“For some people, small beautiful events is what life is all about”
It will forever be a wonderful moment when two families join, either by marriage, friendship or birth. That perfectly awkward but loveable scene where two people meet for the first time, fluster around each other and yet fall into perfect sync within seconds. While many don't believe in fate or destiny, a whole lot of others do but everyone will describe that first feeling as truly magical.
Every child knows when their parents are happy, sad, excited or scared, it's a fault of being overly curious and observant. The boys all saw the changes happen gradually to their significant parent, and while being hesitant, they all enjoyed the joy each parent radiated.
Dan, father to Harry, Barney, James, John and Clint, was a good yet slightly wayward dad due to the uncertainty his job had. Dan always made it up to his sons by teaching them a new trick, telling them stories of his dangerous adventures or even telling them classified secrets. His job as a SAS officer fuelled the eager excitement that led all of his sons into either the military, secret services, or assassin training programs. Dan was always patriotic and forever wanted to live up to the war stories his grandfather would tell him, wanting his family to be proud of him for protecting their country. His passion for learning and adapting his fountain of knowledge to new situations helped him rise in the ranks quickly while making an established name for himself as a solider. But while he loved his job and the thrill that came with it, he adored his children more.
To become one of the most skilled FBI agents in the service you had to be focused, ambitious and determined, all of the qualities that enticed Emma to join the homeland service in the first place. Emma had always been different from the rest of the girls her age. She disliked dolls and dressing up, preferring to climb tall trees and jump out of them from nail-biting heights, and therefore, ended up in the best environment to use all of her well-honed in skills to her advantage, and loving it at the same time was just a bonus. Emma, while being an extraordinary agent, was an extraordinary mother from the young age of 16 when she had a one-night stand with Howard Stark, thus creating little Anthony. Later during a rare experience of R&R, she met an English man who she eventually had three children with, Mycroft, Sherrinford and Sherlock, though she never married him believing herself to be married to her work.
Dan and Emma, both retired from their active services in protection, met in Vienna.
After talking for hours and discovering their similar paths in life over a large mug of coffee, decided to meet again. And again. And again. Their dates took them all over the world, from London to New York, and just like ketchup in a bottle, they fell slowly and then all at once in love with each other.
Emma chose to bring her boys to London to meet her new found partner, while Dan dragged all his children, from the dangerous corners of the globe they had decided to set up camp, back home. Both adults were nervous about their beloved children meeting, for each of their sons had their own personality and quirks that easily clashed. While their parents fretted, the boys were a mixture of curiosity, excitement and hesitance at the new people they could gain as a family.
Emma arrived at the house with her children in tow, and knocked firmly on the door. After a few seconds, the door swung open see a grinning Dan with a tattered apron tied around his waist covering this clean clothes.
“Come in, come in,” he told them after he had greeted Emma with a light kiss. “I’m Dan, and you,” he continued, gesturing towards Emma’s oldest son, “must be Tony.”
“Yep, that’s me,” and Tony gave him a small smile and shook Dan’s out-stretched hand.
“I’m Mycroft,” the second oldest brother introduced himself and also shook Dan’s hand.
“Sherry, although my full name is Sherrinford, but then again most people just call me Q” he told Dan, almost nervously.
“That’s quite all right Sherry, it’s nice to finally meet you,” Dan responded, while Emma watched on with barely contained joy that they seemed to get on well with each other.
“Sherlock,” the last boy remaining informed him while his eyes took in every minute detail.
“I have heard lots about your knack for sussing people out, so, what have you deduced?” Dan asked the youngest brother, amusement shining brightly in his eyes.
“Well, ex-SAS captain with military training, brought up with your parents, however, your mother died when you were young. Father to five boys, all of which have followed a similar career choice to each other and yourself. Four different women birthed you sons yet they left you with their child immediately after giving birth. One woman came back later for her son, who didn’t want anything to with her, and you had another child with her, then, just like before, left straight after he was born. You are very protective over your children even though they risk their lives everyday for the greater good of the UK,” he finishes.
