Chapter Twenty-Four: The End
"We're lost!" Hermione said in her usual bossy voice that was slowly driving Holly mad. The two girls were still hidden under the invisibility cloak, but it had quickly become tiresome even though both girls were small.
"We are not lost," Holly said as she tried to remain upbeat, but even she felt like she had been walking around in circles. The palace was larger than she had anticipated. "We are just not in the right place."
"So, we're lost." Hermione said back sarcastically.
"I hear them, but where the hell are they." Holly brightened up when she heard Tony's voice and removed the cloak without thinking. She was just happy to see any of the Avengers. "Tony!" she hugged him fiercely.
"Holly." Tony returned the hug just as fiercely even though he wasn't what you would call a hugger. "And bushy hair. You're ok, you're safe, where is Arista? How did you even escape?"
"Because of a phoenix," Hermione blurted out. "He saved us, Dumbledore send us this indivisibility cloak. It used to belong to Holly's father."
Tony shook his head. "Nice. Would it kill him to show up occasionally?"
Odin turned his head slightly when he heard a crack, his spear was held tightly in his hand. He looked at his eldest son who was holding the hammer and nodded once. Thor returned the nod, agreeing with his father that he had everything under control should anything happen. Natasha gripped her gun though she knew that it would be useless when dealing with non-human enemies, but she would rather die than be caught off guard. Clint settled on his bow and arrows and Steve raised his shield. Bruce had stayed behind with Frigga and an ill Loki in case the all mother needed backup.
They heard the crack sounds again as they turned their head slightly towards one of the pillars. Several of the pillars surrounding the large castle began to break. Hermione whimpered. "Hide behind the cloak," Tony whispered harshly towards Hermione and Holly as he wrapped the cloak around them. "And whatever happens don't make a sound and don't move, well move if something is flying in your direction, but other than that, don't move. I will tell you when it's safe."
Hermione and Holly nodded as they wrapped the cloak around their small frames. The rest of them were tensed, preparing for battle. They finally saw a woman flying in midair, she was holding a sword as she looked furious. "Where is she? Where is the little brat? She did something to the necklace."
Iron Man flew towards her. "Well, you're not dealing with her now, you're dealing with me." He blasted her but Arista managed to dodge them. Clint managed to jab an arrow in her leg distracting her for a second. Natasha used that opportunity to shot her three time across the legs and chest.
Arista hissed as she send some sparks flying their away. Clint cursed when one of the sparks fell on his skin and caused second degree burns on his arms. Steve raised his shield and protected Clint and Natasha since they didn't have suits. Thor raised his hammer letting out a bout of lighting that Arista paid no attention to.
Arista managed to overturn Steve and Clint and she knocked Natasha down ready to slice her head off. Natasha kicked Arista in the stomach.
Thor managed to pull Arista away from Natasha as he pressed the hammer against Arista's stomach so that she wouldn't be able to move. Arista grunted.
Arista struggled against the weight of the hammer, attempting to move, but even she knew that it was impossible. Odin jammed his spear inside her heart and Arista let out a choke sound as her eyes froze in pain. Odin looked exhausted as he said. "It is done."
Frigga and Odin let them stay in the palace until the following morning though Holly saw that Odin didn't seem the least bit pleased to have humans stay here, no matter how much Thor was fond of them, but Frigga had quickly shut him up.
Holly had woken up for the first time relaxed with Hermione curled up next to her on the large bed in the guest room that Frigga had lent them. Now after breakfast they would be going back home and Thor seemed disappointed at the thought.
"Holly." Holly turned around and saw that it was Loki who was calling out for her. He looked better considering everything that he had gone though. But after Arista had been killed the curse had been disactivated, thought that hadn't stopped Frigga from fussing all over him though Odin still looked weary at him.
Holly went towards him, while Tony got out of his chair. Loki snorted in his direction. "Relax, Stark I do not wish to harm her. I do not exactly have the energy and I'm not an idiot."
"Fine," Tony said. "Holly, holler if you need anything."
Loki scowled at him and Holly followed him outside of the grand dining room, unsure of what Loki wanted. Loki was staring at her, his lip curled unsure of himself of how he wanted to continue the conversation. "I apologize." He finally said. "For kidnapping and for making you a prime target against Lady Arista."
Holly nodded. "Well, you apologized so that's good. Besides no one got hurt and Hermione is ok."
"You're a very unusual child, Holly Potter."
