Loki looked around him without any mirth. He had failed to destroy those meddlesome humans that his brother so loved, and he had failed to keep the Tesseract. He had little doubt his crimes would earn imprisonment...Odin could never bear to lose his youngest son.
"Loki, since you show no remorse towards your actions against the humans or your family, I sentence you to banishment until you learn to repent for your crimes. You shall not be welcome on Asgard or any worlds known until your majority or your memories are restored to you. Your magic shall be bound to mortal limits, and your status as Prince of Asgard withheld until you are fit to return among us," said Odin, slamming his staff onto the floor.
He used a little too much energy and ended up turning Loki into an infant child in 1978...in Britain.
Harry James Potter was not your average child. For one thing, he was able to create doubles of himself the fourth time he burned his hand cooking his 'family' a meal. After that he tended to roam around the neighborhoods to avoid his own home.
For another he was a wizard. Not just any wizard though, but the boy-who-lived.
And he hated that nickname.
Harry had long since made a point that anyone who seeks to use that damnable nickname would have to pay a fine of three knuts. The goblins, when told of his plan to make that name one that they hated as much as he did, laughed openly at the trick.
Part of the reason why the Weasly family were 'in the red' so to speak was because of that stunt when he was seven. No one had told them that the goblins automatically deducted the fine from anyone not cleared to use it by Harry himself.
When he was 12, Harry set a Fidilius charm around the damn nickname once he found it. Now the only ones who could talk about it were those who were in the know by the secret keeper...in this case Harry.
He loved watching them try to talk about him behind his back when they couldn't utter certain words or phrases. The people were such sheep that they didn't even realize what he had done.
At age fifteen, Harry had enough of their foolishness. He was ready to leave the magical world of Britain at any time, should he be given reason to do so.
He looked past the identical copies of Privet Drive and sneered. He had high hopes to be made prefect this year over Draco, considering it was his fault Draco was disliked by their housemates.
The little fool didn't even realize he was being played by Harry the entire time, and neither did that pig Ronald.
Harry had been locked inside his room yet again, though unknown to Petunia and Vernon he had long since worked out a way out of the room itself by popping the bolts holding the hinges in and replacing them with convincing fakes that would open when he wanted a few days into his 'new' room when he first got his letter.
He would have starved very quickly if he hadn't thought of that trick, though the multiple locks he later had to jam in such a way that he could pop them back into place made it harder. Harry had always been good at manipulating locks and doors. Hedwig, his beloved companion, hooted in boredom and irritation. She hated cages far more than he did, and they had shared many an evening just flying around Hogwarts.
While he was terrified of lightning, and rightly so after an incident when his cousin had locked him out when he was seven and he had been struck not once, but twice, flying was another matter.
Harry peered across the street where the wizard had fallen asleep and smirked. He had noticed those foolish watchers ever since the second day, and had noted an increase of Ms. Figg showing up far too often to ask him for tea.
He was not an oblivious child. He knew that something was up.
Which was why he was going to enact a rather elaborate plan to find one of his relatives across the ocean. He had over heard, when he was a child, about his mysterious cousins in the Grey family and their 'freak' daughter Jean, who he now suspected to be a mutant.
Harry waited until night fall when his guard would have a twenty minute window before they switched and acted as though he had fallen asleep.
In reality he had picked the lock on Hedwig's cage and donned his cloak. She knew the plan, as he had described it to her in great detail what he had in mind and had long since prepared for this eventuality by packing while he was still in Hogwarts. He had claimed that the death of Cedric had been too fresh for him and had begged off attending the feast for the night. Blaise had looked at him knowingly and said nothing.
Everything he valued enough to keep was in his expanded bag which he had gotten when he 'replaced' his trunk after it had been broken into when he was twelve. He still had no idea how the hell Ginny Weasly had gotten into the tower or his room, which he had warded extensively, when she was from a rival house.
Harry, as a Slytherin, disliked it when such annoyances cropped up. And he was a Slytherin to the core. Even Draco admitted that their second year, when he activated one of his contingency plans after Ginny successfully broke into their tower, though how they had yet to discover.
If Ginerva Weasly had any illusions that he would accept her as Lady Potter when they were of age to married, they were broken that night when he discovered her presence in his room. The word thief had been branded on her back and had only been removed once the year had ended and the diary itself destroyed. Harry had been the one to remove it, but he had broken her childish dreams and alerted her that if she continued to persist in the illusion that he would be her husband later then her family would be so in debt that it would be unlikely that they would ever dig themselves out. They were barely making ends meet as it was.
As it was, the only ones out of the Weasly clan he willingly associated with were the twins and two oldest brothers. Bill was an excellent source of information when it came to goblin cultures, and Charlie enjoyed speaking about his charges.
Harry crept out of the house and once he was far enough that the other watcher wouldn't see him, conjured a taxi. Bill had been quite helpful in telling him how to summon the magical cabs instead of the less than pleasant Knight Bus.
"Where to governor?" asked the cabbie, a muggleborn by the looks of it.
"The second nearest Gringotts branch. I have no desire to deal with the hustle and bustle of Diagon," said Harry frankly.
"Slytherin?" asked the cabbie before he put the car in gear.
"One who has never once spoken a word against the mundane born, and indeed hexes anyone stupid enough to utter the word 'mudblood' in my presence. Malfoy was most displeased when he learned why I had been hexing him so frequently," said Harry with a drawl.
"Younger, sadly. The older apparently knows what the word 'tact' means. Though I did hex Lucius Malfoy's hair a most garish pink when he nearly got me killed."
The cabbie snickered evilly.
"You're alright for a snake kid. Was a Badger meself," said the cabbie.
