Author: cywsaphyre PM
Oneshot in the Finding Home!verse. The problems grow as Harry receives a letter. It's been eight years after all.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - Harry P. - Words: 3,170 - Reviews: 96 - Favs: 676 - Follows: 120 - Updated: 02-12-13 - Published: 06-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8193983
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter...
NOT the sequel; just a oneshot I decided to slip in between the two. My profile page shows the order in which the entire series will go in, though there're only three titles up so far.
And this series will be based on the Avengers in the 2012 movie only. So none of the other Avengers from the comics, etc will show up.
Summary: Oneshot in the Finding Home!verse. The problems grow as Harry receives a letter. It's been eight years after all.
"-so we could send the spell from the Empire State Building. That would make sure most of the streets in Manhattan are covered."
"How are we going to get up there though? Even Mr. Stark's been warned away from destroying that place. Again. "
"I can Apparate us up there. It's high, but I can still see the top so it shouldn't be a problem."
"Couldn't S.H.I.E.L.D. just give us clearance so we can go through the building like normal people?"
"I wouldn't bet on it. Fury's been in a bad mood ever since this whole thing started, and as someone who's been working for the guy for years, trust me when I say he's not going to be in a good mood until this is all over. "
"I wasn't aware Fury had good moods. I always thought he could only switch from bad to bad-tempered, and to tolerable on crisis-averted days."
"...Potter, you've been spending too much time with Stark."
"No, actually, that was just me. Fury's not my favorite person in the world at the moment."
"Is he ever? I suppose he tried to get you to reveal your informant again?"
"Pretty much. He-"
"Did you hear that?"
Standing around the table, Harry, Clint, and Steve all looked up to blink at Bruce who had tilted his head and was staring at the door with a puzzled expression.
"It sounds like Stark," Steve said after a moment as Harry waved a hand at the door to open it.
Tony's voice, though muffled, was still clear to everyone in the room as it echoed through the vents. "Help! Attack! Help!"
None of the Avengers or Harry had ever heard Tony take on such an odd panicked tone before and they all took off running, Harry Apparating ahead to the penthouse without them.
"Damn," Clint grumbled as they raced up a flight of stairs. Tony had shut down all the elevators at Harry's request. The wizard had been working on wiring the entire building with defensive and offensive magic, and while he was very adept at combining it with electricity, it still made the whole process easier if everything run by electronics was turned off while he worked. "I don't care if Apparating is uncomfortable. At least it's a lot faster."
When they burst into the penthouse, weapons drawn, they were expecting a lot of things. A premature attack from Thanos. One of Tony's A.I.s finally losing control. Maybe even some idiot who decided breaking into Stark Tower would be a good idea.
What they weren't expecting was Tony hunched down behind his couch with a roll of newspaper in hand, odds and ends scattered on the ground, and a small grey owl screeching at the top of its lungs and whizzing around the room like an out-of-control firework, evidently annoyed at having things thrown at it.
"What. The. Hell." Clint deadpanned, lowering his bow after examining the bird and making sure it wasn't some gag gift from a past villain sent to explode on them. Instead, there was what seemed to be a folded piece of paper tied to its leg.
Steve had raised both his eyebrows at the sight of Tony, wondering if he had somehow fallen asleep while listening to Harry and Bruce volley ideas back and forth about the transmitter and was stuck in some bizarre dream.
"That's what I said," Natasha called from her place on the other side of the room. She seemed more amused about the whole situation than confused. "I'm not really sure what's going on here but apparently, the mighty Stark is afraid of owls."
"I am not afraid of them!" Tony snapped, ducking when the owl zoomed across the room again. "I just don't like them. What's an owl doing in Manhattan anyway? And I thought they were nocturnal; it's the middle of the day!"
Thor was watching the bird with great interest. "There are owls on Asgard, and they are nocturnal as well, but they are mostly larger than this one. Only owlets are of this size."
Bruce, after a cursory glance at the bird, had moved his gaze to Harry. The wizard was standing in the middle of the room, following the owl's path with the most peculiar expression on his face, half recognition and half something else, something that reminded Bruce of... dread.
But before he could call Harry out on it, the mechanic said sharply, "Tony, stop throwing things at him. He's not going to hurt you."
"He? How do you know it's a male?" Thor studied the bird closely. "It's very tiny."
"He's a Scops owl," Harry explained. "I guess you don't have those on Asgard. They're a very small species overall. Only the Elf owl is smaller." He turned to look up at the blur of grey again. "Pig!"
The owl, still hooting shrilly, made a sharp turn and dive-bombed Harry, almost missing his shoulder as he landed.
"I might have heard wrong," Steve said slowly. "But did you call that owl 'Pig'?"
