nodded, remembering that word. “They’re the witches,” He said with a smirk, nodding over to the two girls.

“I see,” The manager nodded solemnly. “Miss Granger’s father then I presume?” He asked curiously.

“Yup,” Tony grinned proudly as he took the quill that was being offered. “Ok, yeah, no.” Tony said in amusement, eying the long-feathered object with ink dripping from the nib. “Hermione?” He asked, looking around for her and spying her reading another book with Ginny alongside her. “One second.” He said, handing the quill back to the manager and wandering off to the girls.

“Hmm?” Hermione looked up from the book as she heard her voice, turning around to see Tony walking towards them. “Sorry, I got...” She trailed off as Tony plucked the book from her hands.

“Ancient Runes, An Extensive Resource of Norse and...” Tony trailed off, ignoring the rest. “Come and write down our address for me?” He asked hopefully. “Quills? Really?” He asked with a snort. “Remind me to bring a pen next time we’re shopping.” He laughed as he led Hermione back to the counter, missing her shocked look at the way he’d phrased ‘our address’ while he tossed the Ancient Runes book on the pile they were taking.

“It took me ages to learn too,” Hermione admitted, swallowing the nervous feeling that was bubbling up inside her as she smiled over and took the quill from the manager.

“Why not pens?” Tony groused. “Ok,” He muttered to himself, seeing that Hermione was ready as he pulled out his phone. “JARVIS, what’s the address for the London apartment again?” He asked, putting the phone on the counter so it was close enough for Hermione to listen to.

“Of course sir,” JARVIS’ voice came over the speaker clearly. “The London apartment is situated on the forty-first floor, at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf.”

Tony watched patiently as Hermione wrote down the details on the parchment, reading it back as she went along, writing the address out in neat scratches and swirls with the quill. “There.” She announced when she was finished. “Is that enough?” She asked, looking at the manager.

“That’ll do nicely,” The manager smiled as he took the parchment and quill back. “Delivery today?” He asked, looking to Hermione and over to Tony.

“Sure,” Tony nodded. “JARVIS, delivery from...” He trailed off, looking at Hermione.

“Flourish and Blotts,” Hermione filled in with a smile.

“Coming today, have it sent up to the apartment.” Tony finished off, speaking aloud as he wandered over and eyed the book Ginny was reading. “Hexes and Curses, The Best Defence is a Strong Offence.” He smirked, pulling the book out of Ginny’s hands. “This one too.” He grinned, taking it back to the counter and dropping it on the pile.

“Of course,” The manager chuckled, seeing Ginny blush as she moved to stand by Hermione, adding the last book to the tally. “A hundred and fifty-eight galleons, fifteen sickles.” He said, looking over the list. “Is that everything?” He asked.

“Yes!” Pepper said quickly before Tony could go looking for anything else to add. “That’s plenty, thank you.” She said, watching as Tony pouted while Hermione and Ginny hid their smiles in their hands.

“Take these through to have them packaged Neville,” The manager ordered, looking at the rather large pile of books that had been set aside.

“Right, money,” Tony nodded, pulling out the leather purse from his pocket. “Used to having people do this for me,” He snorted, reaching in and grinning when his arm vanished inside the bag itself. “I love that.” He laughed, walking over to the counter and pulling out a handful of gold coins before repeating the process several more times while the manager tidied up the coins that were spilling over, counting them out into small piles of ten galleons each.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much money before,” Ginny whispered over, looking at Hermione in shock as Tony continued to pull out handfuls of the gold coins.

“You two alright?” Pepper asked, walking over and recognised the shocked expressions on their faces as someone that had just been introduced to Tony Stark’s idea of shopping. “Did you at least get some for yourselves?” She asked with a small smirk.

“He... he added three of mine,” Hermione admitted with a nod.

“Two,” Ginny nodded with a small blush.

“At least those will be read then,” Pepper sighed, shaking her head in amusement as she heard the till ring up from the counter. “All done here?” She asked, looking at Tony who was fiddling with some silver coins the manager was handing back to him.