“Very impressive, however, I was raised by my father and step-mother, who both died when I was nineteen. I never knew my mother,” Dan replied softly, smiling proudly at Sherlock.
“Irmph! Step-mother! Of course! There’s always something!” Sherlock muttered.
Emma, Tony, Mycroft, Sherrinford and Sherlock followed Dan through the hallway and into an open-planned dining-living room, where five young men sat haphazardly around the couch, there eyes all fixed on the football that was playing on the TV.
As their guests filtered through the door, eyes were slowly peeled away from the TV and landed on the visitors.
“007!” Sherrinford exclaimed, shocked to see the secret agent lying relaxed on the sofa.
“Q?” James replied, equally as shocked and confused.
“Well, they know each other, that’s a good start, I suppose…” John said, trying to mellow the strange reaction.
After everyone had been introduced, or re-introduced in some cases, they all sat down around the TV and started to get to know each other, the football game being ignored. Tony and John bonded over their joint love of technology and their work within the military. John sparked weapons ideas that had a protective element as well as destructive, using satellite programming to identify the enemy yet keep the civilians safe. Harry, James and Sherrinford talked about the secret services, Kingsman and MI6, feeling safe that they wouldn’t share classified information and knowing they would be protected by Mycroft if something did occur. Mycroft and Clint spoke about the protective and defensive methods that they both used, with Mycroft protecting the UK using technology and Clint protecting the UK using his trusty bow to take out dangers permanently. Sherlock and Barney discussed Sherlock’s deduction methods after he had wrongly figured out Barney’s life and Barney had corrected him on many of his points while Sherlock was stunned that he hadn’t worked someone out. Dan and Emma looked on at their boys proudly, relaxed now, after they had stressed about this day for hours on end.
The dinner went off without a hitch and everyone felt secure with their new family slowly being sewn together. The boys regularly talked to each other, cementing their brotherly relationship, while their parents became closer and closer. Until the day that Dan had popped the question.
And Emma had said yes.
The ceremony was quaint yet perfect. Only their closest friends and family attended, the couple determined to protect their loved ones as much as possible.
Emma was a goddess in a white gown decorated with gold accents and Dan, the shining knight in armour, in a crisp tailored suit. Their boys, all dressed in suits, looked dashing. For the happy couple, the ceremony rushed by in a blur of words and loving smiles. The small crowd, made up with aunts and uncles, watched on with joy and a few delighted tears as they wed.
“Now you may kiss the bride,” the aged priest, dressed regally in robes, declared, “May I present Mr and Mrs Granger!”
Emma and Dan lip-locked for the first time as Mr and Mrs, feeling elated while doing so. The newly official sons cheering for their parents loudly and showing large smiles.
The Granger men were all waiting anxiously behind the plain brown door, pacing along the small length of the waiting room, stopping every so often when a loud scream forced itself through the door. They had all been waiting for a few hours yet they felt like days, listening to their mother cry out in pain.
Several months earlier, they had all been overjoyed at the news that their parents had shared. Each brother excited for the little bundle of joy that would join their ever-strange family.
A few months after that announcement, they made another. The boys would be getting a little sister to protect and dote over. Suddenly, little changes were being made throughout the houses they each owned, some smaller than others. In Tony’s case, he went for extravagance, building a state of the art nursery and connected playroom for his new sister, all furnished with toys, technology and a child-friendly version of JARVIS, Tony’s omniscient AI. John, however, went with a smaller approach and bought a cute little teddy bear finished with a white and pale pink polka-dotted bow tied around its neck. They all helped to renovate a bedroom in their parents house for the little one, each adding a personal touch to the room.
Another scream was heard from the room as the men snapped their heads to look at the door. A collective sigh was heard throughout the room before an other cry of pain filtered into the room. A few seconds later, a louder shriek was heard and quickly accompanied by the higher pitched wail of their sister.
