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Harry Potter and the Dark Lord (No, not that one —nor the other one; the purple one)

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Ramonda, T’Challa and Shuri, of Wakanda, were proud - and honoured - to say they were perfectly normal (thank you very much). Like many of their country men and women, they had been brought up with fine (Wakadan) values. All - in their own way - were polite, courageous and hard-willed individuals who cared deeply for their family and nation.

T’Challa was King and Protector of Wakanda, an isolationist country on the continent of Africa. He was a tall, muscular young man; although he did have a beard covering part of his jaw and chin. He had been trained into a great warrior. And from his father (and mother), the council, as well as his own experiences, he had learned a large amount of – though sometimes painful – wisdom. Queen Ramonda was tall, her hair white as snow, though usually hidden beneath impressive headpieces, and she had a certain regal quality in how she stood that wasn’t necessarily linked to her status. She was much loved by both her children and her country. She did not consider other Wakandans as inferior despite her status as the Queen Mother. She gave her continued support to her son, T'Challa, as the ruler of Wakanda. Princess Shuri, while the younger child and possibly sometimes had a childlike demeanour, always teasing T'Challa and never having many regards to formality, was no less fierce, nor was she to be overlooked. She was a technological genius at heart, making good use of Wakanda’s most prized resource, always ready for her next creation. As any sibling, she loved her family a lot and was very concerned for her brother's safety. She was unwavering in her faith in him, always willing to stand by his side.

Ramonda, T’Challa and Shuri had everything they wanted. Wakanda had everything it wanted. (Especially thanks to the vibranium they had been keeping - until very recently - a secret from the rest of the world.)

When T’Challa woke up on the bright sunny Tuesday morning there was nothing about the cloudless sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would be soon happening all over the country. He smiled as he greeted his mother, and hummed as he then headed for the royal laboratories, having no doubts that his sister was already at work. He was certain it would be just another peaceful day in his kingdom. - Though he did worry the news of New York City having been attacked once more, and that the billionaire (former playboy) genius Anthony ‘Tony’ Stark was pronounced missing.

Still, as much as it pained him not to be able to help the city of New York, he couldn't see how he could get mixed up in anything that might be going on all the way on the other side of the Atlantic. It didn't affect them...

How very wrong he was.

 

{***}

 

Several hours later, a man appeared in the jungle outside Wakanda’s royal palace, King T’Challa’s home. He appeared through a large cluster of dark blue ominous storm clouds, complete with sparks of lighting. The Black Panther's claws twitched and his eyes narrowed.

Nothing like this man – titan – had ever been seen in Wakanda. He was tall – very tall –, muscular, and purple. He was wearing a dark-blue and golden breastplate, grey-blue trousers with a tick, golden belt, heavy-wear, buckled boots, and a large golden gauntlet, on his left hand, with five bright gems within, shining against the Wakandan sun.

His violet eyes were light, bright, and sparkling, under a heavy brow, and his jaw was large and rigid, with long vertical grooves, as though they had been carved in. This titan's name was Thanos.

Thanos didn't seem to realize —or, more accurately, did not seem to care that he had just arrived in a country - on a planet - where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome. His gaze was too busy scouring through the expanse of trees, looking for something. But he did realize he was being watched. He looked from his search to the group facing him. For some reason, the sight of them all, a mix match of Terra-inhabitants and some possibly of other realms, seemed to amuse him. His lip gave the briefest of quirks.

The several people at T’Challa’s side stared at the purple giant, armed at the ready ever since the Space Stone-generated dark-blue clouds had started to form. They were all ready to hold Thanos from reaching the android known as Vision and the Mind Stone in his forehead, by any means necessary, for as long as they could. (As one of the individuals would say: ‘til the end of the line’.) Hopefully even defeating the titan before this happened.

 

Of course, with all their force and anger focused on the titan warlord (the titan himself so focused reaching the stone imbedded in the android’s forehead), none noticed another being appearing at the same time. He had appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground.

Not that he had particularly realised it either.

 

{ * * * }

 

Harry blinked, lowering his toothbrush.

One moment he was in his bathroom, having just finished his shower and drying himself, to start brushing his teeth, the next moment he was...—in the middle of a jungle?

