EAD – Hari Potter and the Chitauri Invasion

Title: Hari Potter and the Chitauri Invasion
Author: Saydria Wolfe
Pairing: Loki Silvertongue/Hari Potter/Tony Stark
Genre: Rule 63, Fix-It
Warnings: Thanos Dies Hard, the Author is not sorry.
Summary: A threat to the mundane world is a threat to Avalon and not the kind of thing its Queen can let stand. If the mundane world has a problem with that, that’s the mundane world’s problem.

Banner by Me!

 

Chapter One

Tony’s suit spit and sputtered as he approached his Tower. Who knew that going through the meat grinder of an actual propeller engine was Not Good for the suit? Okay, he did, but maybe he could talk Fury into upgrading? Repulsors were superior to that nonsense any day of the week.

As he watched, a beam of light shot from the roof of his building. Clearly, that needed his attention.

Dr. Selvig was manning some weird machine on the roof. He’d used the Tower’s reactor to get the thing pumping and that was annoying. More, it was a violation in a way he couldn’t quite articulate.

“Shut it down, Selvig!”

“I can’t!” The man’s crazy was evident in his wide blue-coated eyes and gaping smile.

Tony didn’t really care what nonsense Crazy spouted so he cut out the middle man and hit the machine with both hands…and that was a mistake.

“The barrier is pure energy,” JARVIS informed him. “It is unbreachable.”

“Yeah, got that.”

Alright, back to Plan A.

-*-

“My Queen!” The young man ran screaming from the travel room. “My Queeeeeeeeeeeeeen!”

One of the Goblin guards caught him by the shoulder, “Easy, lad, she’s heard you.”

Several witches and creatures ran into the room. More witches and wizards apparated to the source of the commotion, a beautiful woman with green eyes and inky black hair among them.

“What is the meaning of this?” She demanded.

“My queen,” the very young man wilted in the guard’s hold and did his best to bow at the same time. “I am Joseph Turner, beta of Deucalion Lane.”

“Alpha Lane’s pack guards the Caern below Stark Tower,” she identified.

“Yes, Your Majesty. A portal has been opened above Stark Tower…things, aliens are pouring out! If the Tower falls…” Mr. Turner started to shake.

“Current state of the Caern?”

“Unknown, Your Majesty. According to my alpha, it was glowing and much too hot to approach.”

Hari Potter nodded her head and called for her Head Elf’s youngest sister in the hope the tiny creature’s care would put the young werewolf at ease, “Whimsy.”

The smallest elf girl Hari knew popped into place before her, “Your Queenesty?”

“Give our guest a comfortable room and a meal, perhaps a bath. He’s had a trying day.”

“Yes, Your Queenesty,” the elf bowed and turned her focus on her charge as Hari left the room with her retinue in tow.

“My Riders, where are my Riders?”

“Here, Your Majesty,” Methos stepped up to her elbow as they walked toward privacy.

“You’re on recon. War, get me all you can on the key members of the invading force. Pestilence, survey the ground. I want to know the best places to stage my people for containment of the invading force. Famine, we need an open place with as few as possible electronics to stash and heal refugees. Death, get me everything you can on the leaders of the resistance. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their tactics. You have thirty minutes, and all four of you will remain invisible and interact with nothing without my express permission.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” all four of her Riders agreed and ran from the room when she waved a dismissal at them.

She stopped far enough into one of Camelot’s many libraries for everyone to join her. “Hermione.”

“I’m here!” Her sister in magic called.

“Prepare the Eye, we’re going back in time one hour and there will be hundreds of us.”

“Yes, My Queen,” she bowed hastily and took off at a run.

“Ragnar,” she called and the goblin lordling that ran her personal guard stepped into her line of sight. “Your people will be on contain the situation. Confer with Pestilence when he returns to best place your people. And remember to leave enough people here to cover full security of Camelot in case we do not return.”

“I’ll have to consult my father, Your Majesty.”

“Of course,” she agreed immediately. “I would prefer you stand on the battlefield with me but you are his sole heir and your placement is at his discretion.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

“We will be using your people’s portals to get to New York,” she warned.

He paled but nodded and she waved him off before he felt the need to say anything. “Krum!”

“My Queen?” Hermione’s first husband Viktor bowed.

“The Caern is your sole concern for this battle. Create a warding and defense team to do whatever you must to keep the node point intact. If it blows,” she didn’t have to finish that sentence. If a Caern on Earth blew, they all knew very well the damage it would wrought. And how that damage would ripple throughout all of Avalon.

“Neville, Blaise, Luna.” The trio stepped up to her and bowed in the kind of synchronization only bonded spouses could truly manage.

“Neville, we’ll likely be stashing human refugees in a Park or something similar. Famine will be the final word but you are in charge of their physical and magical defense. Blaise, gather your healers and warn Nicholas we’re going to need all manner of potions for treatment and recovery. You’ll be dealing with the humans we recover from the battlefield and any of our people injured in our defense of the Caern. Luna, work your mind magic to keep everyone calm and focused. Gather your fellow mind healers to help you.”

“Your Majesty,” the trio bowed again and left.

“Winky?” Her Head Elf popped into place in front of her at her name. “We have one hundred Muggle Hiding Charms other than yours. Gather your best teleporters—they won’t have to hide themselves from Muggles since the charm will take care of that so take that into consideration—and equip each of them with a medallion. You will be removing any humans trapped on the battlefield to the shelter Neville will be guarding.”

“Wounded?” The Elf asked.

“Those, too. Magical and not.” Then she snapped, “Leave Dobby here, Hermione will need quite a bit of care after she uses the Eye to get us there in time.”

“Yes, Your Queenesty,” Winky bowed and popped away.

“Who’s fighting with you?” Her second father, Sirius Black demanded.

“Not you,” she told him, drawing him up short. He gave her a wounded look. “You’re the most powerful magical we have after me and the most likely one that can hold Avalon together. You must remain here in case I don’t return.”

“That’s bullshit, Hari,” he glared, “you’ll come back as long as you want to come back.”

She raised an eyebrow at him. Honestly, he was right but he’d never quite recovered from twelve years in Azkaban and he’d refused to stay in the clinic to deal with his issues after she’d become Queen. She simply didn’t trust him not to get himself killed by being reckless.

She couldn’t lose her last parent to his own recklessness. And she wouldn’t.

“I’m sorry, Hari,” he said softly.

“Join Nicholas in his potion’s den,” she ordered softly. “You’re pain relief always seem more effective than his.”

Sirius nodded and left the room, looking dejected.

She raised an eyebrow at his grandfather who bowed and followed to watch over his hot-headed heir.

“Who will be fighting with you?” Remus Lupin asked softly.

Him, she did trust on the battlefield. He’d come into his own since he cut Fenrir Greyback in half…though the death of Albus Dumbledore had probably helped in that department, too. “My Riders,” she grinned when he sighed. “And werewolves.”

He nodded, “I’ll gather as many as I can.”

“You have 35 minutes,” she agreed. “Meet us on the East Lawn.”

