A New Journey
Harry was in Potter Manor, alone, deep in thoughts, trying to decide what to do with his life. Last two years of his life had been a deadly rush of adrenaline. The resurrection of Voldemort, Death Eater plots, politics, war, all generously sprinkled with the encounters in spicy kind with his many girlfriends and other exquisite females.
But after the death of Voldemort and destruction of the last significant Death Eater cell, he found himself not knowing what to do next. His girlfriends were following their own passions, Hermione in Magical Law, Susan in Aurors, Daphne in Politics, Fleur in Banking… While spending rest of his life filled with sex and fun sounded pleasant, he knew himself enough to realize that such inaction would make him a resident of the land of crazy in short order.
Still, his future prospects were surprisingly bleak. Politics was out. Even during the war, when things were as straightforward as it could be in politics, it wasn't something he enjoyed doing, but it was too horrible to even contemplate during the peacetime. They would shower him with several key roles and lots of support, until he found himself so wrapped up in conflicts of interest that he couldn't scratch his own head without creating a widespread panic about whether he was taking over the ministry. After all, it was what happened to Dumbledore after his own victory, turning him into an ineffective grandfather figure despite all the power and respect he accumulated through blood and sweat.
In the same vein, taking up a normal job was also out of consideration. No matter which career he chose, office politics would warp around him until the strain broke the place. Not to mention, he didn't have even the slightest desire to follow a two-bit bureaucrat's orders for years while trying to soothe their small egos. Going in business, trying to merge magical and mundane technology sounded nice, but he lacked the necessary background for it. While he was very capable magically, his mundane education was stuck in middle school level. He considered going for a mundane school for a few years. He would be able to catch up with the other students relatively easily with a careful application of the Occlumency, and it would allow him some time to come to a more solid decision…
Then his thoughts were distracted by a sudden flaming explosion in the middle of the room, not tripping any of the extensive wards covered his home. He would have been on alert, ready to blast its source, if he wasn't already familiar with the source of said flames. Instead, he raised his arm, allowing the source to perch there. "Hi, Fawkes." He received a thrilling song as an answer, one his mind translated as gladness. But then Fawkes sang once more, this time a song of distress. Harry felt his mouth dry in panic. Even in the worst moments of the war, he never saw Fawkes distressed. Sad, yes, vaguely concerned, yes, but never distressed.
Harry always felt that, despite what most people thought, Phoenixes were not just some magical creature. They had a connection to something much greater on a cosmic scale. And whatever that managed to create such a distress in her, it was not something he could ignore. "Of course I will help you," Harry said. "But how?" Fawkes said nothing, just disappeared in a plume of flames.
When they reappeared, Harry finds himself in front of a building entrance, but it was already night. America, Harry assumed, considering all the signs were in English but there were several hours time difference. 'Bayville High School' the sign read. He cast a notice-me-not charm in reflex, then turned towards Fawkes curiously, and she sent several more images into his mind. A huge Phoenix in space somehow linked to this school, and Harry himself in school uniforms. It was clear that she was asking him to investigate what was going on there. "Of course, Fawkes, it's not like I can deny you a favor after all you did for me," he said, rubbing where the basilisk had bitten his arm when he was in his second year. Fawkes gurgled a song of happiness and disappeared, and left him alone in the courtyard. "Cheeky bird," he murmured as he walked away, composing the letter he was going to send to Goblins. Considering their efficiency, his transfer to Bayville High should be processed in the morning, along with all supporting documents and a place to live.
Harry walked through the ordinary looking corridors of the school, having just finished his meeting with Principal Kelly, finalizing his transfer to Senior Year. Joining as a senior was an aggressive choice, but he hoped to handle it enough with the liberal application of Occlumancy, especially since he much better at the math than required in High School level after all the advanced arithmancy and warding studies, leaving him to free to focus on softer topics.
Then, he turned his attention towards the main issue once more. What could distress an eternal and immortal creature in an ordinary school? Of course, his Potter luck struck true once more, and a second later, he received his first clue. He saw a girl struggling to open her locker, only to have no success. She stopped struggling and looked around, then turned her attention back to the locker. Harry felt a discharge of energy before anything happening, then a small explosion forced the locker open. The curious thing was that the energy almost definitely wasn't magic, at least not in a form Harry ever felt before.