Holly attempted to hug him, but she was much shorter than him and ended up hugging his legs instead catching Loki by surprise. "Will you teach magic to me and Hermione sometime?"
"I will," Loki said. "It will be the least I can do."
Four Years Later…
"Tony, Stark would you hurry up," Natasha said as she looked over her shoulder for a second and then looked back towards the crowded King Cross' station. She curled her lip. She had never like crowded places mainly because she thought they were dangerous. Though Albus had assured her that everything was safe, that Holly was completely safe, and that there were undercover wizards everywhere in case of an emergency after Natasha had written him a strongly worded letter regarding safety.
"I'm coming." Steve and Tony had been chatting while Tony told him everything he had missed while he was being a "block of ice." Steve hadn't done much traveling lately though Natasha noticed that he looked a little sad. He was probably thinking about Peggy.
Bruce was helping Holly push the cart towards platform 9 ¾ wherever that was, while Clint held a birdcage that held Hedwig, Holly's new snowy white owl. Mr. Owl would be staying back at Avengers tower in case any of the Avengers wanted to write a letter to Holly.
Tony hadn't exactly been thrilled that Holly had chosen to attend Hogwarts rather than the American Wizarding school, but he eventually agreed with the idea when he realized that Hermione would also be attending and that Holly's own parents had attended the school.
"Squirt, where exactly are we supposed to go?" Tony asked as his eyes went from platform 9 to ten.
Steve shrugged. "Maybe we could ask someone."
Clint snorted. "Ask someone where the magical train that takes them to the wizarding school is? They'll love that."
"Do you have a better idea?"
"Hey, no fighting." Natasha scolded as they came closer to platform nine they saw a red headed woman arguing with several children. "Fred-no stop Fred don't put that in Ron's ear. Ginny, stop crying you will go next year dear. George, it's your turn dear, hurry before anyone sees. Hurry, Fred now you two don't want to miss the Hogwarts express."
At the name, Hogwarts, Holly's ears perked up as she made a beeline towards the red headed woman. "Excuse me," she said softly. "Do you know how to get to platform 9 ¾?"
"Yes, dear. First time I see," Molly said as she eyed the Avengers. "My, you have a lot of people with you. That's nice. I'm Molly Weasley. I'll tell you how to get to the platform. This is my son, Ron. Ron, stop fidgeting. He's a first year, say hello Ron."
"Hello," Ron murmured, turning slightly pink. There was a rat sitting on his shoulder. "What's your name anyway?"
"Holly. Holly Potter."
Ron gaped and Molly scolded him slightly though even she looked a bit surprise. "Close your mouth dear. Now, we'll go first Holly and the rest of you can follow. It's easy, the train is right through this wall right here. Watch us, come along Ginny, Ron."
The Avengers and Holly watched as Ginny, Molly, and Ron went through the wall as if they had disappeared into thin air. Clint whistled. "That will never stop bring creepy."
"Stark, I think only you and Holly should go," Bruce said. "We don't want to attract to much attention."
Tony nodded, "You're right. Holly, you should say goodbye. We won't see each other until Christmas."
"But we'll write a lot of letters," Natasha said as she hugged her tightly as Holly took turns hugging each of her super aunt and uncles. Tony got a hold of Holly's things while Holly got Hedwig.
"Ready?" Tony said as he squeezed Holly's hand. Holly nodded as she gulped nervously as they both ran towards the wall. Holly opened her eyes when she heard a whistling sound. She gaped when she saw the large train standing in front of her and dozens of kids in robes.
"Holly!" Hermione said as she came running towards them. "You're late. Hi, Mr. Stark."
Tony laughed, "Hi, Hermione." He nodded as a wizard took Holly's things from him and her owl.
"We better get going," Hermione said. "Ron said he would save us a seat." She pointed to the red headed boy.
Holly nodded. "I'll be right there." Hermione nodded as she followed Ron insider the cart.
She looked at Tony. "So, I won't be back until Christmas." She bit her lip.
"It will go by fast," Tony tried to keep his voice from cracking. "You'll see, kid."
The train whistled again. "All aboard. Last chance!"
"You better get going," Tony hugged her tightly. "I love you, kid. You're going to go far, Holly."
"I love you too," Holly whispered in his ear. "And.. . thank you for everything. I never did thank you. I'll see you at Christmas."
Tony smiled. "I will be counting down the days. Now hurry up. Hogwarts is waiting."
So, we have reached the end of From a Cradle to a Grave. Thank you everyone for all your great support!