Remaining where he stood, he quickly tried to take as much of his surroundings as possible. It seemed he was indeed in a tropical savannah, in just his bath towel. Not only could he see the trees and large roots around him, but he felt the rough soil, dead branches and withered leaves under his bare feet. There was also the dry hot air (far too warm for your average English wizard) against his skin, making Harry all the more thankful that, at the very least, he had… appeared (apparated?) in a shaded area.

This in and of its self was worrying given that he had (somehow) been transported from inside Hogwarts. While they were still rebuilding a good third of the castle, most of the wards still stood. In fact, they had been one of the first things to ascertain and repair after the battle six months ago.

There was also no chance of having accidentally touched a portkey. That was, except if the Headmistress herself had changed his toothbrush into one. Something Harry had trouble imagining Professor McGonagall would do.

— “Did anyone tell you the cup was a Portkey?” —

Which was also when he noticed that where his toothbrush had been moments ago now stood, proudly in his right hand, the Elder Wand. In fact it wasn’t just Harry in his bath towel, but him, in bath towel, and all three bloody Hallows.

“‘There were once three brothers who were travelling along a lonely, winding road at twilight —’” —

Three Hallows that should definitely not be with him.

His eyes narrowed on the stick and stone, as if they had offended him personally.

“My mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect.” —

Last he checked, the Elder Wand was supposed to be back in Professor Dumbledore’s tomb.

Harry had personally returned it to the old Headmaster’s burial place not long after the final battle.

“Severus... please...” —

Yet here it was, instead of his toothbrush.

As for the Stone... The Stone had been lost in the Forbidden Forest.

“You’ve been so brave.” —

Unless the centaurs - or any number of other animals or creatures – had found it. (For all their divining and contemplating, Harry wouldn’t be surprised if the centaurs knew exactly what it was. Then again, given all that divining and contemplating, they possibly felt themselves ‘forbidden’ from doing anything to alter the ‘set path’ that was written in the stars, or something like that.) Yet here it was, set in a ring on his finger.

And the Cloak...

Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well.’ —

Well, the cloak Harry had kept with him. It had been his father’s after all. Not to mention, it had been in the Potter (and Peverell) family for generations. But he didn’t bring it with him when in the bathroom! And yet, here he now held it, in his left hand.

Not that he had much time to wonder on any of this, looking up from the three objects.

There were several other people also in the jungle, not too far from where he stood (still in his bath towel). Not that any of them appeared to be at a loss as to why they were here (where ever here was). Eyes going from one to another, Harry noted that it was a large – strange – mix of people. Some were in tribal wear (probably those with the most reason for being here), while others were in obvious muggle combat gear (though one did have shinny metal? wings). Then there were the... odder, more eccentric outfits (which was saying something, given that Harry had witnessed wizards’ numerous attempts of fashion choices to fit into the muggle world). One was dressed up in — a cat costume?

Still, even that one wasn’t the one who stood out the most; there was a humanoid-tree... and a walking, gun-holding racoon.

And then there were a few what he could only describe as robots similar to those in the films Dudley watched (while Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had deemed anything magical as unsuitable for their perfect Privet Drive life, killer-robots wanting to kill someone named Connor and take over the world had been judged perfectly normal[1]). – Well, two definitely looked like robots: one was huge and red (one of its arms missing) and the other, smaller in size, and silver. Both of their pairs of eyes were even lit up and glowing.

The third one though had a form closer to that of a human. And then there was the power that Harry could feel, even from a distance, emanating from it (... him?). Not electrical energy or any other sort of muggle technology Harry had come across before, but actual power–power that reminded him of Hogwarts... of the old ancient magical hum of the Triwizard Cup... of Gryffindor’s sword. The red-haired woman next to him seemed to radiate a similar power, though not as strongly, and thus was being partially eclipsed by the robot... man.

There was also the fact that it was clear that none of them were doing all that well. Sweat, dirt, blood covered, along with several tears, the state of their outfits was all reminiscent of several of Harry’s own battles and scrapes through the years. Especially the red-robot with the golden cape: there was a rather prominent wound on his side.

Still, for all the diversity and strangeness of the group the one that caught his eye the most eye-catching was the very large, very muscular purple man at the other end of the copse of trees. Some of the attention was to do with him being purple. And some to do with him being in comparable height with Hagrid. (Harry had never heard of any giants or half-giants with purple skin. Not even trolls had purple skin.) Yet most of it was also to do with the great big golden – Malfoy worthy – gauntlet upon his hand. Given the amount of magic radiating from it – each of the five gems gleaming in turn, as if wanting to outdo each other in showcasing their power – Harry was certain most traditional pureblood families would pay most, if not all their fortune to have it. Heck, Voldemort might have tried and made a Horcrux out of the gauntlet. (Four of the five did resemble the colours and glimmer of the stones in the Hogwarts House hourglasses rather spectacularly.)