“Bane.” The Chieftain of the Camelot Centaur tribe stepped forward and thumped his fist to his heart is salute. “As soon as I leave, war conditions will be active. The full wards will go up.”

“My tribe will man the barriers,” he promised. “None shall violate your home whilst I draw breath.”

“Good.”

-*-

Tony’s suit spit and sputtered as he approached his Tower. Who knew that going through the meat grinder of an actual propeller engine was Not Good for the suit? Okay, he did, but maybe he could talk Fury into upgrading? Repulsors were superior to that nonsense any day of the week.

As he watched, a beam of light shot from the roof of his building. Clearly, that needed his attention.

Dr. Selvig was manning some weird machine on the roof. He’d used the Tower’s reactor to get the thing pumping and that was annoying. More, it was a violation in a way he couldn’t quite articulate.

“Shut it down, Selvig!”

“I can’t!” The man’s crazy was evident in his wide blue-coated eyes and gaping smile.

Tony didn’t really care what nonsense Crazy spouted so he cut out the middle man and hit the machine with both hands…and that was a mistake.

“The barrier is pure energy,” JARVIS informed him. “It is unbreachable.”

“Yeah, got that.”

Alright, back to Plan A. Tony swooped down to his Penthouse. The moment his feet touched the Iron Man platform and his helmet was removed, he made eye contact with Loki Odinson.

Kid sneered at him and marched into Tony’s penthouse like he owned the place.

Gotta love royalty, he rolled his eyes.

“Please tell me you’ve come to appeal to my humanity,” Loki grinned at him with glittering blue eyes.

“Uh…” Great, the Crazy was catching. Was there an inoculation for that? Had he missed part of the briefing? “Actually, I’m here to threaten you.”

Loki snorted, “You should have left your armor on for that.”

Tony rolled his eyes and sassed on autopilot. “Would you like a drink?” He offered because his mother had, in fact, taught him manners. Even if he was mostly doing it as a distraction so he could pull on the Mark VII targeting bracelets without notice.

“Stalling won’t change anything,” Loki called him out. Rude.

“No, no, no! Threatening.” He shook his head and, just to prove that asshole wrong, actually poured himself a drink. “No drink? Are you sure? I’m having one.”

“The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that, what have I to fear?”

“The Avengers,” Tony informed him and rolled his eyes at Loki’s confusion.

He lost track of things a bit from there. There was a spat of mutual bragging, an oversized helping of disbelief on the part of Odinson, and maybe a penis joke in revenge but then he was being hoisted off his feet by an enraged demi-god with no respect for his windpipe. Demi-god? Demi-giant? What did Loki classify himself as anyway?

Then suddenly everything stopped.

“Well, that’s not how you treat your host,” an amused—female—british accent broke in. Then he was…levitated? It was like the floor invisibly rose up to support his feet until he was lifted out of Loki’s grip. Then the invisible floor started sliding him backwards, well out of range of Thor’s very angry little brother.

The telekinetic or whatever that saved his quite literal neck was kind enough to turn him to face her as she floated him her way. She was gorgeous. Curvy, actually shorter than him which was a bit of a relief, with green eyes that sparkled with what might actually be magic. She had a staff in one hand and wore a thick green lizard-leather robe. He couldn’t readily identify the lizard the the scale patterns gave it away.

He…knew her. He wasn’t sure how but somewhere deep inside of himself. Some were silly, foolish, and absolutely vital to who he was, he knew her. She set him down on her left and he stumbled a bit when the floor stopped moving and he once more stood on his own power.

“Thanks.”

She nodded to him and looked back to the first Penthouse Invader, “Didn’t your mother teach you better manners than that, Loki Silvertongue?”

Loki just glared at her. “And who are you?”

“You may call me High Queen Alexandra of the House of Pendragon.”

“And is that your name?”

She ignored the question. “What is wrong with you?” She smashed the butt of her staff on his floor and a white wave of power flew out to knock the Glowstick of Destiny out of Loki’s hand.

“Ah!” She tutted when Loki tried to lunge for it and clenched her free hand. Loki went still once more.

“Do you see that?” She idly asked Tony.

“See what?”

She waved her hand at Loki and the sight before him wavered. When it finally settled, he could see a blue and gold serpent coming from the scepter where it laid on the floor to wrap around Loki. It held him tightly with several coils around his body and it’s teeth in his neck. Whether it was pumping him full of poison or sucking vitality out of him, Tony couldn’t be sure.

“That can’t be good,” was his conclusion.

Queen Alexandra tipped her head in agreement. She battered his floor again and a shield formed between Loki and the scepter. Loki immediately began to scream.

“Hm,” she released her staff and it floated on its own as she mimed tugging on the snake with that hand. It reacted, somehow, like she actually managed to tug it but it didn’t budge other than tightening its coils around Loki’s body.

And Loki screamed louder.

“Fast and rough or slow and awkward?”

“Fast and rough,” was his immediate vote. He did not like the screaming.

“Death,” she hissed.

For a moment, Tony tensed thinking he’d made a very wrong choice. Then a column of smoke formed behind Loki. The little queen turned him to face it and the top half resolved into a thin man with hawkish features.

“Sorry, mate,” the man, Death, offered. Somehow he was suddenly holding a ginormous hammer that Tony absolutely would not have possibly missed if he’d had it when he appeared. Then he hit Loki with it so hard the man went flying and wound up jammed into Tony’s wet bar. His stone wet bar.

On the bright side, the screaming stopped! And the snake was gone. So was Death, apparently.

“Croaker,” Alexandra called and a man shrouded head to toe in glittering black gear appeared before them without a sound. “Containment,” she pointed at the Glowstick.

“My Queen,” the hooded man put a fist to his heart and bowed before taking the scepter and disappearing.

“Um, objection.”

The queen looked at him and raised an eyebrow.

Tony was pretty sure that was his cue to shut up but he’d never been all that great with unspoken cues. “People are going to want that. Like, government-type people.”

“Too bad,” she said evenly. “My people are sworn to protect this realm from magical threats. The scepter was a magical threat to this realm. Now it’s not.”

“And, Loki?”

“Luna,” was her answer, much to Tony’s confusion.

At least, he was confused until an even smaller nymph of a woman in a dress made of white gossamer appeared just as Croaker had. “Your Majesty?”

“Prince Loki Silvertongue have been suffering under some sort of mind control for quite some time.”

Luna, apparently, turned to Loki and pulled a thin stick Tony was going to have to label as a wand and flicked it at Loki. “He’s been tortured, too,” Luna announced. “Quite severely. And he has more daddy issues than Blaise and Sirius combined, poor dear.”

Queen Alexandra snorted, “Take him to Camelot and get started on his healing.”

“Wait!” Loki cried before Luna could physically touch him. He wriggled out of the bar and staggered to his feet. “You must warn Hari Potter!” He cried and Luna caught him as he staggered forward. “She must flee! Thanos comes for the Master of Death! None shall stand against him!”