“Yup,” Tony grinned, dropping the silver coins into his leather purse with glee. “What’s next?” He asked. “Oh, that sports store!” He nodded excitedly.

“Come on then,” Pepper smiled, moving to Tony and waiting for him to grab his phone from the counter before herding him towards the entrance of the shop. “Thank you for all your help.” She said, smiling back to the manager of the store.

“My pleasure,” The manager beamed happily. “Be sure to return any time you like.”

Hermione smiled at that, happy that the Flourish and Blotts manager was happy for them all to return, though it was obvious he was happier with the amount of gold that had been deposited in his till today than Hermione’s normal quiet reading excursion. She had to wonder if this was how people acted when they realised money was involved, she could see it in the Flourish and Blotts managers eyes, how he was making a mental note to remember her when she came back, rather than happy to ignore her and leave her to her reading as he had done before.

She remembered how Ron had been upset earlier in the year when he’d given Harry leprechaun gold by mistake and it had vanished, that had almost been an argument between Harry and Ron when he’d moaned in front of everyone that it ‘must be nice to have so much money you don’t notice if a pocketful of Galleons goes missing.’

She’d thought it strange at the time, and absentminded of Harry, understanding why Ron was upset at the same time when he’d saved up to pay Harry back for the Omnioculars he’d bought them, only for the money to vanish leaving Harry out of pocket. Now though, seeing her vault filled with the gold coils, she could understand it a bit more, the ten Galleons Ron had given back to Harry would be easy to overlook or miss when compared to larger piles of money.

“What are you thinking about?”

Hermione shook her head clear as she heard Ginny’s voice from walking alongside her. “Sorry,” She smiled hesitantly, rubbing her head and trying to clear her thoughts. “Just about Harry and Ron.”

“Ah,” Ginny nodded, looking away from Hermione and up ahead to the Quidditch store where they were walking. “Ron’s fine by the way, mum said he still feels bad about the hospital bed.” She explained.

Hermione nodded at that, remembering the day Ron had come to visit her at the hospital with Mr and Mrs Weasley, he’d been poking around the hospital room and barely listening to her while she’d been pouring her heart out to him. It had all come to ahead when she’d been trying to tell Ron how much she missed her parents when Ron had started pressing the buttons on the bed randomly, jerking the foot of the bed upwards and jarring her leg in the process, which while still in the cast had made her cry out in pain and draw the attention of the doctors.

She’d yelled at Ron so hard for that and banned him from coming near her in the hospital room again, even though she knew it was an accident now, she was still upset that he’d been ignoring her and fiddling with the muggle hospital bed instead of listening to her when she’d needed him.

“Good,” Hermione nodded, happy to know that at least Ron was ok, even though he’d really hurt her by not listening to her when she was upset.

“We can owl Harry later if you want?” Ginny asked after thinking about it. “If the Dursley’s let him.” She added, remembering how badly Harry’s aunt and uncle treated him. “Or does he have one of the muggle phone things like Tony does?” She asked curiously.

“A mobile?” Hermione asked, thinking about the question. “I don’t think so, Harry never mentioned having one.” She said with a frown. “Electronics don’t work at Hogwarts anyway, too much magic, and I don’t think his uncle would have bought him one.”

“Probably,” Ginny nodded in agreement as they approached the Quidditch store. “We don’t have to go in, I can come back another time.” She said with a smile.

“What’s this?” Tony asked, coming up behind them and peering in the window at the luscious ebony broom being displayed for everyone to see. “Firebolt?” He asked, reading the expansive display around it.

“It’s the fastest Quidditch broom ever!” Ginny grinned enthusiastically. “That’s a hazel twig one,” She explained, pointing to the bundled twigs that were shaved and shaped around the end of the broom. “Gives better steering.” She explained at Hermione’s curious look. “Harry’s is birch for faster climbs.”

“I didn’t know they did different ones,” Hermione admitted, looking closer at the broom now.

“You fly on these things?” Tony asked dubiously, eying the thin ebony handle with golden metal work stand that looked like it doubled as a foot rest.

“All the time,” Ginny grinned. “The Firebolt is a world class broom, even international teams use them.” She explained.