Given their stance and how all the others were just as focused on this one large being, it was clear that he wasn’t the only one that could feel the force of the gauntlet.

– And also probably why no one had yet noticed Harry’s sudden appearance, even if he was further away (and still only in his bath towel).

 

Of course, the other important reason the large purple half-giant held so much of Harry’s attention was also how easily he started defeating the rest of the group as he advanced. First the huge robot, quickly followed by one of the muggle soldiers, then the cat-costumed person—

At the continued advance – not to mention display of the magical gauntlet and gems being used – Harry’s eyes narrowed, his body tensed. (He barely paid any attention as the couple nearest him pleading-arguing with each other.)

While he was still very much at a loss, not to mention ill-at-ease, with once more finding himself in a very strange situation (why was it always him?), Harry quickly transformed his bath towel into a pair of trousers, and pulled the cloak over him. (Hopefully, the transformation would hold while he dealt (helped?) with... this. Whatever this was.) He would have to make do with being barefoot. (At least wizards were more resistant the more mundane scrapes and bruises.)

It was then that the red-haired woman... conjured? a ball of red coloured energy-magic-power-whatever-it-was -

— “Avada —”

The pain from his scar forced his eyes shut. He felt his wand act of its own accord and drag his hand around like some great magnet — and a spurt of golden fire appeared through his half-closed eyelids. —

Harry could only watch as it spun and hiss in warning — She sent it straight to her waiting companion’s head. Harry took a step back, not only in reaction at the action, as if she had aimed it to him, but also at the sheer force and energy that had sprung when the angry red beam hit the robot-man’s forehead.

Yet, given the pained look on her face, the woman was in two minds about what she was currently doing to her companion. And then there was the robot-man himself. The calm on his face, the soft words he was telling her, too far away for Harry to hear, all while she was literally attacking his head.

“So the boy... the boy must die?” —

Was it a sacrificial play on his part?

Was the purple half-giant here for them? For the robot-man?

From the way he was advancing in their direction, it did hint towards this.

Now, all the more focused on the couple, Harry did sense that the power emanating from both the woman and the man-robot did feel similar to that of the energy coming from the gems as the purple being continued to use against the rest of the group.

Of course. The half-giant wasn’t here for them. He was here for the amber-coloured gem. The one imbedded in the red-man’s forehead.

“And that's where...” —

Clearly the purple being had a serious (lethal?) fixation on having a whole set. (A second look to the gaudy golden gauntlet confirmed the presence of a single empty set.)

The woman was using both hands now: two thick red beams of energy, one from each hand, both directed at the gem on the other’s forehead.

Harry held the wand aloft, frustrated and indecisive on what he should do. Given the obvious power of these gems, it could be argued that, even if it was in detriment to the red-man and the sorrow clearly etched on the woman’s face, perhaps it would be best to let her destroy it. (The Horcrux within Harry had only been able to be destroyed in a specific way for Voldemort to be mortal once more.) At the very least, it would stop the big purple man from getting to it and stopping whatever having the whole set might entail.

Tell him that on the night Lord Voldemort tried to kill him, when Lily cast her own life between them as a shield,the Killing Curse rebounded upon Lord Voldemort, and a fragment of Voldemort’s soul was blasted apart from the whole, and latched itself onto the only living soul left in that collapsing building....” —

Still, Harry could help give the woman more time.

He sent a series of stunners at the purple being from beneath the cloak, all while advancing towards both the giant and the couple. Not that the spells did much good. They only seemed to hinder the half-giant a couple seconds as he continued to work through the rest of those between him and his prize.

Harry should have anticipated this really. Given his size and how easily he overpowered the others, the purple giant could easily be as physically and magically resistant as the giants and half-giants Harry knew of, if not more so. Not to mention, the power emanating from the gauntlet and gems was probably also helping with further defence.

The woman started sending one of the red beams to the half-giant, while the other one was still aimed at her companion’s head.