Queen Alexandra smiled gently at him. “Thank you for the kind message. She has been warned, now you must go.”

“How could she—” Loki squinted at the queen. “You’re—”

“Luna.”

“My Queen,” she grabbed Loki’s wrist and they were both gone.

“You’re Hari Potter?” Tony asked. “Master of Death?”

“Alexandra Pendragon is my dynastic name,” she told him. “My true name is a secret and not to be shared casually in public.”

“I won’t tell anyone,” he promised.

“I know,” she agreed with a small smile. “Now what do you say we kick this Thanos’s arse?”

“J?”

“The Mark VII is ready, Sir,” his AI son announced.

“Race you?” He grinned at the queen.

She snorted, “You go high, I’ll go low,” and ran a finger up the front of her coat, the buttons of it sealed, like magic, as she went. She held out a hand and a manhole cover slapped into her palm. How it got up there in his Tower he’d probably never know, but she tossed onto the ground where it hovered, waiting, as she stepped up on it, staff and all. She floated right out through the double panes of glass of his exterior wall without breaking them and he raced to the armor platform.

“Children of the Moon!” He heard her shout even over the wind. “Guardians of the Earth! Do. Your. Duty!” And a roar like a thousand lions answered her.

He didn’t have time for that, Tony pointed himself toward the sky and got on task.

He was going high.

-*-

Hari watched as Stark shot up toward the portal. The aliens Mr. Turner had reported were pouring out of it like a wave on air speeders and some sort of armored space eel creature.

There was nothing for it. If they were going to force this Thanos to face them somehow, she had to make herself a target.

“Children of the Moon!” She shouted via Sonorous spell. “Guardians of the Earth! Do. Your. Duty!”

Every werewolf in New York, both the natives and those she’d brought with her, answered her call with a roar fit to make Mufasa jealous.

Every alien on the planet tried to roar them down.

Keyword: tried.

She landed on one of the eels. Several of the footmen it was carrying jumped onto its back to meet her.

“Hello,” she greeted pleasantly as she smashed the first one in the face with end of her staff.

“I’m Hari Potter,” she informed the next one as she buried the burning ruby at the head of her staff in his groin.

“Would you mind leaving?” She side-swiped the next one and let her magic shoot it right off the eel.

“I had plans today and they did not include this nonsense.” She planted her staff and used both feet to kick the fourth.

A big green guy landed on the eel behind her and grabbed the next two foot soldiers. He used them as improvised weapons until the entire rest of the back was clear.

“Well done,” she complimented and he gave her a fierce grin. “If you’ll clear off, I’ll take care of our ride.”

“Hulk smash,” the gentleman said in an agreeable enough tone and leapt from their eel.

Hari directed her most powerful cutting curse at the eel’s nose and ran with it all the way down the creature’s back. She surfed it down to the ground as it collapsed into a steaming, goopy pile.

“Your Majesty,” a werewolf greeted her as she dusted off her pants.

She glanced up at him, “Alpha Lane.”

“Thank you for your prompt response, My Queen. I didn’t expect you here so quickly.”

“Magic,” she shrugged. “Your beta is resting comfortably in Camelot Castle. I’ll send him home when this is all over.”

“Thank you.”

“Toss me up to the next one, would you?”

He blinked at her like he wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly. Then one of the space eels wailed as it passed above them. He took her by the waist, pulled back, and threw her as requested.

She knocked three soldiers off the second eel as she landed on it. Time for a little fun.

-*-

“Stark, you better get down here,” Cap ordered sounding more on edge since he had once they made the decision to take the fight to Loki.

He whipped around to see something like one of the speeders but bigger and entirely self-contained land not far from Cap’s position. The back opened and a large purple…man stepped out.

“The hell is that?” He heard Hawkeye ask and, yeah, he wanted to know that too.

“If I had to bet,” he told them and he lowered himself amongst them, “I’d say that’s a Thanos.”

Thanos?” Thor demanded, looking—maybe—scared for the first time since Tony’d met him.

“That’s what Loki said,” Tony told the big guy. “The guy that tortured and brainwashed him was Thanos. True master of the Glowstick of Destiny.” Well, Loki implied it, but still. Tony could extrapolate.

“What does he want?” Cap asked.

“Me,” Queen Hari landed not far from them. Three men and a woman on skeletal horses flying escort landed around her.

“Who—?” Steve started to ask but Tony waved him off.

Hari said, “Pestilence. Famine.”

Without a word, the female and one of the male riders took to the air again. Tony was not surprised to note they were riding right for Stark Tower. If their queen could step through glass, he could imagine the energy field around the portal machine was not even a concern to them.

“Master of Death,” Thanos said with a menacing kind of joy.

“Well, if it isn’t the Captain of the HMS Friendzone,” she shot back and Tony snorted. “What do you want, Raisin Bran?”

“Death.”

“This is a rather big mess to make just to die,” Queen Hari informed him. “There are much easier ways to do it.”

“You know what I want!” Thanos pulled a double-ended fuckoff-big sword.

“And you know you aren’t going to get it,” she retorted. “Death’s told me exactly what you want from them and they don’t want you. If you think I’m going to order my minions to be raped by you, you have another thing coming.”

“Then I’ll take their mastery from you and do it myself.”

“Good luck with that,” she drawled and half a dozen of the feral guys that had been fighting along side the Avengers jumped the asshole. Cap rushed forward to help with Thor on his heels. When Thanos threw them all away, Tony shot for his knees and Clint shot for his eyes.

When the explosions cleared, Grape Kool-aid was still standing, “What the—”

Hari and her last two riders rushed forward. Mostly the riders got in the way of the guy’s limbs as Hari tried to plant a bare hand on the guy’s skin. This task was obviously going to be difficult considering how much armor Fig Newton was wearing.

Tony, Clint, and Romanoff did their part by supporting Her Majesty’s Beastily Kids as they worked to keep the alien foot soldiers from joining their boss’s side.

The Queen, War, and Death all took a few hits. Cap and Thor did too as they jumped back in to the fight again.

Time seemed to freeze for Tony as War pulled Steve to his feet after a particularly ugly hit to the ribs, “Ready to go again?”

“Why, you getting sleepy?” Steve grumped.

“I could do this all day,” War answered flippantly and threw himself back at Thanos’s left leg.

Steve went still, his eyes wide and staring at nothing. Tony had to tackle him out of the way of Thanos’ sword or a lucky strike would have taken his head.

Queen Hari finally managed to plant her hand on Thanos’s bare forehead after Thor just about knocked his helmet off with a swing of the hammer. She left behind a perfect ash-colored hand print and Tony could hear it sizzle through the speakers in his helmet. She managed to drag Thanos’s helmet the rest of the way off and planted her other hand on the back of his neck as she completed her flip and landed on her feet.

She landed and clenched her fist. Perfect handprints burned their way through Thanos’s face and his neck like some macabre statue to the most epic high-five miss.

Thanos collapsed.