Harry watched, intrigued, as a boy dashed towards her. "Tabitha, what are you doing, you know we are not supposed to use our powers for two weeks," he said.
"Come on, Kurt," the girl answered. "What professor don't know doesn't hurt him. And two weeks without powers, it's a cruel and inhumane punishment." She started walking away without waiting for an answer, and he followed her, still trying to argue his point.
Harry stood behind, his eyebrow raised. Finding people with 'powers' that is not magic, or at least magicians that are using a completely different form than Harry was used to, students in an otherwise normal high school. Impressive efficiency, he smiled, considering he was there for less than half an hour yet. He watched them until they disappeared, then he walked towards his own class.
"Hey, I haven't seen you around before," a girl piped in an enthusiastic voice. She was a purple haired girl with a cheerful expression on her face, but Harry instantly felt something was not normal with her. There was a screen of energy covering her whole body, but it was low key and barely detectable.
Harry forced himself not to react negatively as he pushed his hand towards her. "I'm a new transfer, from England," he answered. "Harry Evans, at your service."
"Oh, really," she said. "I'm also from England. My name is Risty, Risty Wilde. So, what brought you across the pond?"
Harry give a brief rundown of his cover story, then the discussion tapered towards different topics. But her mannerism and the way she asked her questions, subtly interrogating Harry to catch any consistency there might be without being obtrusive, was enough to convince Harry that he was not facing a normal student even when her powers were not included. He was facing a real intelligence professional. Thankfully, occlumency was quite helpful in controlling bodily responses and micro expressions, so even as the discussion continued, Harry was hopeful that he was able to get away without giving too much up. Still, he attached a small tracking charm on her skin and sole of her shoe. Harry was tempted to scan her surface thoughts, but he didn't know whether she had the capability to detect his intrusion, so he refrained.
Rest of the lessons were passed without any extraordinary event, though Harry was able to identify several other teenagers with powers, though they weren't exactly careful to conceal their actions, lacking the experience and professionalism 'Risty' displayed during their talk. From their interactions, it was easy to deduct those teenagers belonged to two different groups, X-men, and Brotherhood, if the names he caught was accurate.
Still, he hadn't seen anything with a potential to cause distress in Fawkes. He could understand if she was curious, or vaguely alarmed, but distressed, there must be something more going on than just a few teenagers with power, though, their presence was probably linked to whatever was going on. Harry wasn't willing to bet that their location was just a coincidence.
During the last lesson of the day, Harry felt his tracking charms getting away. A distraction charm was enough to sneak out of the class without anyone noticing. He walked to a corner and wrapped his invisibility cloak around him, and started flying, following the Risty as she drove away in a car, only to stop in front of an Asylum. Much to Harry's surprise, the woman who left the car wasn't Risty. Instead, it was a middle aged doctor wearing medical clothes. 'Or she doesn't look like Risty for now,' Harry amended his thoughts after checking, only to see his tracking charm was still in its place. He focused and felt the same energy covering her body. Some kind of shape shifter then, Harry deduced. He followed her inside, casting a silencing and an odor suppression spells on himself, tricks he learned when he was sneaking into werewolf lairs during the war.
He followed as 'Risty' arrived at a cell that contained a young woman. Not a normal one either, if the high powered containment field, strong enough to give many wizards problems. If the containment field wasn't enough, she was put in a straight-jacket, and a thick rope was tying her to the ground. Seeing the sadness in her face, Harry felt his anger flaring. He didn't know whether she was a criminal or not, but even she was a criminal, putting someone in a solitary cell with the restricted movement was torture, plain and simple.
He didn't pay much attention to 'Risty', who just scratched a few note in the notebook she was carrying, then left the Asylum. Harry followed her until she mounted her car, but instead of following her as she drove away, he sneaked into records department. What he found there was enough to flare his anger uncontrollably. Apparently, the girl was named Wanda Maximoff, and her power has been identified as some kind of mutation, but assessing the effects, it seemed more like large scale accidental magic with a leaning towards manipulating probability. More importantly, she wasn't even a criminal, she just caused several accidents with very limited damage. Accidents that should have been easily preventable with the presence of a third rate wizard, or an otherwise powered individual. Instead, they chose to put her in isolation, filling her with medication to the gills, and prodded her with repeated experiments focusing on how her power worked instead of how to control it.