An elated short intake of breath was the only sound until the waiting room came alive with relieved and excited voices and cheers.
Less than half-an-hour later, crowded around the standard hospital bed were the Granger family staring down at their brand new addition, the cutest little girl with a button nose and a small dusting of freckles. Big curious brown eyes blinked up at them and focused on each boy separately, looking at them with wonder.
“Boys, what shall we name her?” Dan asked after a few minutes, still marvelling at his daughter.
“She’s a Hermione, but I want each of you to choose a middle name for her,” Emma told them, basking in a post-birth glow.
Staring with the oldest son, Harry Hart began, “Hermione is Greek so I think I’m going to carry on that theme and say her first middle name is Alice.”
“I agree with Harry on the Greek theme, so,” Tony Stark, making a funny face at Hermione, who giggled, said,“ you are now called Hermione Alice Zoe!”
“I believe I will call her Opheila,” Mycroft Holmes, ever the professional, stated.
Barney Barton carried on, “Little princess is gonna be called Melody.”
“Hermione Alice Zoe Opheila Melody Dora! For my Great Aunt Dora,” James Bond said sentimentally.
“I’ve always liked the name Irene, so that what you’re getting munchkin!” John Watson told the still curious baby.
“I think she should be named Sophia. Hermione Alice Zoe Opheila Melody Dora Irene Sophia, quite a name!” Sherrinford ‘Q’ Holmes announced.
Clint Barton added his penny’s worth with “Tiffany” and left the last middle name to Sherlock to complete.
“Well, since she has re-born our whole lives, I am aptly naming her Pheonix, a beacon of light and hope,” Sherlock Holmes told them in a rare show of emotion.
Dan, latching on to every word while remembering his daughters extremely long name, totalled up the name, “So, Hermione Alice Zoe Opheila Melody Dora Irene Sophia Tiffany Pheonix Granger, welcome to the family!”
Hermione has turned the Granger’s world upside-down, with heart-stompingly proud moments, like her first word, her first few steps, her first laugh. It was never boring around the house.
Hermione had travelled to America with Tony, Clint and her Auntie Tash (Natasha Romanoff, Clint’s partner and best friend). Hermione giggled at JARVIS when he called her “Miss Hermione” and played endlessly with the brand new toys that littered her new room. The view of the ceiling to floor windows that looked out onto the gentle Miami Beach waves that had hypnotised Hermione at first sight, keeping her unusually occupied for hours.
Hermione had quickly won over the hearts of the notoriously stern Pepper Potts, causing Pepper to melt at the giggles, words and smiles of the little girl, Happy Hogun, who was also quickly wrapped around her little finger when she called him “Unca Ha” and lastly, James Rhodes. Rhodey was at first shocked to see the little girl crawling and walking unsteadily around the Miami Superhouse, but warmed up to the nearly two year old, playing with her as he put on ridiculously high-pitched voiced for different stuffed animals. Hermione’s favourite being Laura the Lion, that she adorably gave a cute “Rawr!” whenever anyone said the word lion.
Two weeks into her stay in America, while Tony had been dragged off to a Stark Industries meeting by Pepper with Happy driving them to the offices, Hermione woke with a tummy bug. Clint who was meant to be going to the S.H.I.E.l.D. Headquarters for a debriefing by Fury, was the only one left to take care of her, Rhodey being called away to a military emergency in Harlem.
Seeing no other option, he dressed Hermione in a blue denim shirt and black legging with little black trainers, dressed himself in the standard S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform, and headed out with Hermione to the Quinjet that was parked on the helipad on the roof of the Miami mansion.
Strapping Hermione, in a carseat, to the co-pilots chair and warning her to not touch anything, Clint buckled himself in a set off.
Hermione was fascinated the whole journey, clapping when they went faster and giggling when they slowed, pointing at different switches and saying, “Clint, what that?”, then getting Clint to explain what that switch does in a small amount of detail. Surprising Clint, Hermione looked as though she understood every word.