The portal to outer space closed with a completely unnecessary gloop and all of the alien foot soldiers collapsed. Air speeders started raining out of the sky and space whales crashed with dramatic groans.

“My people!” Hari Potter’s voice carried as she threw up her arms in victory. “We won!”

Everyone started shouting in celebration and, for once, Tony wasn’t ashamed to be part of the crowd.

-*-

“Your Majesty!” War and Death started forward and caught Queen Hari as she stumbled.

“Oof!” She complained, “I need to work out more.”

“We’ll be sure to drill you most thoroughly in the future,” War promised.

“Every day,” Death agreed.

“Bucky?” Steve asked, finally beginning to gather himself.

War froze and looked to Steve. He glanced back to Queen Hari who nodded some sort of permission. War removed the thick black enamel mask covering his face and, yeah, that was— Even through the swirling black face paint, Tony could see that that was Bucky Barnes. “Hey, punk.”

“But you— You died.”

“Yeah, but it didn’t stick,” Barnes agreed. “I, uh, I woke up. After. And Hydra used me. Its a long story.

“But, you…how did you survive?”

Steve just blinked at his best friend, mouth open in confusion. “The plane went down and I froze. Then I woke up. I—”

A sound like the sizzle of a fuse broke the air and golden streams of light cut out large round holes. Through them Tony could see green fields through one, tall trees through another, and a third that showed an ornate marble and gold hall.

People stepped through. Short-ish and kind of thick bodied but people.

“High Chieftain Ragnok,” Queen Hari greeted.

“Your Majesty,” the…man in the lead thumped a fist against his chest.

“Begin clean up,” she ordered. “And send War and his friend to the Hound. Start a tab for them in my name, they have a lot of catching up to do.”

The High Chieftain laughed, “As you will, My Queen.” Then he made some hand gestures and equations or maybe runes filled the air and golden light cut yet another hole in reality to reveal a quaint looking pub to Tony’s eyes.

“My Queen,” Barnes thumped a fist to his chest and bowed. Steve copied him immediately and together they stepped through the, well, the portal and fucked off to the pub.

“Stark. STARK! Can you hear me, Stark!” Fury came over his internal radio.

“I hear you, Patchface,” he responded. “Chill out. We won.”

“Stark, there is a missile headed your way,” Fury growled. “Nuclear.”

“The fuck am I supposed to do with a nuke, Nick?” He demanded and everyone around him went silent.

“Whatever you have to so it doesn’t hit!”

“There’s a nuclear bomb headed this way?” Queen Hari demanded.

“Who the fuck is that?” Fury asked but Tony ignored him.

“Yeah, can your people portal it into space or something?” He asked.

“They cannot create portals to places they have never been,” she glared. “If your government wished to declare war, they could have just said. Not lured us out for an ambush.”

“No one is trying to declare war!” He swore.

“We’ll see about that!” She glared. “Eris!”

Several of the portal people scrambled together to make the largest portal Tony had seen yet. It’s diameter was large enough, easily, for four semi’s to pass through side by side without touching.

A huge, scaled beast immediately began to push its way through. It was covered in spikes that went from gunmetal gray at the tips to black at its hide and it was the biggest damn animal he’d ever seen. The smallest tooth Tony could see was bigger than he was, even in the suit. Even the portal wasn’t big enough for it, it had to push and pull its way through.

Just as its front legs and wings made it, Queen Hari tossed it, portal and all, into the air like it was a volleyball she was about to serve.

The creature shot out of the portal, directly into flight, and swallowed the missile whole. The thing went off in the creature’s belly. It bulged and Tony could see fire in the cracks between its scales. He looked to Queen Hari to see her holding her hands like she was holding a ball. She seemed to be struggling to contain the blast.

He threw his hands over hers and he could feel the heat and the force of the explosion resisting her grip. Then another pair of hands joined his. And another. And another.

And then the resistance was gone.

The…dragon landed. And burped a dribble of flame.

Tony wound up on top of the queen in the middle of a dogpile of exhausted magicals.

“People usually buy me dinner first,” she said into his hair.

He pulled his head off of her chest and snorted. “You heard the queen. Everyone out of the pool.”

Some…force he couldn’t see started pulling people off the pile and disappearing with them. Tony waited until he was clear to stand and then he helped her up.

“I’m still furious with your government,” she said evenly. “I know full well that a nuclear missile cannot be launched in this country without the direct permission of the President.”

“Oh, I’m pretty furious, too,” he agreed.

She nodded. “Eris, go home.”

Tony watched the dragon huff and glare but she flapped half-heartedly up to her portal and wiggled her way through.

Because he had to ask. “How much does she eat, seriously?”

“She doesn’t,” Queen Hari answered. “She could, obviously, but as my familiar my magic feeds her.”

“Is that why she’s so big?” He tried to calculate what that meant about the Queen’s magic, how much she’d have to have to do everything he saw today and feed a dragon and— did this Master of Death business cost magic? What about being Queen?

Queen Hari didn’t answer. Instead, she said “Accio Chitauri bullshite,” softly instead and all the alien bits and pieces around them rose from the ground and followed her dragon through the portal.

Some of the space whale corpses flew through buildings to obey her command, the queen was unmoved by the new damage this caused.

“Avalon, full retreat,” she ordered. Then she pulled off a silver necklace. She swiped a hand across Tony’s forehead. It came off red with blood and she wiped that blood on the necklace’s medallion then held the chain out to him. “We will wait for your government’s terms. Once they have decided whether they want war, or not, you may contact us through this necklace. Only you may use the necklace, Tony Stark. Give it to no other.”

She looked around and what was left of the Avengers and the handful of other humans that had begun to crawl out of hiding as her people left the area. She said nothing as she turned and walked through the last remaining portal. It closed behind her and they were left with nothing but the wreckage to remember her by.

Well, the wreckage and the necklace. Tony pulled the necklace over his head and shimmied it under the breast plate of his suit.

Clint summed it up for everyone, “What. The fuck.”

 

Chapter Two

 

“How did you not know about the existence of magic?” The British Prime Minister asked the United States President with disdain. “Did you honestly think the Hogwarts Chronicles were fiction?”

“Yes!” President Ellis snarled. Tony couldn’t blame him, they’d been at this for an hour already and the attitudes of Ellis’s international counterparts except Canada were wearing on him too. “It’s a children’s book, who could have thought it was real?”

“We did,” France’s Prime Minister waved, drawing Ellis’s ire. “The books were written with different hero characters across various generations within a single family but they are all based on Queen Alexandra. My cousin—Fleur, whom they at least named correctly—competed with the Queen in the Triwizard Tournament almost 20 years ago, not in the 50s.

“Now, she’s the Veela Nation’s Ambassador to the Queen of Avalon.”

India, Japan, and apparently Russia all had schools disappear into Avalon when Queen Harry made it fifteen years ago. From the sound of it, their governments had made quite a bit of money off the lands she’d eventually sold to them as a result.

“Why didn’t any one tell us?” President Ellis asked, in Tony’s opinion foolishly. “Many of you are our allies, this was information we needed to know!”