“That team you were talking about... Salem?” Tony asked.

“The Sirens?” Ginny asked, shaking her head. “They have a partnership with the Montgomery Sisters company over in Amonk,” She explained. “They all use Phoenix brooms.”

“How much?” Tony asked, looking around the display for anything that gave an indication of the price. A flying broom was definitely something he wanted to take back to the workshop to have JARVIS look over. “Price on demand?” He asked with a smirk, catching sight of a white sign at the bottom of the display.

“Expensive,” Ginny nodded forlornly. “Hundreds of Galleons.” She explained. “It’s only professional Quidditch players that can afford things like that.” She said, looking away from the broom sadly and over to the other window where the various uniforms were displayed before walking over, forcing herself away from the Firebolt.

“Don’t,” Pepper said warningly, seeing Tony’s look as he stared at the broom in the window. “I know that look, you’re thinking of buying one and fiddling with it yourself before letting her have it.” She explained in a whisper.

“So?” Tony shrugged, not looking away from the broom and seeing Hermione’s face that looked like she agreed with him on this point.

“So, how do you think her mother or family will feel if she comes home with something like this?” Pepper whispered firmly. “You can’t just buy things for people without thinking how it’ll make them feel.” She frowned over. “She’ll feel indebted to you and it’ll break her heart when Molly tells her to give it back to you.”

“She’s right,” Hermione nodded over.

“You said a friend had one of these?” Tony asked, looking at Hermione with a betrayed look on his face.

“Harry...” Hermione frowned, shaking her head. “It was a gift, from his godfather.” She explained.

“Are we going in?” Ginny asked from the other window where she’d been eying up the new Holyhead Harpies scarf on display.

“Sure,” Tony nodded over Hermione’s head, waiting for Ginny to take the lead and open the main door into the shop. “Fine, I won’t buy it.” He promised, looking to Pepper as he followed Hermione into the store.

“You have to set a good example,” Pepper explained, happy that Tony was actually listening to her for once. “Not be reckless and impulsive with your money, Hermione is looking up to you now as her guardian.” She explained.

“Reckless? Impulsive?” Tony asked with a mock shocked looked on his face, holding his hand to his chest with a ‘moi?’ grin.

“Do you want a list?” Pepper laughed back. “I keep it alphabetised and in date order.” She smirked.

“Point,” Tony admitted as he looked around the store in surprise, there were actually people in this store, unlike the wand store or book store, here there were people wearing cloaks and robes, along with a splattering of younger people in normal clothes, shopping around and store and talking animatedly with each other. “How come everyone’s in here instead of the other shops?” He asked, catching Hermione’s attention.

“It’s the school holidays,” Hermione explained, gesturing around the shop. “It’s the most popular store in Diagon Alley.” She sighed, looking around at the various areas before wandering over to follow Ginny towards a section of the store.

“It’s the new Holyhead kit,” Ginny explained as she felt Hermione come up next to her, looking at the emerald and gold items that were on sale, scarves, jumpers, robes and flags all prominently displayed along with other teams like the Chudley Canons and Kenmare Kestrels. “It’s the only all witch team in the British league!” She explained with a proud smile.

“Really?” Hermione smiled, having heard Ginny talk about the Harpies before and heard all this, but unable to stop Ginny when she was excited about something.

“Sorry,” Ginny grinned bashfully, realising she’d told Hermione all about the Harpies the summer last year when she’d stayed over before the Quidditch World Cup. “Let me just check the prices of the broom wax then we can go.” She smiled, heading over to the back of the store where the broom maintenance stock was kept along with the second-hand sales where she’d normally look.

“Is she ok?” Pepper asked, coming up behind Hermione to talk quietly.

“Yeah,” Hermione nodded with a sigh. “Ginny’s just... she’s not been around money much, Merlin, I haven’t.” She explained, shaking her head and trying to gather her thoughts together.

“Tony freaked her out in the book store?” Pepper asked knowingly. “Freaked you both out?”