The journey took them under three hours from Miami to the Helicarrier stationed somewhere off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
Clint landed the Quinjet with ease and unbuckled Hermione who was starring wide-eyed at the magnificent flying ship, taking in all the reflective panels and every mechanical vehicle onboard.
Hermione saw Natasha before he did, his infamous hawk-like vision failing him for a few precious moments as he had checked on Hermione, making sure she was safe and sound instead of facing his parents, and brothers for that matter, wraths. A small smile graced Natasha’s lips, the only visible sign of emotion that she had displayed to anyone that worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. , except, of course, to Clint, Agent Phil Coulson and Director Nick Fury.
Natasha had been adopted into the family pretty quickly after Clint had invited her over for a Sunday dinner, and she had met a large proportion of his family, but not all of them. Hermione had automatically dubbed her Auntie ‘Tasha and the rest of the family had followed suit. Hermione really did have her family wrapped around her chubby fingers. Since then on, Natasha was always welcome in the Granger household, loved by Hermione and even integrated so much into the Grangers that Mycroft had added her to his top priority protection. Natasha spoiled her niece, always managing to buy a toy or souvenir for her from every place she visited while on a mission, she had never failed to bring something back.
Natasha scooped up the little squirming child and set her on her hip, her slight fever already detected by the red-headed super spy. Meanwhile, Hermione was burying her head into Auntie ‘Tasha’s hair and wrapping her arms around her neck, holding on to her tightly.
“Thanks ‘Tash,” Clint nodded to his best friend.
“It’s nothing, I’d always help out my little munchkin!” She said softly, so no one would hear the drastic personality difference.
Clint and Natasha expertly weaved their way through the maze of corridors in the Helicarrier, avoiding every agent so far, little Hermione still glued to Natasha’s hip. The trio walk onto the deck, still bypassing the tech-savvy agents with their heads stuck in their computer screens. They carried on until they reached the large debriefing table, where Natasha plopped Hermione into a seat while Clint took the one next to his sister.
“Mia, where does it hurt?” Natasha, turning on Auntie ‘Tasha mode, asked Hermione.
“Tummy,” came the reply, Hermione’s face contorting to a nearly tearful expression.
“Okay. Mia, I want you to open your mouth and think of Laura the Lion and all your other animals, okay?” Natasha told her, while producing a small bottle of medicine from her suit.
Natasha, stilling unnoticed, gave Hermione the medicine, and talked to her about her favourite animals and the tea party they would have together with all of the family, toys included. Fifteen minutes later, Clint looked relieved as Hermione had visibly perked up and was trying to climb over the table, his partners smirk silently judging him as he tried to stop the little troublemaker from crawling over the folders, all stamped with the daunting red classified signature.
Ten minutes later, Hermione was back in her designated chair reading a book that looked too advanced for a two year old, yet Hermione looked as though she understood the story perfectly. The two level-nine agents were skimming through report after report, becoming more and more bored as each second passed.
Nick Fury, in all his time as a spy, had never been unprepared for anything. Assassins? Easy, plans are already in place. Wars? Easy, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have been trained for all fights. Tesseract? Easy, a sealed unit has already been built for the cube until the organisation needs it again. Every possible situation or event had been prepared for, expect the little child with bouncing brown curls running up to him and pulling on his prized black trench coat, all the while exclaiming, “Uncle Nick!”.
Hermione had known ‘Uncle Nick’ her whole life due to her Mummy being the ex-S.H.I.E.L.D./FBI co-ordinator, the woman who persuaded the World Security Council to make Nick Fury Director, and was ultimately more trusted than the new supervisor who know nothing substantial about safety operations or had any vital experience.
Nick Fury, a normally intimidating man, who never gave away any facial expressions and the power of the world resting on his shoulders, melted into a marshmallow in the presence of the small girl who he’d begun to call his little niece.