Harry started to walk towards the cell once more, his mind already made up. She wouldn't spend one more day in that abominable cell. He blinked inside her cell, still concealed magically, and cast a spell to fry all observation equipment, followed by a colloportus charm to the door, making sure no one would be able to open the door and distract them. "Hello, Wanda," he said.
She turned towards him, her eyes widened in shock in response to his sudden appearance. "Who are you?" she asked, her voice thick with panic.
Harry raised his hands in a non-threatening manner, trying to display that he had no bad intention. "Sorry for the intrusion, but I came here to save you, only if you want of course."
"Who are you," she repeated, a measuring expression sneaking to her face. "Are you a mutant too?"
"No," he said, and her face fell instantly. "But still, I'm not someone you could exactly call normal." With a wave of his hands, her straightjacket and binders melted away. At the same time, a bouquet of roses appeared on his hand. He presented the flowers to her. "Harry Potter, wizard extraordinaire, at your service," he said, a large, showy smile on his face. He felt acting in a showy, but a harmless manner would help her to relax.
"Really, a magician," she said doubtfully, but a small smile found her face, and some of her panic drained away. "How droll. Do you do birthday parties?"
"Well, kind of," Harry answered, remembering a birthday party ambushed by Death Eaters. "But only if they include an exciting combat and a considerable amount of collateral damage, with a dash of reality rewriting."
"Like this," she said, her face suddenly serious as she raised her hand, and sent some kind of energy bolt towards the only chair in the room, an ugly metal piece. A cloak of energy covered the chair for a moment, then it suddenly collapsed, covered in rust. She turned back to him, a carefully blank expression on her face. An expression Harry found very familiar, because he had the same expression while he grew up. Expression of someone who was convinced everyone in her life would desert her as soon as they learned about what she could do.
Harry tried to keep pity out of his expression, knowing it wouldn't be welcome in this situation. "Not bad for a beginner," he said, keeping his tone light. "But don't tell me it's limited to abusing some poor chairs."
"Of course not," she said, a smile coming back to her face, however faint.
"So, do you want to come with me?"
Her expression turned serious once more. "Why," she said. "Why exactly are you trying to help me? Even my own father prefers to keep me locked instead of trying to help me."
"Believe or not, I have been in the same situation, though it was a small cupboard under the stairs instead of an Asylum. Today, I have stumbled upon you by accident, and offering you help with no catch. I know that you are struggling to control your power, and I'm offering you training, free of cost, and you can leave anytime."
"Really?" she asked suspiciously. "How can I know you are telling the truth?"
"Unfortunately, you can't. You don't know me, you don't know my capabilities, and I don't have any evidence that you will take at face value. You are going to decide whether you are going to take a leap of faith, or continue to stay here."
She gazed at him, carefully examining his face, no word leaving her mouth. A full minute passed in silence, and Harry started to get worried that maybe he overwhelmed her, causing her to reject his offer. Then, she presented her hand to him, Harry grabbed it, and they disappeared with a loud crack, leaving ruins of a chair as the only reminder of their presence.
Wanda stumbled as soon as they appeared in the room. "What was that," she asked, gasping in shock. "It felt like my whole body squeezed through a tube."
"Sorry, magical transport methods are not very pleasant, and having your first experience as an intercontinental apparition would take the cake."
"Really, intercontinental?" she asked, looking impressed. "Where are we exactly?"
"We are back in Britain, in my mansion," Harry answered. "There is a chance people will start looking for you, and my place in Bayville isn't exactly secure. It's being protected by just a few rudimentary wards." Though considering the developments, Harry was thinking of commissioning Goblins to purchase a manor on the outskirts of the town and set-up with a decent set of wards. It was better to safe than sorry.
"Very impressive powers," she murmured, envious. "I wish my mutation was something like that."
"So, what exactly is your power? And what are the mutations exactly?"
Wanda looked at him with a surprise on her face. "What do you mean? We are mutants, and our power comes from the X-Gene we are carrying."
"Interesting," Harry said. "Truthfully, I don't know whether I, or any other wizards or witches, have that mutation you refer, but in the end, it doesn't change much. How to control it more of a priority than its source, at least in the short term."
"Tell that to my father. He believes that X-gene makes us a separate species, Homo Superior, destined to rule the planet." Her face grimaced, followed by a dark flash. "You can imagine just how well he reacted when his own daughter proved unable to control her powers." She waved her hands in anger, and another bolt left her hands and hit his bookshelf, which subsequently collapsed. Her face turned ashen, her hands trembling. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry. It wasn't intentional. Please don't send me away."
