Yay, another January 2 update! I got Marvel Unlimited for Christmas and spent days reading comics.
"You know, now that you're free, you really need to get out more than three times a year." Tony says.
Steve looks up from his sketchbook to frown at Tony, as if he's implying James is just a hermit rather than a feared assassin who was practically a myth.
Neither Harry nor James have complained about barely leaving Tony's mansions or Xavier's Institute for nearly a year, but it's not like either of them had much to compare it to. James' experience with the outside world consisted of being used as a weapon, and Harry's consisted of running from HYDRA with James.
Tony's determined to give them some better excursions. So far, their trips to Shawarma restaurants, Central Park and the mall have gone well; they even avoided Magneto's attack.
Hopefully nobody decides to rampage Coney Island today.
Steve turns to James. "Remember when you blew our train money trying to win that stuffed bear?"
"Money's no issue now," Tony reminds them. "Play all the rigged games you want."
"Do they have Quidditch?" Harry asks eagerly.
"Probably not, but they might have some magic stuff now." Tony shoves his hands in his pockets. "I mean, they already had fortune tellers, which are ridiculous, but then again some people buy that crap even today. I'd imagine that back in your day-"
Steve folds his arms, unimpressed, though Tony really couldn't care less. If they get to Coney Island and find it overrun by fortune tellers, he's getting Jarvis to send a suit and hightailing it out of there.
Steve's busy sketching a roller coaster, and James suddenly shares that Bucky made Steve ride the Cyclone before he was enhanced.
"I probably won't throw up this time." Steve rubs the back of his neck. He seems enormously pleased that James remembers this, though saddened when he goes on. "Jarvis said Luna Park was destroyed in a fire in 1944. I was a bit busy fighting Nazis to get that news."
"Coney Island built a new Luna Park in 2010, but it has no connection to the original, which was demolished two years after the fire." Jarvis says from Tony's phone. "The Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel were both made city landmarks in the late 1980s, and the Cyclone was made a national historic landmark in 1991."
"Yep, that's totally the most important thing that happened in 1991." Tony ignores the way James goes taut. "Well, that and me getting shitfaced a bunch."
Of course, Harry repeats the word. Tony may have used it on purpose for that reason. He plasters on a smile and asks "Speaking of landmarks, who wants to set bets on when they'll stick Cap's face on Mount Rushmore?"
"I'm not a president." Steve feigns exasperation, though he knows why that year isn't the best thing to hear and is clearly trying to keep both James and Tony in the present.
Jarvis projects a holographic image of Mount Rushmore from Tony's phone for the unaware members of the group.
Loki gets a mischievous gleam in his eyes. "This Mount Rushmore shows your most important historical leaders?"
"We're going there?" Harry's disappointment is almost palpable. He gives the photo a long, morose look that morphs into concern. "They got turned to stone? You want Steve to be stone? What if they get the Queen?"
"They aren't frozen in carbonite." Tony mutters, receiving several blank looks. Shit, maybe he shouldn't have mentioned being frozen alive around Steve or James. Usually he wouldn't mind needling people or pressing their buttons, but-
Tony's drawn from his thoughts as Steve puts his final touches on his sketch of the Cyclone, then flips the page and shows them all a blank page instead. "It's you, in your invisibility cloak," he tells Harry with a troll grin.
"I can draw it better!" Harry protests, running to fetch a piece of paper. He pretends to scribble all over it and waves the paper with pride. "See! I did it better! You didn't even draw on yours."
Steve suddenly turns to Tony. "Have people still been working on Invisible Ink?"
Jarvis informs them that, during the Cold War, the KGB developed a dry-transfer method involving sandwiching a chemically infused sheet of paper between two ordinary sheets. "The secret message from the top sheet was transferred through the chemicals to the bottom, and the original was destroyed."
"That's kind of outdated now," Tony claps Steve on the shoulder, starting to bring him up to speed on encryption.
Harry plays a roller coaster game by flying his motorbroom slowly up the stairs before speeding down. Steve says he should fly outside, and Tony scoffs. "There are literally teens running through the walls and shooting ice everywhere for most of the year. Why shouldn't he fly inside?"
Harry pauses to ask if they're taking the train.
Loki, of course, scoffs at the idea. "Know that I'm only taking you to-"
"To visit this island of entertainment and revelry!" Thor booms, almost as excited as Harry.
"You booked it out for us, didn't you?" Steve asks, half disapproving and half relieved to avoid crowds of prying eyes and paparazzi.
"Yeah, but I'm bringing the party with me." Tony grins, grabbing Loki's arm. "Beam us up, Scotty."
Loki teleports them there, then vanishes, clearly feeling he has better things to do. Thor's shoulders slump somewhat dejectedly, but he smiles when Harry cheers.
Steve eyes the high-rise apartments before looking up at the wooden coaster.
Coney Island isn't exactly bustling, considering they're the only visitors, but James' eyes scan, constantly assessing for threats.
Harry shows no such concern. He pulls eagerly on James' hand. "Let's ride the Cyclone and see if Steve throws up!"