France seemed to agree with Tony because he just snorted. “And what was the first thing you did when you encountered them? Ask them in for tea? No, you threw a nuclear bomb at them.”

“If we’d known—!”

“You’d have tried to find away to profit from their existence.” Canada was done playing nice, apparently. “You’ve all but declared war on the single most dangerous being alive. And she has—at last estimate—a quarter of a million magical humans sworn to her crown. You need to find out who launched that nuclear weapon and execute them. And you’ll invite her to witness the event, if you know what’s good for you.”

“I can’t just execute people!” Ellis objected.

“Then good luck with your war against someone known as The Master of Death,” China rolled her eyes.

“You’re on your own,” Canada agreed.

“We won’t stand with you against Avalon,” France seconded.

Tony focused on England with everyone else.

“I know Queen Alexandra personally,” she offered. “She’s what you Americans call a big damn hero. At fifteen, she took down the kind of terrorist threat that could have made World War II look like a training exercise. And she’s only gotten stronger based off of her performance against aliens just last week. She is a champion but she is a champion for her people. Not yours. Not mine.

“You don’t have to be her friend, Ellis, but only an idiot would be her enemy. They never survive it for long.”

“Your saying she is a nuclear deterrent.”

England rolled her eyes, “If only that was all she was.”

“Dr. Stark.” Tony looked up from the tablet he’d been working on when the President called his name. “Do you believe witnessing the trial of these traitors would be enough to soothe Queen Alexandra?”

“I’m not sure a trial would be enough,” he admitted. “But I can ask. Do we even know who we’re putting on trial?”

“Patch in Fury,” Ellis ordered.

“But, sir!” Someone offscreen objected.

“Now!”

A new hologram screen formed in front of Tony with the SHIELD logo slowly spinning in the middle of it. Halfway through the third spin, Fury’s face filled the screen, “Mr. President.”

“Director Fury, have you completed your investigation into who launched the nuclear weapon at New York City last week?”

“My investigation, sir?”

“Yes, your investigation. I ordered Secretary Peirce to have you investigate who launched the weapon at New York and how it was possible without using presidential launch codes.”

Fury blinked. Winked? Whatever, he hesitated and Tony wasn’t sure he’d seen the man do that before. “Respectfully, sir, I never received such an order.”

“I see.” Ellis looked to someone off camera, “Tell Secretary Peirce to report to my office immediately.”

“What do you know about the people that launched the weapon?” Tony asked because there was no way Fury didn’t know.

Fury glared at him but Tony’s give a fuck was broken so he just raised his eyebrows in return. “The World Security Council ordered the strike on Stark Tower the end the threat of alien invasion.”

“But it had already ended by the time of the launch,” France objected.

“At the time of the first launch, the threat was still active. The second launch was actually the one that released the missile. I objected to and forcefully aborted the first launch.”

“What I’m hearing is that you had at least two birds on your helicarrier capable of launching a nuclear attack without my authorization,” Ellis interjected looking furious. “How many more do you have?”

“Sir, perhaps we should discuss this in a more—”

“Who is the World Security Council?” Canada interrupted. “I can find no reference of this Council in any of our records. Who’s on it? Who empowered it? What nonsense are they doing other than throwing nuclear bombs at major cities for no goddamn reason?”

“Very good questions,” Ellis’s entire face was red with temper. “Fury, you have twenty minutes to report to my office personally. Leave your stooges at home.

“Johnson!” He shouted at someone off screen, “Get me the director of the FBI, the CIA, the NSA. Hell, get me NCIS! I want—”

And the transmission cut out.

“J, check into Peirce.” Because there had to be something there for the guy just to ignore a presidential order.

“Of course, Sir.”

He stood and wandered out of his private lab. Other than Steve, obviously, all of the Avengers were still in house. He found Bruce in the Penthouse kitchen chatting with Nat and Pepper as he cooked.

“Any of you know anything about magic?” He asked, fingering the silver necklace Queen Hari had given him.

“Other than the fact it scared the jeebies out of me? With the dragon and the summoning everything?” Bruce shrugged. “Hulk liked her?”

“You’re still obsessed over that?” Pepper eyed the necklace in his hands with exasperation.

“He’s the only one that can reach out to a clearly powerful and flexible ally,” Natasha gave Pepper the stink eye. “I’d be worried if he wasn’t obsessed with figuring out how his connection to her worked.”

Pepper turned on Nat and Tony fled. Nat could more than hold her own against Pep and Pep’s attitude about Hari was… weird. It was really weird. Hostile in way he was pretty sure was inappropriate considering Queen Hari had saved all their asses.

He wandered down the stairs to the lounge level. The bar Loki had been half-buried in was visible before he was halfway down and he had to smile. Hari had been great, really. Smart, funny, protective. She’s probably saved his life here in this very room but he didn’t feel like that was a problem. Like it was a debt hanging over his head.

It was nice, actually.

Thor was on his balcony having an animated conversation with a pair of birds. That…was a concern.

“Point break?” He asked as he opened the door and leaned on it.

Thor straightened and turned to look at him. “Lord Stark, I was merely reporting our situation to my father.”

“Your….father?” Because all Tony saw were a matching pair of big, black chickens.

Said big, black chickens focused on him with an unnerving kind of intensity. Thor put up an hand in caution—whether it was for Tony or the birds, he didn’t know—but the birds took flight. One rushed under Thor’s arm, the other over, and they chased Tony into his living room.

“Father!” Thor objected as he followed trying and hesitating to actually grab the birds.

They left off harrying him to fly tight circles around each other, forming a confusing column of feathers. Within the feathers formed a man. White haired, golden armored and eye patched, but a man.

Thor hit a knee.

Tony didn’t. If he was going on his knees for anyone it was Queen Hari not this—

“Where is my son?” Odin rushed him and, like said son, grabbed him by the throat. “And where is the Tesseract?”

“Do you honestly not bother with manners in Asgard?” Queen Hari broke in, to Tony’s eternal gratitude.

Odin released him and turned.

Queen Hari was standing in what appeared to be red and gold tank top and shorts. Pajamas, if he had to guess. A woman in a bath robe peeked out of the open portal behind her and slid her green leather jacket from the other day over her shoulders.

“Thank you, Hermione.”

“Of course, My Queen,” the woman bobbled a curtsy then pulled her wand and took a place at her Queen’s right hand.

“What is the meaning of this?” Odin demanded.

“Tony Stark is under my protection,” Queen Hari announced like this wasn’t fucking news. “Lay a hand on him again, I dare you.”

“I want my son.”

“You can’t have him. He’s healing and will be for quite some time. When he’s ready, he’ll contact you and not before.”

“How do I know you aren’t holding him hostage?”

“I could ask you the same,” Queen Hari raised a single eyebrow at him. “Are you even his father? He thinks he’s adopted. What’s the truth?”

“He is my son,” Odin fumed.

“Biologically or as a war prize?” Queen Hari pressed.