Harry waved his hand, and the bookshelf immediately repaired itself like it wasn't damaged in the first place, however, it was significantly difficult than he assumed it would be. Harry was intrigued even more, but he turned his attention back to her problems instead of the impact of her powers. An imminent breakdown from a pseudo-witch with limited control wasn't the best time to go into the tinker mode. "Calm down," he said, keeping his tone serene to the best of his ability. "I know it wasn't intentional, and even if it was, it isn't a good enough reason to kick you out."
"Thanks," she murmured and took a hesitant step towards him, only to stop midway. It wasn't hard to understand what she was thinking, only for her courage to falter midway. Harry opened his arms in a hug. Another smile, much brighter than any other she had during their earlier discussion, found her lips, and she moved into his arms. Harry let her arms envelop him, then gently wrapped his own arms around her. He could feel his shoulder getting wetter. "There there, it all passed," he murmured, patting her shoulder.
"I'm sorry," she murmured, looking more surprised than Harry in regards to her own outburst. "It's not me normally, but this is just too surreal."
"Believe me, I understand wholeheartedly. I have had a very similar experience when I was fourteen. It takes a bit of time to adapt. Do you want to go to your room and rest."
"My room?" she asked.
"Sure," Harry said. "Since I saved you, I'm also responsible for your upkeep, at least until you decide to seek for alternative arrangements. You can think yourself as my apprentice."
Wanda said nothing, but the largest smile of the night appeared on her face. Harry could see a familiar hesitant expression on her face, one he recognized pretty well from his experiences. He could have prevented it, but not without hurting her feelings badly. And it wasn't like it was an unpleasant experience for him. Wanda was a very pretty girl despite the total lack of makeup and horrid state of her clothes. He didn't react as she wrapped her around him once more, pulling him closer for a timid, closed mouth kiss. Harry answered his kiss, but not pushed aggressively like he normally would, reasoning she already had enough shock this evening. A few seconds later, she pulled back, a deep blush covering her face.
"Are you feeling better now," Harry asked. She just nodded, hesitant to say anything, a thick blush covering her face. Harry took a note to explain to her that he was in a polyamorous relationship with multiple girls before she met one of them accidentally. Harry didn't want to test how bad she would react with all of her anger and abandonment issues. "I need to mention something that might make you a little annoyed, or plain angry," he said.
"What it is?" she asked, a bit hesitant.
"I am currently in a relationship with several girls," he said, not wanting to lengthen the suspense.
Her mouth opened in shock, anger and disappointment coloring her eyes. "You two timing bastard-" she started, her hand rising.
Harry was pretty sure that he was about to receive one of her energy bolts, so he raised his hands in surrender mode and interrupted her. "Not like that, we are in an open relationship where everyone is aware of each other, and they have their own lives and careers. It's more like a polyamorous relationship, but with only one male."
Her anger melted down, leaving its place to shock and sadness. Harry could understand her perspective, she was hopeless in that hole, and then he rescued her, accepted her issues, offered her a solution. Considering he was reasonably handsome and at her age, her instant infatuation with him wasn't a surprise, and now she was thinking she had no chance with him. Not true of course, but also not an issue he wanted to push until she managed to center herself. "Okay," she murmured.
Harry decided to change the topic to distract her. "How about you tell me about what you know about this mutant issue…"
The alarm rang, echoing between the walls. Harry woke up reluctantly, still tired. His talk with Wanda lasted for hours, followed by a small brief in occlumency and introduction to Kreacher for her needs. Then, Harry stopped in Gringotts, setting up the agreement for the new mansion and wards, paying a lot extra for express service. Total, it was almost 5 a.m. when he was finally able to sleep, only to wake up back in 7:30. A quick shower and a breakfast prepared by Dobby later, he apparated to the backyard of the school and walked towards the main building.
"Hi, dork, who are you?" he heard someone shouting from behind.
Even before he turned his back, he knew he was being targeted for some kind of hazing. He turned, only to see several teenagers, most likely American Football players based on their physique. "Hi guys, I'm Harry, the new transfer," he said, deliberately acting timid. He knew that what he said was like dropping blood to a shark infested water. Sharks that no idea they got the attention of a much more dangerous predator. Harry had no intention of pussyfooting around several assholes.