Harry chuckled, reaching up to untie the parchment on the bird's leg. "His name is Pigwidgeon but everyone just calls him Pig for short." As soon as the note was freed, Pigwidgeon took off again, this time zipping around Harry with obvious excitement.
"Is it a letter?" Natasha asked, coming forward to peer at it. "You said that's how wizards and witches communicate, right?"
Harry nodded absently but made no move to unfold it, staring moodily at Pigwidgeon instead.
Bruce was the first to break the silence. "If you know the owl, that must mean one of your friends sent you a letter," He hesitated and Tony slowly stood from behind the couch, a sudden pensive expression furrowing his brow as he stared at the letter.
"Do you want us to leave for a bit?" Bruce finally offered even though the curiosity amongst them was almost palpable.
Harry blinked, glancing around before looking back down at the parchment. "It really isn't anything interesting," He sighed, running a hand through his hair in a distracted manner. "It just means they've finally decided to look for me, that's all."
He turned back to Pigwidgeon who had finally settled on the coffee table, blinking up at Harry. "Does Ron want an answer?"
The owl hooted, quieter this time, before flying over to Harry again and settling down on his shoulder once more. Harry heaved another sigh and nodded before looking back at the Avengers scattered throughout the penthouse. "I'll read this in my room," He said, heading for the door. "Don't mind me. I'll be back in a bit."
Without another word, he disappeared out the door, owl still balanced on his shoulder.
Behind him, the Avengers all exchanged a look.
"Is it just me," Steve asked the room in general. "Or does it feel like something really bad is going to happen? Thanos aside?"
It's been a while, hasn't it? I'm not really sure if this letter will reach you, and you know Pig; he's still as crazy as ever. But if you're reading this, that means he did his job properly and you didn't throw this out as soon as you got it.
If you've reached this far, keep reading. I know we haven't kept in touch for years but, well, I've missed you, mate, and so have all of your friends here. When we found out you had left thoseMuggles that family in Muggle London, we had no idea where you had gone. We didn't want an owl popping up in some Muggle house if you were staying with another family so we tried to look for you ourselves for a while. Kingsley even helped by sending out some notices of you to other Ministries. The twins had a laugh at that though I don't think they really thought it was all that funny, especially after Hermione and I saw them vanishing the flyers that some Ministry officials were passing out.
Hermione (she's here with me) says I'm rambling so I'll get back to the point. Some Aurors from the American Ministry picked up huge uses of magic for the past few weeks coming from New York. Not illegal, mind you, since they're not as strict about that sort of thing as we are and they're okay with it as long as they don't have to Oblivate a lot of people. Apparently, Americans are pretty much used to weird things happening around them and they just chalk it up to monsters and heroes and the like. Pretty crazy, huh? But anyway, one of the Aurors saw you and reported back which is how we found out where you are, but we just wanted to know that you aren't in any sort of trouble over there. There's been talk of a terrorist attack where you're staying and it would be best if you returned to Britain soon. If New York really will come under attack, we'll be coordinating with the American Ministry to contain it, so best get out while you still can, although I'm sure the whole terrorist issue is a load of b0llocks. Still, to be on the safe side, do come back, mate.
I know it's been a long time and I we regret not staying in touch, but you were living with Muggles and you didn't seem to want anything to do with the Wizarding world anymore. If you had-
Harry stopped reading at that point, tossing the letter onto his desk before leaning back in his chair. Well, he had to admit it was rather impressive that Ron and Hermione managed to get through three paragraphs before they started pointing fingers again.
At first glance, the letter seemed like a friendly overture from Ron, with a touch of his wife's input, but he knew Hermione's subtle hand when he saw it. Mentioning the British Ministry and his use of magic, and giving a vague warning of the pending containment; it was clear the British wanted their poster boy back where they could keep an eye on him, and they had either enlisted his two former friends' help, or they had volunteered themselves. It didn't really matter one way or the other.
What did matter was the containment. The Aurors had done something like that after Voldemort's fall, setting up wards around a town where a large number of Death Eaters had been hiding, mindless of the Muggles residing there. True, compared to the havoc the Death Eaters could have caused had they not been confined, a few dozen Muggles seemed inconsequential. Regrettable, but insignificant when looking at the bigger picture.
That was what most people thought. Harry hadn't been one of them, but he hadn't even heard of the containment policy until after the fact, and he had had to watch as the Aurors cleaned up the bodies that littered the town, escorting the handful of terrified Muggles still alive to the Ministry to be Obliviated. Those particular wards were a death sentence, invented by goblins, revised by wizards, and used for nothing short of execution. They were designed to cage and then kill any who wandered too close to the wards. It was a slow method, waiting for the food supply to deplete or the Death Eaters to leave town, but it worked. Certainly easier than chasing dark wizards across Europe.