“Both! No other can claim him, his carrier is dead. Return him to me immediately.”

“You didn’t have a problem letting Thanos claim him for what was—to them both—five years. I should get him for at least that long.”

“He’s not a toy to be borrowed, he’s—”

“A sentient, sapient being that you’ve treated like shite,” Hari cut him off. “Just like you’ve treated Lord Stark like shite. God home, Borsson. Your son will reach out to you when he’s ready. Not before.”

Odin glared but disappeared in a storm of feathers.

“Sweet Merlin,” Queen Hari muttered and turned to her people. “Go and thank you. Crisis averted.”

“Death and I will be staying with you, Your Majesty,” the blond man controlling the portal informed more than offered.

“Of course, Ragnar,” she clasped his shoulder and turned to Tony, “do you have anything to drink?”

“Of course,” he agreed and led Hari and Thor over to the bar. “What’s your poison?”

“I don’t know muggle alcohols,” she admitted. “No beer, please.”

Martinis, he decided and started pouring into a shaker. “While you’re here maybe you can explain how I can use the medallion thing?”

“Just hold it in your hand and focus on your need to see me and I’ll come. Of course, if you’re in danger, I’ll come too. Obviously,” since she was there because he had been in danger.

“Yeah, was that in like the fine print? Because I don’t remember agreeing to that.”

“Would you rather still be at Odin’s mercy with only his son who could not actually raise a hand against his King to help you?”

“I apologize, Lord Stark,” Thor interjected. “My brother has been a…difficulty between myself, my mother, and my father since he fell from the Bifrost. I should have anticipated how losing him again would affect my father’s temper.”

“And what would you have done?” Hari asked.

“Left,” Thor answered immediately. “To keep my father far from hurting my brothers-in-arms in a temper, I would have left.”

Hari snorted, clearly not impressed. “You may tell your parents that your brother is in a four-man support group getting mind healing within a time dilation chamber.”

“What’s a time dilation chamber?” Tony asked as he poured and set out their drinks.

“Its a vessel? Room? A building within a building where, when activated, time travels differently than it does in the outside world. We slow time to one minute inside for every year outside in the event we run into some injury or illness we need to research in order to fix. Or we can speed time so that each day outside is a year inside for mind healing or intensive training.”

“How?” He couldn’t help but ask because…what?

Hari snorted and took her first sip. “Ask me a question that I can answer. Its Goblin magic, like the portals you’ve seen us use, and only they understand it truly.”

“Goblins?” Thor frowned.

“Like Ragnar over there,” she pointed at the blonde man pretending to be part of the wall not far from the balcony doors. Death was doing the same not far from the elevators.

“Has your government made a decision yet?”

“They’ve been including me in a bunch of talks,” he admitted. “Because of my perceived access to you. Most of the world governments have made it clear they won’t stand with the US if Ellis decides to double down on that bullshit from last week.”

Hari’s wrinkled nose expressed her distaste for that foolishness.

“Ellis seemed to think Fury was in the process of investigating who launched the weapon but it seems like that order was never passed down the chain. I don’t know if that makes Peirce dirty or complacent but I’m checking it out.”

“I’ll look into him as well,” Hari promised.

Tony opened his mouth to say she didn’t have too…but she’d gotten a nuke thrown at her just as much as he had. More, really, since she’d almost sacrificed her familiar to save them all. “Alright.”

“What do you do for fun around here?” She asked, suddenly. “I haven’t been on Earth in, what, twelve years?”

“Not much dressed like that.” Not that he minded her dressed like that but surely pants wouldn’t be out of line.

She snapped and was suddenly wearing a tastefully ragged pair of jeans, a billowy black silk blouse, and what he was starting to think of as her green combat jacket. “How’s that?”

“That’ll work. Thor?”

The god of thunder shrugged and his plate mail and cloak turned into a tight pair of jeans and a white t-shirt that was one glass of water away from a Spring Break competition.

“Good enough, let’s go.”

-*-

The morning after, Tony woke to find the Queen of Avalon cooking breakfast in his kitchen in her jammies. Death and Ragnar were at his breakfast bar eating and the best coffee he’d ever had was in the pot on the counter.

“This is magic coffee, isn’t it?”

Hari laughed. “The beans were from Avalon but I made it in your grinder and coffee pot so I don’t think it counts as magical.” She slid a plate onto the bar at an empty stool. “Eggs in the basket, I hope overhard is alright. I hate it when my eggs cry at me.”

“Overhard is great.” Mostly because he didn’t have to cook it. He didn’t have to cook the three slices of bacon or the two sausage links either.

Ragnar stiffened as Tony sat next to him and he tried to not take it personally.

“My Queen, Lady Hermione is ready with the afternoon report,” the portal jockey reported.

Hari looked pointedly at him and Tony shrugged.

Hari huffed, “If Tony isn’t going to protect me, I suppose I must. Tell her to bring her own ingredients if she wants breakfast and open your portal by the windows so you don’t damage our host’s electronics.”

Ragnar stiffened again and Tony relaxed. The posture change was the…telepathic communication of some sort, not a personal slight. He was pretty sure anyway.

Tony munched on bacon as he watched Hari shoot a significant look at Death. Her Horseman gave her a small salute and left the bar, pulling a book out of nowhere on his way to the couch.

“Is your offer to spend the weekend still on the table?” She asked once they were alone. “Or was that drunk talk to be disregarded?”

“If you wanna spend the weekend, spend the weekend. You’re welcome here.” Hell, she could spend the week and he would be thrilled. Beyond that, he’d go through Tinker Withdrawal and they’d have to see how it went.

Ragnar reentered the room with the girl that gave Hari her jacket last night. She was carrying a basket with a half dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and a glass bottle full of milk.

“I’m making eggs in the basket,” Hari informed her.

The new woman made a face but nodded.

“Tony, meet my very best friend and the boss of me, Lady Hermione Granger. Hermione, meet Dr. Tony Stark.”

“Dr. Stark,” Hermione nodded.

“Tony, please.”

“Hermione, then.” They exchanged nods and she focused on her queen.

“Let me have it.”

Hermione pulled out a clipboard and a lovely peacock feather out of nowhere. Peacock feather quill, he realized as she checked something off of her list with it. “The Veela have finally signed the agreement to trade mithril with the goblins.”

“Good,” Hari nodded as she plated up the last of her cooking.

“We now have a date for when High Chieftain Ragnok will open his capital city and the date for the city’s inaugural ball that you do have to attend. This is your official six month warning.”

Hari groaned but didn’t argue. “I’ll need a goblin-style gown.”

“You will have one,” Hermione promised and made a note on her clipboard. “Lord Lupin has finished negotiations with the Hogsmeade Town Council for both werewolf and centaur presence on the council and in the town.”

“Good. I was about to kick them out of Avalon if they didn’t. I hope he made it clear their bigotry has their entire town on probation.”

“You should probably kick them out anyway,” Hermione informed her. “At least of the council.”

Hari tapped her chin. “Has Croaker completed the Council Stones?”