"I said I could handle it now." Steve reminds him.
"Hate to tell you this, Oliver, but you're not big enough to ride. You need to be fifty-four inches tall."
"I'm almost five." Harry replies obliviously. Even after seeing the height requirement marker over his head, he remains in denial.
He jumps to shoot his hand above the bar.
"That doesn't count." the employee says, clearly wondering if they'll be sued for upsetting the heroes' kid.
"Loki could make me big." Harry says, and Sirius looks rather offended that Harry hadn't even bothered to consider him.
James grimaces. "You're growing so fast already."
Harry clearly disagrees, gazing longingly up at the coaster. "Will I be big enough when I'm five?"
"Fifty-four inches falls into the average range of height for eight-year-old boys, though I must say you are rather short for your age, Master Harry."
Harry pouts for a moment before calling out "Here, broom! Come here!"
Tony's seen Harry's broom rush to him like an excited puppy, but there's no way he can call it from Coney Island. Sure enough, nothing happens.
Harry turns to Sirius, begging his godfather to turn him into a dragon so he can race the Cyclone.
"Being an animagus isn't that simple." Sirius tells him. "Your dad and I didn't figure it out until we were fifteen."
"My first dad? What about the rat guy?" Harry doesn't even pause for answers. "When will I be fifteen?"
"A bit over ten years." Sirius tells him.
"Fear not, young Harry!" Thor exclaims. "You may fly with me, and we will soar faster than this Cyclone."
"Really?" Harry glances at James, who nods once. Harry cheers. "I bet we're going to win!"
"Going to make me ride it again?" Steve flashes a grin at James, already heading towards the loading area.
"Try not to puke on me, punk." James deadpans, likely giving voice to some buried bit of Bucky.
There are no lines, and Tony briefly wonders how patient Harry would be if they needed to wait. Certainly not as patient as he'd been when they first met. Tony hardly recognizes him from that unnaturally obedient and quiet kid who'd been beaten down by the world.
Harry might now be more spoiled than his cousin was, but that's to be expected, living with Tony. If there had been lines, Tony would have bribed their way to the front or just pulled the Iron Man card. Figuratively of course, though maybe he should make some.
Tony climbs into the coaster car behind Steve and James, and Sirius slides in next to Tony. Sirius has never ridden a coaster before, but voices the opinion that it won't be as nauseating as learning to apparate, and adds it's probably not as exciting as flying a broomstick.
Thor holds Harry with one arm, spins Mjolnir with the other, and shoots up to the top of the first crest, far faster than the coaster. Harry shouts delightedly and watches the coaster car's slow ascent with undisguised triumph.
Tony regrets not taking his suit.
An 80 foot hill really doesn't feel all that high to Tony, and a 55 degree drop is nothing next to what he's done in his Iron Man suit. Even other coasters have it beat, but Steve's grinning at James like they're back in the 1900s.
James reaches out to bump Harry's fist.
Then they're plummeting down, swerving around turns, and it almost feels as if the cars will go airborne.
Harry's shrieks are still audible over the wooden clatter and the roar of the wind. Tony starts thinking about the logistics of a flying coaster, though flight would make a track rather unnecessary.
After roughly two minutes, they're pulling back into the station.
"Let's do it again!" Harry laughs, breathless, his face flushed.
"I can do this all day." Steve grins, gesturing to show he hadn't lost his lunch. Not that they've had lunch, yet.
They ride the Cyclone three more times, racing Thor and Harry around the wooden tracks, before Harry starts asking about games.
On the walk over, Steve reminisces about tossing hoops, knocking down cans and firing fake rifles.
Some such games remain, to Steve's delight, but the rifles have been replaced with water guns. James, of course, completely dominates that game, while Harry fails miserably, eyes already on the basketball booth.
James is presented with a giant plush Pikachu. He eyes it, along with the other hanging Pokémon, and asks "Are these magical creatures?"
Sirius clearly has no idea about Pokémon, either, and Tony's knowledge stops at Pikachu. The booth worker, a teenager whose name tag reads Sarika, is apparently a fan and tells them the fire lizard one is called Charmander.
"Want to catch them all?" Sarika grins at the reference. Okay, Tony knows that, too.
Harry, however, drags them over to the basketball game. He does reasonably well throwing the balls in the hoops, a few of which his accidental magic helps out with.
Tony sees a row of Avengers games, with huge, huggable Hulks as prizes. Tony decides immediately that they need to win one for Bruce, even though he stayed home despite the lack of crowds. He could have just sat out of the coaster if it was too exciting, but he's no fun outside of the lab.
There's an archery range with a flashy banner reading Hit the Target like Hawkeye!
The target is designed like one of the Chitauri speeder bikes, and Steve asks if they should really be turning a recent disaster into a game. As long as nobody's made a game of firing a missile through a portal, Tony's not too concerned. Besides, kids get a kick out of pretending to be their heroes.
"Why isn't Mr. Barton here?" Harry asks. "And Cooper and Lila?"