But that had been when everything had started falling apart. The war had messed with them all, forcing them to grow up sooner than they wanted. By that point, Ron hadn't seemed all that concerned with the safety of civilians, and Hermione had lost most of the compassion she had always had towards strangers, saving them for the people she knew. No one had been untouched.
But during the containment debacle, perhaps the one most affected had been one Bill Weasley. Harry had heard afterwards that Bill had had a hand in revising the death wards. He had been given a small part of it to work on and hadn't known what it was for until the entire thing was put together. In the aftermath, Harry had taken one look at the curse breaker and instantly recognized the haunted, lost look in his eyes. It was the same expression that caused him to avoid mirrors at all costs after seeing it in his own eyes.
Harry had given Bill two weeks but the eldest Weasley sibling hadn't seemed to be in any hurry to pull himself out of the despair he had sunk into, the hopelessness Harry was more than intimate with and, to this day, was still struggling to overcome. It had been a lot worse then, even though he had tried to ignore it, but he honestly hadn't wanted to see anyone else follow him, knew how dark depression could get, so he had dropped a few words to the Ministry, who, back then, had been falling all over themselves to please him, and within a few hours, Bill had been given an out from the Death Eater hunt, his former job calling him back to Egypt where a house would be waiting for him and Fleur, all paid for by the courtesy of the Ministry. Bill had seized the offer like a lifeline, ignoring his mother's wishes for him to stay closer to home. Fleur had been relieved as well. She had been the only other person to see Bill's slow spiral into depression, going about his day with mechanical motions, and a job that had nothing to do with killing had had her packing their bags almost before her husband had said yes.
Harry had paid for it all of course; the house, the money needed for the goblins to get Bill a spot on a curse-breaking team. Bill had given up his own spot when the war had started and with the Weasleys' financial situation, it hadn't even been a possibility for Bill to rejoin afterwards.
Perhaps Bill had been suspicious of the Ministry's uncharacteristic generosity, and Harry had been bringing up a few questions during casual conversation for the past few days, just to make sure going back to Egypt was what Bill wanted, but the curse breaker had visited Harry, who had already rented a small flat of his own at that point, the night before he was scheduled to leave, and had invited him out for a round of drinks.
Bill hadn't questioned him about his hand in his sudden job offer, hadn't said thank-you either, which was what Harry preferred and why the curse breaker was one of Harry's favourite Weasleys; he never asked too many questions. But Bill had asked if Harry wanted to come with them, offering him the guest bedroom in their new house in Egypt. Harry had thought of responsibilities and the newlyweds' need for privacy and space to heal and had declined in the end, though a part of him had wanted to accept.
After Bill left, Harry had stayed on with the British Aurors for another six months, killing and trying not to get killed, before finally throwing in the towel when the Ministry had ignored him and put up another set of death wards around another Muggle town. Harry had torn them down before destroying all copies of the wards the Ministry had managed to get their hands on before quitting the magical community for good.
Evidently, he hadn't managed to destroy all of it, or the Aurors had somehow managed to strike a bargain with the goblins again. Either way, the very idea of putting up death wards around New York was so insane it would be unbelievable if Harry didn't know firsthand what Ministries were capable of.
What he wanted to know was why the Wizarding world thought it would be a good idea to wipe New York off the map. Had they somehow picked up Thanos' impending arrival and decided one city was better than the world?
Well, he thought grimly as he pulled out a piece of paper and a pen, it certainly wouldn't work. He had learned long ago how to counter death wards and destroy them with relative ease. He had put too much work into this city just for some stuck-up Ministry officials to destroy it. The wards he was planning to set up around Manhattan would contain the damage just fine.
It took him a moment to decide what to write, but he finally decided on distantly friendly, thanking them for the warning, assuring them that he had already been thinking of packing his bags after hearing of the terrorist attacks, and other things that basically amounted to, as Tony would put it, meaningless bullshit.
"Take this back to Ron, Pig," Harry told the owl after it had drunk some water and swallowed a few strips of bacon. He made sure the note was tied securely to the bird's leg before opening a window for it. Pigwidgeon hooted, looking more serious than it had ever been in all the time Harry had known it. It hopped onto Harry's shoulder, nipped his ear affectionately in a ghost gesture of Hedwig's usual greeting, before finally setting off again, whizzing out the window at its usual dizzying speed. Harry watched it go, memories of his own faithful owl clouding his mind for a moment before he shook his head and turned away.
He had more bad news to give the Avengers, another argument with Fury to get into, and another afternoon spent out on the streets of New York, setting up counter wards against the death wards, and this time, he would have to extend them around the entire city and not just Manhattan.
And all because of one damn letter.
Finished! Like I said, just a oneshot.