“Yes,” Hermione nodded, “and they’ve been erected and celebrated by their communities as required by the ritual. All that’s left is to give them the parameters and activate them.”

“Have them activated. Parameters are seven members; one Centaur, one Werewolf, one Immortal, two witches, and two wizards. Across all levels of so-called blood purity.”

Hermione made a note, “Of course, My Queen.

“The Naga of Earth are still petitioning to join Avalon.”

“They can keep petitioning, I won’t tolerate slavery in my realm.” Hari held up a hand when Hermione opened her mouth to say something. “I don’t care what they call it, their system is slavery and that’s a big fat no from me. They can change their ways and be safe within the borders of Avalon or they can fuck off. It is entirely that simple.”

“I wasn’t actually going to argue with you, just provide the name of their system,” Hermione assured.

“Still don’t care.”

Hermione shrugged. “And, finally, we are ready to send out our ambassadors to indigenous peoples around the Earth. Are you sure you still want to go that route?”

“I don’t see why not. I’ve pulled everyone back from not-Australia, and most of not-Africa and the not-Americas. And I’m never going to tolerate that foolish colonialism Earth indulges in in my Realm. Avalon is a safe place, they need a safe place. If they want to live there in their traditional fashion, they are welcome.”

“Are we including the Burton Collection in the bargain?”

“No, they are welcome to any of the Collection they want, regardless of their choices. Copies, of course.” Hari glanced at Tony and didn’t make him ask. “The Burton Collection are papers written by various magi-anthropologists long before Europeans stumbled upon the Americas. They have no academic value because the authors largely joined the societies they studied rather than remaining objective scholars but they are a fascinating read and probably invaluable to people’s who’s cultures have been all but lost.”

Hermione nodded and stared at her clipboard a moment before sighing. “Many are asking when you will return.”

“You’ve been nagging me about taking a vacation for fifteen years, Hermione.”

“Is that what this is?” Hari just raised an eyebrow as she crunched some bacon. “Tristane and Eduardo were quite distraught to not see you at breakfast this morning.”

“Ugh,” Hari rolled her eyes expansively. “Yes, this is a vacation. I’ll return sometime Monday and you can tell those two little toe rags that even if they were my only marriage options on this entire earth, I would still run off with Death and Ragnar.” Ragnar burst laughing. “I never want to see their faces again.”

Hari pointed a sausage link at the cackling goblin, “Your father would be thrilled to be so closely aligned with the Crown, you know Adam would fuck us both whenever we wanted, and we have the magic between us to make your father the spare heir he’s desperate for without any sort of penetration.”

“You’re right,” Ragnar held up his hands. “I guess its nice to be the Queen of Avalon’s Plan B?”

Hari thought about that. “I suppose it’s not really, is it?”

Ragnar shrugged. “As long as we hit Vegas before the marriage rite, I’m in. I’ve always wanted to get married by Darth Vader.”

“Five years,” Hari offered. “And that’s a deal.”

“We still get to look though.”

“Agreed.” Hari turned to Hermione who looked both frustrated and amused.

“I’ll write the Veela Monarch and tell her what an honor its been to have her son and young cousin at Court but that you’re not ready to wed at this time. Then I’ll speak to Fleur and get her to talk to her great aunt into recalling them permanently.”

“As long as they are gone before I come home Monday, I don’t care.” Hari said with finality. “How are War and Rogers?”

“They’ve come out of the healing chamber for a break. They’ll go back Monday to continue to support Sirius and Loki. Rogers’ Jotun blood is becoming more clear the longer he chooses to remain on Avalon. Rumor has it he and Barnes are looking for a woman to share.”

“Jotun blood?” Tony asked.

Hari nodded. “The Super Soldier Serum was based off of Jotun blood which is inherently magical. More so here on Earth or in Avalon where the conditions are not as naturally demanding as those on Jotunheim. Every human that’s survived super soldier experimentation is technically a hybrid.”

“Okay,” Tony nodded. “A woman to share?”

Hermione shot a look at Hari who shrugged and answered. “There are roughly three wizards for every witch on Avalon. For this reason, witches that are inclined towards marrying wizards are encouraged to marry at least two.”

“Huh.”

Hari shrugged. “Hermione, see if you can point them at Cassidy? She isn’t married or dating—she dumped her last boyfriend just before Yule—and she definitely deserves that much pretty in her life.”

“People are going to object to Captain America moving to Avalon,” Tony pointed out. “They’ll probably want Barnes back when that comes out, too.”

“People aren’t property,” Hari said evenly. “They go where they want.”

“Perhaps it’s time to petition the UN for special immigration status,” Hermione offered. “We can’t be sure Muggleborns will stop being born on Earth and we can’t just stop taking in Muggleborns. They’d have no place to turn to on Earth. No where to be trained, they’d be a danger to themselves and others.”

“Not to mention the people that would take advantage of their vulnerable, untrained state,” Hari agreed.

Hermiome just nodded.

“And a lot of magical children end up abused by their normal family simply because they can’t understand them,” Hari added not looking at them. “I was.”

“My parents weren’t abusive, exactly,” Hermione agreed with a shrug. “But it could be argued they were neglectful.”

“Do we have anyone that can run with this?”

“Penelope Clearwater achieved her degree in International Law from Cambridge and finished her Mastery in Magical Law under Master Fitzgerald. She and Cassidy have been formulating an imigration plan as a personal project but I haven’t kept up with it,” Hermione admitted.

“Give them the go but I want a copy of their plan and any documents they are providing to any one Magical or mundane on my desk immediately. I need to know what they’re doing before it gets very far,”

“You don’t need to read it first?” Tony asked.

“Cassidy Kovac has been the head of my PR team since I was eleven and she was twelve,” Hari explained. “Her oaths to me are quite extensive. She can not willfully do something against my best interests and survive it.”

“Okay,” he agreed because really? What was there to say to that?

“Sir,” JARVIS chimed in, “Ms. Potts is on her way to see you.”

He barely had time to sigh before he hear the tic-tac of Pepper’s heels on the stone floor.

“Well?” Pepper demanded as she looked around. “Where’s the third one?”

“Third one what, Pep?” Tony asked and he noted that Hari turned away from Pepper.

“The third perpetrator!” She slapped down some gossip rag with a picture of Tony, Hari, and Thor walking arm in arm down a sidewalk, laughing. The title was ‘TONY STARK COURTING INTERGALACTIC ROYALTY!’

“I don’t know, I haven’t seen him all morning. J?”

“I believe Prince Thor has returned to Asgard due to the activation of the Bifrost on the roof approximately two hours ago,” JARVIS answered. “I cannot claim certainty. He discussed his intentions with Queen Alexandra, however, as privacy protocols were active I cannot report the content of their meeting.”

“Well?” Pepper demanded of Hari.

Hermione cleared her throat. “Queen Alexandra does not acknowledge nor participate in acts of rudeness. If she did, she would have to take your current behavior as a challenge for the Throne of Avalon. All such challenges are fights to the death, Ms. Potts.”