“A bit,” Hermione admitted. “I... I know this is normal for him,” She explained, tussling her hair a bit with her hand nervously. “But we... Ginny saved up for months to buy some new school uniform bits for her third year. Mum always made sure I had enough for anything I needed, and then Tony’s just spending more money in one store than I could spend in a year.” She explained with a frown.

“You think she’ll think differently about you now because of Tony?” Pepper asked, getting to the heart of the problem.

“No,” Hermione shook her head before thinking about it a bit. “Maybe?” She asked, looking at Pepper. “The Flourish and Blotts manager did, he barely even spoke to me before, other than complaining if I was reading a book and got in his way.” She explained. “Today he’s friendly and inviting us back any time we want.”

“Money changes people,” Pepper nodded in agreement. “It changes how people look at you, how they talk about you.” She explained. “But it doesn’t change your friends if they’re really your friends.” She said with a small smile. “Do you think Ginny cares if you have money or not?” She asked.

“Of course not,” Hermione answered quickly.

“There’s your answer then,” Pepper smiled, squeezing Hermione shoulder reassuringly as she looked around to see where Tony had wandered off to.

At the rear of the shop Ginny was happy to be out of the bigger crowds that were around the main uniform displays out in the larger area of the store, the back of the store always felt more comfortable to her with smaller nooks and crannies’ filled with old quidditch equipment, the smell of leather and wood polish filled the air back here, making a warm and comforting environment for her to enjoy.

“What’s this then?”

She turned back as she heard Tony coming up behind her, looking around as he walked comfortably through the store like he owned it, his hands in his pockets as he idly looked around, looking lazy but she could see how his eyes were taking in everything around him.

“Just broom maintenance things,” Ginny explained, reaching down to pick up a tin of broom wax. “Fourteen sickles.” She nodded, thinking it had actually gone down in price since she’d last bought a tin with Fred and George.

“Right,” Tony nodded over. “What about those?” He asked, pointing over to the left side of the store where he could see a dozen different types of brooms displayed on a wall next to what looked like old fashioned brown leather football protective padding.

“That’s the second-hand section,” Ginny explained, blushing a bit as she thought about how much of her quidditch gear she’d bought from there. “Brooms, padding, quaffles and things like that.”

“Show me,” Tony nodded, seeing how the young redhead was getting enthusiastic again about everything. “What are these ones?” He asked, wandering over and pointing to three brooms that looked pretty much identical to him, all a warm light brown colour with tapered bristles at the end.

“Those are the old Nimbus Two-Thousands.” Ginny explained happily, more comfortable talking about something she knew about now. “The Two-Thousand-One’s came out a few years ago, so there’s a load of the old Two-Thousand’s on sale now with people wanting the new ones.”

“Upgrades, got it.” Tony grinned, putting it into a term he could understand. “And those?” He asked, looking to the other brooms that looked decidedly less than aerodynamic and nowhere near as comfortable as the Nimbus ones.

“Bluebottle,” Ginny explained, pointing to the nearest. “The other two are Comet Two-Sixties.” She said, gesturing to the other brooms.

“What about that one?” Tony asked, curious about the broom he could see on a wall on its own, secured behind a glass cabinet. “Is that expensive or something?” He asked, wandering over to stare at it. “Doesn’t look any better than those Nimbus things?”

“It’s an Oakshaft Seventy-Nine.”

Tony turned around in surprise at the voice, expecting to hear Ginny’s explanation but finding Hermione answering instead. “Ok? What’s that?” He asked curiously.

“It’s the same broom Jocunda Sykes used to fly across the Atlantic,” Hermione explained, walking through to the back of the store. “I didn’t know they had one here.” She said, looking to Ginny.

“They take it out to the front when there aren’t any big displays on,” Ginny explained. “It’s not A Oakshaft Seventy-Nine,” She said with a wink. “It’s THE Oakshaft Seventy-Nine. The one Jocunda Sykes used.” She announced as she grinned when she saw Hermione’s face.

“She flew across the ocean? On that?” Tony asked in amazement, looking at the fragile looking wood and twine broomstick.