"I'm Duncan," the guy in the front spoke, the rest just flexed their muscles. "I have seen you talking with Risty yesterday, and she is going to be Jason's girlfriend, so keep away from her, would you?"
Harry couldn't help but snort. "Really," he said, discreetly casting a notice-me-not charm around the area. It had been a while since he had been in a purely physical altercation, and he wanted to keep the distractions away from him while he enjoyed. "Real intimidating guys. I'm about to pee myself."
"Are you asking for a beating?" Duncan asked incredulously.
"Why not? It's not like you limp dicks can deliver it." His statement managed to trigger Duncan's anger, and he swung his fist in a devastating right hook, his full weight behind. Devastating, only if it had managed to connect, of course. Harry ducked, and the fist went wide over his head, unbalancing Duncan, something Harry punished with a fist just below his eye, hard enough to leave a nasty bruise. The others dashed towards him after a momentary confusion, and Harry was about to punish them when he felt someone walking through his spell, not even slowing down, not showing any sign of being affected by it. To make things even worse, he could sense a presence pressing to his mind, trying to read his surface thoughts. A vain attempt considering Harry's mind was protected by several occlumency barriers, but still annoying.
Whoever was the mind-reader, Harry didn't want to display his abilities, so when the next jock swung towards him, he let the first connect on the shoulder, and then fell down. The jocks, including Duncan, gathered above his head when a shrill cry distracted them. "Duncan! What are you doing!"
Duncan's panicked expression as he turned quickly was so funny that he had to struggle for not to laugh. "Honey, it's not what it looks-" he started only to cut by the fiery redhead mid sentence.
"Not what it looks like," Jean shouted. "So you are not trying to beat the new transfer student with five people." Duncan tried to convince her that it was all of a misunderstanding, but considering she was the source of earlier mental intrusion, none of the lies he tried to come up with had worked, and a minute later, he admitted defeat and left the opening, his buddies following him like lost puppies. Jean turned towards him. "I can't believe he tried to do something like that, I'm so sorry."
Harry stood up. "No worries," he said. "Bullies are the same everywhere, trying to pick who they see as weak or defenseless. I'm Harry Evans, by the way."
He could see the struggle on her face as she tried to come up with a way to object referring her boyfriend as a bully, but she quickly gave that up as a lost cause. "Some people are just like that," she murmured.
"So, how about I take you out to dinner in appreciation of saving my ass here," he said, cranking his rugged smile to full power. He knew, from his extensive experiences, most women find that irresistible.
"Sure," Jean stammered, expression of shock booming on her face a second later, just realizing that she agreed to a date with someone she just met.
"Perfect. See you at the classes," Harry said and started walking towards the classes, only to stop after a couple of steps. "Are you coming?" Jean took a few quick steps to catch up, then started walking next to him, asking him about why he transferred to here. Harry gave the same cover story he established with goblins, to manage a small business he inherited from his mother's side of the family. Soon, they were inside the school, where they needed to go different classes. "See you when the classes end," Harry said.
"Yeah, see you," Jean said, still a bit surprised, and walked away. Harry was tempted to leave a small kiss on the cheek, but didn't want to give an excuse to cancel their date by immediately pushing it out of friend territory. Though Harry also noted an interesting thing, he could feel two deadly glare targeting him. Duncan's, he could understand, Harry was trying to seduce his girlfriend after giving the guy a black eye, but the other guy with the ruby glasses was a bit unexpected. Despite not being able to see his eyes, Harry felt that the guy wanted nothing more than eviscerate him. Though considering the thick aura of power around his eyes, Harry wasn't ready to write off the possibility that the guy was actually capable of doing so.
"Tough day?" Risty asked as soon as he entered the room.
"You could say that," Harry answered. "Several jocks tried to give me a welcome party, thankfully one of their girlfriends was near enough to bust it before someone got hurt."
"It explains Duncan's eye," she said with a cheerful tone, but teacher arrived before Harry could reply.
Harry was satisfied with the morning's results. Not only he managed to secure a one-to-one meeting with one of the powered individuals, she was also quite beautiful. Harry wondered just how susceptible she was to Potter effect…
Author Notes: Here is yet another story, detailing Harry's adventures in Marvel Universe. Hope everyone enjoys, and don't forget to leave reviews. Every comment is precious.