The simple stunners not working, Harry apparated closer, but before he could think of any other way to possibly help that woman, the amber gem finally broke — blasting into a thousand pieces, a large golden explosion radiating from it.

It was only Harry’s Quidditch worthy reflexes that had him drawing a shield in time to not be hit full-blast by the power of the explosion and be knocked off his feet.

The half-giant’s own shield, erected from the gauntlet also held; the purple being still stood.

The woman, on the other hand, was not as lucky. She was now on all fours, crouched where the red robot-man had once been, pain and despair etched on her face.

Harry tensed. Even with the gem destroyed the giant advanced. He raised the Elder Wand at the ready, in case the half-giant decided to use the gems on the woman, as retribution from costing him the last of his set.

“I understand, my child. Better than anyone.” The voice was deep and — calm. (Too calm.)

The woman only snarled back, “You could never.”

Unconcerned by her words, the purple man reached down and stroked her hair — in comfort? Harry’s brows crunched in confusion, his grip on the wand tightening.

“Today, I lost more than you can know.”

He straightened once more then, eyes fixed on where the robot-man had been moments before. “But now is no time to mourn.” He continued, moving past the still-crouching woman, “Now is no time at all—”

And with that, he swiftly held the gauntlet up once more, reached forward and clenched. The green gem glowed bright, activating.

Filigree started to surround his wrist... for a green shield-like disk to appear in front of his palm... and he turned it, as if a dial, and—

—beads of yellow light started gathering in on itself and growing in size—

Harry gasped in horror, his eyes widening, realising what was happening; what the man was doing. His throat went dry, unsure he wanted to think of the possibilities —the consequences this could possibly mean. The sort of power this being held. – No one should have that sort of power. The giant possessed the power to rewind time. Not just time but elements within time, to focus on specific events and beings – erasing them from happening. Not even time-turners had been able to do as such a thing.

“No! Don’t you understand? We’re breaking one of the most important wizarding laws! Nobody’s supposed to change time, nobody!” —

The next moment the yellow solidified into an intact - conscious, letting-out-a-pained-gasp - red robot-man, just as he had been moments before.

Taking advantage of the woman crying out in horror and lunging forward, Harry sent the strongest petrificus totalus he could muster to the gauntlet wearing giant.

It hit the purple being square in the back, stopping him mid-strike from swatting at the advancing woman.

But, as Harry had justly expected, unlike Neville back in first year, his large arms and legs did not snap together. Nor did he fall down, stiff as a board. The curse only held the half-giant in place for a couple seconds before the paralysis was already starting to wear off.

But it was enough. – Enough for the red-haired woman to reach the giant, and for Harry to cry out “accio green gem!

“Accio!”

The Triwizard Cup flew into the air and soared toward him. He caught it by the handle —

Whether it was the Harry, or (most likely) also the fact that he was holding the Elder Wand, the next moment the green rock dislodged from the golden gantlet and went soaring towards him.

Years of Wood’s gruelling practice sessions at ridiculous times of day (and night), the gem was easily caught. Harry caught it, all while sending three more silent petrificus totalus at the half-giant, just as he was simultaneously hit by another red beam of energy from the woman, forcing him the cast the same shield from before with the gauntlet and gems (minus one).

The large being all the more distracted, Harry swiftly focused his attention on the robot-man. While he wasn’t sure he could obliterate him like the red woman had done (nor did he really want to), Harry quickly decided he could create a protective-containment bubble around the robot-man, to protect him and, more specifically, the amber gem gleaming once more on his forehead.

He pointed the Elder Wand, for a glittering sphere to form around the all-the-more confused looking robot-man, suspending him above the ground.

Nagini, swirling and coiling like a serpent underwater, safe in her enchanted, starry sphere, floated unsupported in midair. —

His study of his spellwork and the wand’s prowess was swiftly cut short though, at the cry of pain coming from the woman.

Bloody bullocks. The half-giant was pushing back the red woman’s red beams of energy, his large form nearly upon her.

Harry swiftly sent a depulso at the sphere and red robot-man within, sending them several feet back – or more importantly, several feet from the half-giant – to then send a series of bombarda - diffindo’s and the strongest stupefy Harry could muster in quick succession to the purple being, all while moving to the side. They hit one after the other and - as hoped - the giant’s shield wavered, even breaking for a moment, for the half-giant to get a blast of the red ray to the arm.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived. Even with the hit to his shoulder, the man was able to reach the woman and send her flying; though not while also giving a cry of rage, a reaction to the sequence of spells and red energy blast that had hit him.