"We can invite them soon." Tony promises. "This would be a good spot for a Harry's Hope event. You know, rent out Luna Park for kids who've been hurt."
Thor has discovered a whack-a-mole game featuring a fake Mjolnir. He hoists it with a hearty laugh, though he takes care not to smash the machine apart when smashing the fake aliens popping out of the holes. Iron Man and Cap pop out of two of the holes as well, clearly designed to dock points if hit.
The booth attendant- a man named Dale- watches, clearly starstruck.
"Where's my game?" Tony grouses, crossing his arms. "I've been a relevant hero here on Earth since 2008. Sure, Spangles and Point Break are practically archeological artifacts, but-"
Harry interrupts with "None of these games are magic." He hefts the fake hammer, which is still huge for his tiny hands.
Dale points. "Magic games are that way."
Clearly on cue, someone starts yelling "Step right up! Want to be a witch or wizard? Cast a spell and win a prize!"
Magic games turn out to be trick wands. One spell- Flipendo- is apparently made up. Sirius claims he's never heard of it, anyway.
Much like the shooting game, the flipendo spell simply knocks targets backwards. Hardly the most exciting spell, to be sure, but Harry doesn't seem to mind.
He does mind that he's missing the targets. He gets what's clearly a consolation prize, that Tony's sure he wouldn't have won if he weren't a famous child surrounded by heroes.
Harry waves the wand at Steve, experimentally, but Steve doesn't budge. Harry, however, clearly had other ideas. "I wanted to turn you into a bald eagle."
Steve turns to Tony to level him with an accusing look, and Sirius says "I don't think you'd be a Ravenclaw."
Tony snorts. Ravenclaw's symbol is an eagle? Why not a raven?
Sirius shrugs. "Then again, animagi forms don't match houses. There isn't a dog house."
"Lucky had a dog house," Harry argues. "but he lived in the Bartons' house anyway."
Sirius transforms one of the prize animals into a large, shaggy dog. Tony smirks. "Going to cuddle up with that at night?"
"I'm going to give it to Cooper." Harry decides. For a kid who'd been denied toys most of his life, he's surprisingly not very clingy over the ones he's winning today.
"Do they win big toy animals at the Olympic Games?" Harry asks.
"No, they win medals. Gold for first place, silver for second and bronze for third."
Harry eyes the plush prizes. "Why don't we get medals?"
"I could transfigure them." Sirius offers, but Harry shakes his head.
Other magic games are clearly rigged. The attendants hand Harry more fake wands, telling him to change the color of a large, animated dragon decoration, or turn it into an elephant.
Tony's sure that there's another witch or wizard hiding in the booth, who's secretly casting the spells but letting the player think they're doing it.
Sirius, on the other hand, needs no such treatment.
The dragon turns red and gold when Tony gives the wand a cursory flick. Another flick, and it breathes fake repulsor blasts like fireballs.
"I guess I'll need to give Coney Island some credit when I make an Iron Dragon suit." Tony pauses and amends. "Or a bot."
He tries to imagine a dragon roaming around with Dum-E and U. It's not that hard to imagine; Harry wins a stuffed dragon that wraps around him.
Tony wonders if any parents are going to freak out about stuffed animals trying to squeeze their children to death. He's sure shit's going to hit the fan eventually; news of magicals attacking mundane people and vise-versa has been prevalent ever since the reveal of magic to the world. Same goes for mutants and non-mutants, as evidenced by Magneto. Such reports were on the back burner during James' trial.
Sure, there's acceptance, like here, but there's a ton of fear and mistrust on all sides. Apparently, not even an alien invasion can actually unite Earth's inhabitants, though it further united Earth's heroes.
Thor finds a booth where the player makes objects disappear. He waves the fake wands with gusto, and one of the prize animals vanishes along with the targets. Whoever's really casting the spell is clearly not as starstruck as some other workers here.
"I see why Loki enjoys seidr so much." Thor laughs as he hauls around their ever-growing collection of giant plush toys, though he soon looks more burdened by guilt than toys.
From what Tony's heard, Loki had been teased for his magic and his preference for brains over brawn for much of his childhood. Loki's still clearly bitter about it, but seems slightly less so after hearing of Harry's plight.
Even if Loki were here instead of doing who knows what, he'd probably make Thor carry around the mountain of animals rather than conveniently sending them back to the mansion.
Steve, Thor and James clear out three hotdog stands, and Tony grimaces. "It's like watching those hot dog eating contests."
Jarvis suddenly speaks from Tony's phone. "Excuse me sir, but you might have a bit of a Public Relations Disaster on your hands."
"Well at least nobody's attacking us." Tony mutters, glancing at his phone. It's news footage of Mount Rushmore, but instead of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt, four giant stone Loki heads grin and make faces at the camera.
Pepper will handle it. Today's Tony's day off.
Tony shoves his phone back in his pocket and addresses the group. "So, who bets we can make Cap barf on the Cyclone after that nauseating amount of hot dogs?"
I've never been to Coney Island, but you can probably tell from Jarvis that I went down a Wikipedia/random internet trivia rabbit hole.