Pepper made a rude noise and rounded on Tony, “Whatever you’re doing with her, stop. Our government might go to war with her, Stark Industries cannot afford to stand in the middle of that.”

“J, have legal start investigating a corporate relocation to either Canada or France.” He raised an eyebrow at Pepper’s look of shock. “Both prime ministers were very pro-Avalon during our conference call yesterday. Reach out to them on behalf of Stark Industries and have PR arrange a press release. Stark Industries will not side against the people that saved millions of lives in New York City out of the goodness of their hearts.”

“I’m not moving to Canada,” Pepper ground out.

He glanced at Hari’s back and something…something shifted in him. The quiet display of dignity and power gave everything a different shine than it had ever had before. Pepper had always worked to control or perhaps direct him but since the palladium poisoning and Vanko, her efforts had been extreme. He’d assumed she was upset and had given her the space she’d asked for when she broke up with him on that roof top, but this? This wasn’t right.

“I think you need to return to your office, Ms. Potts.” He didn’t react when she scoffed. “When you’re calm, you’ll be embarrassed by this conversation. I know I’m not one to talk about preventing public embarrassment but I would never want to embarrass you on purpose.”

“Fine,” Pepper slapped the newspaper down on the counter and left.

Hari turned around the moment they heard the elevator ding closed. She picked up the newspaper and flipped it over to see the picture. “It’s a great shot,” she said and looked up at Hermione, “I wonder if we can make one of our photos from this? In color?”

“I’ll talk to Croaker.” Hermione took the paper from her, folded it and tucked it under her arm. “Anything else?”

“I think we’re good,” Hari glanced at Tony who shrugged.

“You’ll keep Death and Ragnar on hand for security?” Hermione prodded.

“Not like I need security,” Hari rolled her eyes.

“Appearances are a thing,” Hermione reminded her queen, “and you can’t make dwarven portals. You could apparate to Avalon but that would wipe even you out and you couldn’t take a passenger.”

“I’ll keep Death and Ragnar on hand for security,” Hari finally agreed.

“Thank you, My Queen. It was a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Stark.”

“Same to you,” he waved as she moved off toward his balcony. Ragnar had to jog to catch up to her.

“So,” he asked Hari, “What do you want to do today?”

“I have to read the agreement but after that…” Hari tipped her head to one side. “Is there anything good in the cinema? I’ve watched films before but have never actually been to the cinema.”

-*-

“So,” he started as the waiter left the private room at a good clip. Hari stopped watching the man with amusement to focus on him. “The Hogwarts Chronicles. ”

“I hate those books,” Hari groaned then laughed. “But they’ve earned good money for Avalon and all they cost was my dignity.”

“I heard speculation on the news they were based on true stories. They’re about you?”

“Yes, of course,” she waved a hand. “The authors were clever about protecting me, framing my the stories about various members of my family over something like two thousand years? But, yes, they are all about my time at the British School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hogwarts.”

“And the eight books?”

“Hogwarts offers a seven year educational program but they broke up the events differently and wrote them out of order. Well, the order they were published in is in order. The decades and added historical context make them out of order.”

“Most important question.”

She squinted at him suspiciously, “Okay?”

“What House were you sorted into?”

Hari laughed. “Gryffindor.”

“But only one of your not-ancestors was a Gryffindor,” he protested and leaned back as the waiter returned with their drinks. Hari had asked for tea and it came in an actual tea pot with a whole pouring production to go through before the man left.

“I asked the author team to focus on the other Houses,” she admitted as she fixed her tea. “Gryffindor is rather famous in the magical world for a number of reasons, including my Sorting, but children hardly need their poor impulse control encouraged.” They both laughed. “Honestly! Godric Gryffindor may be my ancestor but he deserves a punch in the face for that nonsense.

“That’s not saying I won’t cheer for the Quidditch team if I’m ever lucky enough to have a child and they get Sorted there but a steadfast, hard working Hufflepuff child would be a gift.”

“Children are…difficult for witches, then?” He tried to ask gently.

“I haven’t tried,” she shrugged casually though he could tell she was unhappy, “but I am the Master of Death. Making life isn’t exactly my wheelhouse.”

“Tell me about it,” he prompted, “about Hogwarts.”

“We did just finish a movie about Iron Man, so I guess that’s fair. Is it weird that they are basically making you a comic book character?”

Tony snorted. “You’d know how that feels as well as I would.”

“Hah! No, there’s never going to be a movie about my adventures,” she said, just short of scathing. “They’re lucky I authorized House gear and plushies of the various familiars and magical creatures.”

The executive chef and owner came by to take their requests. It was so far outside the normal for this particular man that Tony assumed it was because the Queen of Magic was his guest and he wanted to brag. For his part, Tony legitimately didn’t care what he ate but Hari challenged the man to combine and flip two particular items off the menu. The jokingly heated exchange left them all laughing.

“I think my favorite memory of Hogwarts is my first one,” Harry picked up the thread when they were alone again. “Over the course of about a month I’d learned that magic was real and I had it and I was going to this school away from my guardians because my parents had specified it in their Will. Doors opened for me. Doors I never expected, never imagined. I was pretty much free from my guardians at eleven and I didn’t even have to run away.

“Then, I got to King’s Cross Station and had to find my way onto an invisible train platform. And I started making friends. Actual friends. And everyone was smiling at me, they were thrilled to see me and to be going to school and it was all so different.

“Then, we got off the train and were shuttled onto these little wooden boats. And I was on this boat with Hermione and the world’s friendliest half-giant and I looked up and there she was. Hogwarts was this lovely black giant with a hundred golden eyes, standing silent and strong against the night sky. Against everything that ever hurt me.” She sniffled. “For the first time in my life, I felt safe.”

“I don’t know how a giant with a hundred eyes could make you feel safe,” he joked and they both laughed.

“I can show you the memory later.” She promised, still smiling. “Description is not one of my phenomenal cosmic powers, obviously.”

They laughed again.

“What’s a food you never want to eat again?” she threw out there.

“Uh, Thursday, I think, Clint made this beer chicken which wasn’t bad but he also made beer-roasted onions and carrots? That. Never again.” She snickered at him. “Seriously. I’ve never had a cat but I’ve heard tales of their stomach art and it looked like that.

“You?”

“Goat cheese. I don’t care what its in, anything goat cheese is a no go. It smells terrible and the taste lingers in your mouth and sinuses. Just no.”

7 Comments:

  1. This is pure awesome! I love the world building you’re doing here. Thank you so much for sharing this sneak peak.

  2. I’m enthralled already. A super engaging crossover with my favorites paired up and Loki getting some love. Odin being told to fuck off is always a treat as well.

  3. Amazing start. Thank you for sharing

  4. i adore your brain! even if you pick on goat cheese.

  5. Awesomeness. Thank you.

  6. Really enjoying your take on the personalities of the various characters, especially how Hari and Tony are connecting. Continued good luck and energy with your writing

  7. OMG love this so much!

Leave a Reply