"I prefer the Puff's to the Lions in all honestly. While their general niceness is a bit grating, they aren't all bigots like half the lion house or nosy as the 'Claws. And don't get me started on my own house. If I hadn't shown that I was fully prepared to hex anyone who pissed me off, they would have eaten me alive," said Harry honestly. What was it about cab drivers that made people chatty?
"So what sort of music you like?" asked the cabbie.
"Irish, ironically enough. Particularly that group called the Irish Tenors. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Linkin Park, but sometimes it's nice to hear singing without having your ear shouted off by a poorly tuned instrument."
"The Green Fields of France, which was based on a visit to a fallen soldier's grave named Willie MacBride. It was sad, but a fitting tribute to a fallen soul," said Harry.
Finally they reached the nearest Gringotts branch Harry tipped the man ten galleons, five more than the fee had been considering the meter and he sped off.
After that it took him two hours to find out where his mystery cousin, one Jean Grey, lived and to arrange a meeting in New York. Apparently she was one of the few mutants that the goblins took note of because she was related to Lily Evans, wife of James Potter.
There was no way he was staying in England, not if Voldemort had returned. He knew exactly where that road led, and he wanted no part of it.
He was not their bloody martyr.
Jean sipped her drink while waiting for her cousin. To be perfectly honest she was shocked that any of her family would willingly associate with her after they learned of her power. Her boyfriend, Scott, sat next to her comfortingly.
"When does his plane get in?" asked Scott.
"It just landed," said Jean, her powers overhearing the thoughts of the passengers. Surprisingly she couldn't catch a hint of her mystery cousin.
Fifteen minutes after it landed, she caught a glimpse of her mystery cousin. He took one look at her hair and immediately honed in.
"You must be Jean. I'm Harry," he said politely, shaking her hand.
"Scott Summers," said her boyfriend.
"Charmed. Hmm? I see the report about you being a natural psychic wasn't lying. Don't look so alarmed, I have nothing against others with a unique genetic quirk. One of my uncles happens to be a werewolf and I get along perfectly fine with him," said Harry.
"Why can't I read your thoughts?"
Harry tapped his head.
"Mental barriers and dampeners. One of my teachers had a rather disturbing habit of listening in to the minds of young children just to keep them in line. The second I heard a rumor about it I researched how to make a barrier. No one can read my mind without my say-so," said Harry proudly.
"You really have nothing against mutants?" asked Scott quietly.
"So long as they aren't trying to kill me, we'll have no problems. I've had enough racial bias to last me a lifetime thanks to my so-called aunt thank you," said Harry flatly.
"Welcome to the Institute Harry."
"I have to say, this place is interesting enough to rival Hogwarts. Nowhere near as big though."
"My name is Charles Xavier. You already know your cousin Jean, and her boyfriend Scott. This is Aurora Monroe," said Xavier.
"Pleasure to meet you Ma'am," said Harry. Jean looked highly amused at something.
"May I ask why you fled Britain?"
"Are you aware of the terrorists and mass attacks on people in the seventies? The man responsible for them came back last fall and if I had stayed I would have ended up in a war zone. I have no desire to be forced into a fight that I have nothing to do with," said Harry bluntly.
"Ah...If I may, would you allow me to see your memories? It would answer a lot of questions and relieve some of my worries."
"Concerned I'm a mutant-hater?" said Harry amused. After dealing with Petunia and Vernon for fourteen years, he had enough of that nonsense.
"Among other things," admitted Xavier.
Harry lowered some of his mental barriers, enough for Xavier to 'read' all of his memories for the past five months or so and to see the Dursley family in all their 'glory'. That was more than enough to satisfy Xavier's interest.
"I'm sorry you had to suffer the loss of a classmate."
"I have always gotten along well with the house of the loyal and hardworking, and the fact I could give them the name and picture of his killer had only proved that I cared. I even stole his wand so that he would have to procure another," said Harry sadly. While Cedric hadn't been his friend, per say, he had been a good and honorable man.
Harry had done his best so that his parents would at least have a chance to bury him honorably.
"So he's good to stay?" asked Jean.
"He's free to stay. I saw no resentment or anger towards mutants, just indifference."
"Guess we'll show you to your room then..." said Jean.
"All I ask is that I don't end up with someone who snores," said Harry flatly. Her lips quirked.
"I believe we can arrange that much."
"Hi, I'm Bobby."
"So what's your power?"
"Too ranged to tell honestly. I can make illusionary doubles and eventually turn into an animal...oh, and I can talk to snakes like it's the Queen's English."
"Help me find a snake and I'll show you."
Bobby grinned. His new roommate was going to be fun to have around he could just tell!
Scott ran into the room when he heard the screams from some of the girls.
It took him five seconds to find out why...a few harmless garden snakes had someone gotten into the mansion. Then he heard the snickering.
"Oh dear lord, not another one," said Scott.
Bobby and Harry were clearly behind the prank. Harry walked into the room and hissed lowly. The snakes immediately slithered up his arms.
"Well at least you won't be drawing too much suspicion around here. Snake-talking is relatively normal compared to the others...though you two are going to explain to Jean why I had to leave the room," he said dryly.
"Tell her I was making my monthly offering to my patron god."
Scott blinked at that.
"You have a patron god?"
"Most who follow the old ways of magic do. In my case I follow some of the more reasonable Scandinavian beliefs, namely the Norse ones. Everyone back home knew I was a devout follower of Loki. No one has ever cared before," said Harry with a shrug.
"You actually practice the Norse religion?" asked Scott incredulous.
"Considering the fact my dad, uncle and godfather were notorious pranksters in their youth?" said Harry with a roguish grin.
Scott pinched the bridge of his nose.
"You are going to explain tomorrow what that means. In the meantime, could you set the snakes outside?" he asked.
"Sure. They were only doing it to look at the girls anyway... I swear most snakes are glorified perverts," snorted Harry.