“She’s really famous,” Hermione nodded proudly. “She was in Gryffindor at Hogwarts, there’s a statue of her in the entrance hall.”

“That was in Nineteen-thirty-nine,” Ginny explained, admiring the broom. “It’s a piece of witch history.” She said with a smile.

“Ok, I can appreciate that.” Tony nodded, looking from the historic broomstick in the glass case to the newer Nimbus brooms on the wall. “Looks like brooms have come a long way.” He admitted, spotting the differences in style, quality and aerodynamics immediately.

“Oh yeah,” Ginny bounced a bit as she walked over to the Nimbus brooms again. “Cushioning charms, faster acceleration, enchantments for stability and handling.” She explained. “They’re all getting better every year! Even the new Cleansweeps are pretty good for Quidditch, mum was talking about getting Ron one if he makes Prefect this year.”

“I completely forgot about the Prefect letters!” Hermione whispered in horror. “Professor McGonagall will need to know if I’m coming back or not or she’ll chose someone else.”

“You’re a sure win for it,” Ginny nodded. “Besides, you’ve got two weeks before the Hogwarts letters are due back.” She explained.

“Two weeks?” Tony asked, looking between the girls. “Prefects?” He asked. “Explain?”

“Our letters have to be signed by our...” Hermione swallowed the word, forcing herself to correct it before she continued. “Guardians, before the thirty first of July, they have to get all the students names and places set by then.” She explained anxiously. “If I don’t get my letter signed and back to the school by then... I’d... I’d miss a year!” She whispered in horror.

“Ok,” Tony frowned, seeing this was serious now. “What about the other schools? Salem and Illy-whatever?” He asked.

“I didn’t get chance to look at their letters,” Hermione admitted quietly as she saw Tony taking his phone out of his pocket to look at the screen.

“It’s the eighteenth today,” Tony nodded to himself, adding a mark in his networked calendar for the thirty-first of the month. “So you need to decide on a school and let them know... in twelve days?” He asked, making sure he understood what the girls were saying.

“Oh Merlin!” Hermione whispered, her breath starting to come in sharp gasps as heard the deadline.

“Breath,” Tony ordered, putting his arm around Hermione’s shoulder and leading her back towards the front of the store with Ginny following. “Ok, we’ll get some food then head back the apartment,” Tony explained as he led her through to where Pepper was idly looking at the various coloured scarves.

“Tony, what about this one?” Pepper asked, holding a gold and red scarf and jumper up. “It’s the perfect colours to match your...” She stopped as she turned around, putting the scarf and jumper back instantly when she saw Hermione’s face. “What happened?” She demanded.

“She forgot to tell us about the school deadlines,” Tony said. “No big deal, just means we’ve got to see the schools a bit faster than I thought.” He explained as he led Hermione out of the store with Pepper and Ginny following him.

“How soon?” Pepper asked once they were outside of the store with Ginny helpfully pointing towards The Leaky Cauldron at the end of the Alley. “Thanks.” She said with a smile to Ginny as they started walking.

“Twelve days,” Tony mouthed silently over Hermione’s head to Pepper so he wouldn’t set her off again.

“It’s alright,” Pepper nodded reassuringly to Hermione, inwardly smiling a bit at how relaxed the girl seemed to be with Tony comforting her. “Ok, so we need to visit these schools?”

“I’ve... I’ve got the letters,” Hermione explained in a fluster. “The ones that came this morning.” She said quickly. “I didn’t read them because I wanted to get my wand first.”

“We’ve got your wand now,” Tony smiled. “We’ll go for some lunch first, then head to the apartment and you can read the letters and send a letter to Molly.” He explained.

“Molly?” Hermione asked, looking up at Tony and suddenly feeling very conscious of the way he was comforting her. “What... why...” She stammered, looking back to Ginny.

“I’ll explain over food,” Tony said with a smile, seeing Hermione’s anxious face when she saw his arm and moving it off of her shoulders. “What do you think?” He asked, looking to Pepper and the girls as Ginny led them through the archway to the Leaky Cauldron. “I fancy steak, anyone else?” He asked hopefully as he stepped into the dingy smoke-filled pub.