Yep, definitely angry.

Neither the spells nor the blast were enough to incapacitate him, but they had visibly affected him; pain and, even temporarily, disorientation showed on his face.

Still, Harry found himself satisfied by the large scorch-mark on the purple giant’s shoulder, along with a long cut on his throat, one deep enough for a trickle of dark purple blood to be visible.

Fury etched on his face, the being turned round, in search of the other source of torment. Thankfully for Harry, the cloak appeared to work even against him and his powerful gauntlet-and-gems, as his eyes passed right over where Harry was —

Had been. — He was already moving forward from the sequence and away from his previous position to apparate on the other side of the half-giant. Which meant he was not in the being’s direct sight when, not wanting the man’s attention solely on him, Harry quickly conjured a flock of raptors, to point the wand directly at the half-giant and silently cast – ‘Oppugno’.

Just like the canaries Hermione had set on Ron over a year ago, a dozen birds sped like a hail of large bullets towards their target. They attacked the purple man’s enraged face; pecking and clawing at every bit of flesh they could reach, his cries of fury reminiscent of Uncle Vernon’s.

Unlike Ron though, the half-giant made easy work of them. Swatting them and, with use of the gauntlet, they all soon disappeared.

Fortunately, in that time, the woman had recovered some and pulled out tree roots from the ground, to send them - now glowing red - along with large chunks of earth to the purple man.

Seeing as the large being had made quick work of Harry’s charms, and his defence spells only held somewhat better, he decided to give a try at transfiguration. Swishing the wand at his own array of branches on the jungle floor, Harry turned them into long sharp spikes (only a couple levels up from turning matches to needles, really), and sent them flying at the half-giant — along with another Oppugno, dividing the being’s attention once more from the woman.

Continuing to move swiftly and silently, all while watching most of the transfigured spears hit their mark, Harry sent another series of offensive spells –impedimenta-difindo-bombarda-reducto- at the giant—

—A massive bolt of lightning suddenly struck at the purple being, then. Already his focus affected by both the woman and Harry, the hit dug him into the ground and sent him several meters backwards.

The next moment Harry watched as a large warrior, in full body armour, eyes literally glowing, stooped down from the sky like the birds of prey had done moments before.

There was the briefest of pauses, for the flying man to reverse his position, and raise a huge glowing axe in his hand above his head, to hurl it down—

The purple-giant fired the whole power of the gauntlet against it, but it only created a rainbow-like bow-shock, not slowing the axe as it slammed right into the half-giant’s chest.

Landing in front the purple being, now down on one knee, the bearded warrior huffed –out of breath, he growled, “I told you... You'd die for that!”

And with that, he took hold of the back of the purple giant’s head and forced the axe deeper into his chest, anger and pain in his eyes all while the giant groaned out in anguish.

Agony clearly etched on his face, the purple man still managed to look up, and grunt, “You should've... You....”

There was a pause, for him to rise ever so slightly, in challenge, “You should've gone for the head,” his voice stronger. To which he raised the gauntlet and—

NO!” the cry a mix from the warrior-man and Harry (and possibly others behind them).

But Harry ignored all of the rest; instead he followed his cry by a bellowed, “SECTUMSEMPRA!” sending the curse straight at the man’s forearm, barely aware and uncaring of the cloak slipping from his head.

Purple blood spurted as if slashed by an invisible sword, a large gash where Harry had hit. Still, not one to give him any chances, Harry only continued to advance while crying out, ‘Stupefy’ followed by a ‘petrificus totalus’. – Upon reaching the still conscious but very much disorientated and bleeding half-giant, he sent another sectumsempra where the other had hit, going all the more deeper into the forearm. And with it, Harry attempted an “accio gauntlet” figuring the hold on the golden magical object was now hopefully tenuous at best.

Thrill ran though him – even if somewhat drowned by the cry of fury worthy of Hagrid from the purple being – as the large glove zoomed from the man’s hand, straight to Harry.

Catching it, Harry didn’t waste time to send an incarcerous and another full-body bind at the enraged giant, the spells holding better than previously. Though, Harry did follow them with another stunner.

Conscious but slumped on the axe impeded in his chest, Harry cast a encasement-sphere like the one he had used on the robot-man around the half-giant, enclosing him.—

And then, looking down at the gauntlet, Harry decided best to encase it as well, in a third – smaller – bubble, now apprehensive that someone would try and take it from him

Loki?”

Harry swiftly turned, wand at the ready.

Yet, the warrior, bright blue eyes brimming with hope for the briefest of moments, turned pained, as Harry’s green eyes met his; not a threat.

“Excuse me?” Harry asked, all while realising, that both the blonde warrior and red haired woman were now staring at him. This was probably to do with the gauntlet, but also given that his cloak had slipped to his shoulders. His head and neck were now visible, along with the hand that had been holding the gauntlet, all seeming to be floating over nothing.

To which, Harry noticed that the others, most having recuperated; not fully, but enough to now be heading Harry’s way, looking at him with no small amount of interest... and wariness.

“Apologise sorcerer; I... mistook you for another.” The pain in the blue eyes only deepening, before the blond man seemed to force himself to shake himself from his revelry and get a handle on his thoughts. He focused once more on Harry, to consider something... and asked, “Are you perchance Kevin Bacon?”

Good Lord, is this - can this be -?... — Bless my soul. Harry Potter... what an honour.” 

 

{ * * * }

 

Tony did not move from where Thanos had left him slumped, near-dead and defeated for a long time. That was only when the Kid had come over that he deigned stir with the teenager carefully helping him to his feet.

He could see the antenna-girl having propped up that piece of Star-Shit up from his own slump of defeat, while the muscular purple one and the android-woman who somehow had appeared during the fight were lumping over on their own accord.

Fucking Stone-giving Strange hadn’t moved from where he had given Thanos the Time Stone. Unlike the others, he looked calm, ready for something to happen — something that Tony refused to think about, even as Bruce’s words from what seemed ages ago, echoed in his mind—

—An amalgamation of blue-black clouds suddenly formed in front of them once more, cutting his dark thoughts.

Tony felt his whole (over-worn) body tense beneath what was left of his suit. All the others stopped as well, frozen in place as the clouds seemed to take ages to form and grow.

Thanos was coming back? Was he going to have a second go at them? – But that wouldn’t make any sense... why would—

Tony blinked, unsure if he was hallucinating. (It had been one long fucking day and he had been hit by a moon, to be fair.)

A teenage version of Thor’s piece-of-shit, Earth-invading adopted brother Loki had stepped out, with a now very much smaller gauntlet in his left hand.

How will your friends have time for me, when they’re so busy fighting you?” —

Tony blinked again (secretly very much thankful that the Kid was still helping him stand).

A walking racoon popped from behind teenage Loki... and started talking to Star-Shit.

Tony closed his eyes. He willed his mind that this was not the time to completely lose it. To re-open them and notice the familiar and far more welcome sight of Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes—of his Rhodey, (Platypus!) in the war-machine suit (all while ignoring the just as familiar shape that was perfect-teeth-that-need-to-be-punched-repeatedly Rodgers).

That’s the guy my dad never shut up about? Wondering if they shouldn’t have kept him on ice.” —

But before he could open his mouth and call (his) Rhodey, teen Rock of Ages was right there in front of him.

The Kid said something — teenage-Loki said something in return — then Rhodey was there, also saying something — teenage Loki turned to him and said something — teenage Loki’s eyes were greener, brighter than before — come to think of it, was he wearing glasses? And his hair was shorter - and messier —

Wait, what had he just said?

No time to react — his mind still processing everything, the not-so-Loki teenager took advantage of this and —pointed a stick straight at him!What the fu

— “ferula.

Tony was definitely hallucinating. Bandages spun out of nowhere, to wrap around his arm and shoulder, strapping them tightly but not uncomfortably.

Processing this, Tony nearly missed as the possibly-Loki, definitely magic-wielding teenager aimed the stick at his face —wait, not his face! All while saying more words (epi-something —he had a stick pointed straight at his gorgeous, well-trimmed, face!)

The next moment his brow, followed by his cheek and then neck felt very hot, then very cold.

Guy’s not wrong about Loki; he does have the jump on us.” —

In a daze, Tony raised his good hand to his face and felt it gingerly. The bruises had vanishedgonepoof! Like that!

—He had definitely lost it — Pepper was right — he should have stopped this whole saving the world thing ages ago—

Tony was barely aware of Peter giving a yelp, as the next moment all he knew was darkness.