Given the current state of many places in the world, including the U.S, where I live, I thought I would clear something up before posting this. As a young black man, I support the BLM movement and others like it to bring racial equality specifically focused on treatment of the African descended community by law enforcement officers. That being said, despite this chapters quick talking points on the U.S's racially charged past, it doesn't actually have anything to do with what is happening in the world at this moment. It just so happens to be what was happening next in the story. If you'd like to learn about the actual struggles many African-American or Africans in other countries have experienced I would encourage you to look up actual documented and cited sources. If you would like to help in some way, I would encourage you to search up what both your community, locally and nationally is doing to help or hinder the fight and see what change you can implement. With that out of the way, I hope everyone is staying safe and that this chapter brings you some amount of joy or satisfaction.
Harry had just started his second year in school and was once more sitting in the abode of his little side project. Erik was here and had seen him as he entered the house he had been given for this year's schooling.
"And where the hell have you been?"
"You are not my only mission, once your schooling was done for the year, it gave me a chance to catch up on some of the other duties I had been neglecting," Harry told him. He was not going to reveal that he had gone home to Wakanda for the summer because it would set Erik onto the path that he also might be a student.
"So, you came back to finish your evaluation huh?"
"Not today if that's what you mean. I am merely picking up where we left off."
"Great, so you came back to try and convince me my way of thinking is wrong then." Erik deduced.
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't need to." Erik shot back as he sat across the small dining table that Harry had chosen to sit at. Harry frowned at his words.
"It is not your line of thinking that is bad necessarily… more in the way you wish to accomplish it."
"Oh, so it's okay for you to use force to get your way, but not us huh?" Erik asked with heat. Harry rose a questioning eyebrow.
"A colonizer," Erik explained. Harry processed the word and then nodded in understanding.
"Ah. No, and yes, I suppose. It was never right for European powers to go into Africa and take advantage of the native people for resources. It also wasn't right for Americans to exploit the people for a free workforce. I agree with you on this. I also agree that there are still millions of African descendants around the world in their home continent, or abroad that are treated unfairly by the governments ruling them. The issue is you seem to be under the impression that force is the only solution to this."
"I don't see another one."
"You don't see any possible way to peacefully raise your people up?"
"Peaceful doesn't work. It's beneficial to your people because it allows you to pretend you're listening, but nothing more."
"Did not one of the most influential civil rights leaders in your country advocate for a peaceful solution. Martin Luther King, I believe his name was." Harry pointed out.
"Yeah, he did, and look where that got him. Six feet under and his people still being suppressed decades later. His counterpart Malcolm X had a different view on how to get things done in this country."
"Yet, it was through MLK that the biggest change in living for African Americans in this country since they were given freedom through your Civil War correct?"
"You're right. MLK was a preacher that came from nothing and rose to be one of the most prominent names in our history. You're right that he did give the biggest leap for our people that this country has ever seen. But all I can think about in that story is how he much he did coming from nothing, and how much further he could have gone if he had the resources Wakanda has. Maybe my people still wouldn't be treated like second class citizens by their own government. Maybe ten years ago, a bunch of white cops wouldn't have gotten off for beating a defenseless African to the ground until he was a different color causing billion-dollar riots. Maybe our people wouldn't still be getting funneled to the worse neighborhoods in this country for nothing more than the color of our skin. Maybe I wouldn't be getting talked down to by some condescending ass white motherfuckers in my class for managing to make it this far in life. The world might be a hell of a better place in my opinion."
"Or it might be a battleground that was prevalent in constant race wars." Harry pointed out.
"Maybe you're right. All I know is, we already tried the peaceful way and we're still here huh? So maybe we try something different and see if that works."
"And you expect Wakanda to supply the whole world's African population with the weapons and tech they need to overthrow their oppressors?"
"You are deluding yourself. Wakanda is powerful but part of that also has to do with how condensed it is. It is perfectly capable of protecting itself, but once you start adding other things to the mix… it loses that power which makes it great. Being more advanced is just one thing against your enemy. It takes more than that to topple the entire world. Besides, let's say, hypothetically, you do convince Wakanda to help. It could not possibly give out enough weapons to take over even one major country, let alone all of them. Even if it started mass producing weapons starting now, with its size and population, it would take years to amass a force that could not only take over the world but keep it under control."
"Don't play me dog, I know y'all got a mountain of that magic rock just waiting to be harvested."
"I think you're confused about how long it takes to properly mine Vibranium. It's not exactly a quick process. Besides, let's also say then that Wakanda did have the physical ability to aid all these countries' African populations. Those people are not bettering themselves; they are just using Wakanda as a crutch. When you give freely without limit, people stop being able to rely on themselves as they only know how to rely on others."
"Yet, I don't see you out here willing to teach these people how to better themselves and their situations."
"Do you want us to teach you how to better your life and your situation Erik?" Harry asked pointedly. Erik just glared at him.
"Exactly. Then we come to the heart of the issue. This isn't just about gaining an advantage, it's also about vengeance. You've been beaten down so much that now you want a turn to do some of the beatings. That is not justice."
"Oh, and what about what they did to us! Do they just get to fucking get away with that?"
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind Erik. You wish to further a cycle of hatred that will engulf the planet until there is nothing left. Do not pretend with me. I believe there is some part of you that wants to help those who you consider your people, but there is also a part that just wants to make everyone feel the same hurt that you feel. While it can be understood why you feel this way, condoning the actions you wish to engage in with these feelings is another thing entirely." Harry told him firmly.
At this Erik was struck silent. He just glared at Harry. Harry did not look away from him. He could still see so much anger in those eyes, but he could also see a lot of pain in them too. On some level, Harry was sure that Erik knew what he was doing was wrong. He was too intelligent not to. On the other hand, he had been festering in this anger and hatred so long it was all he knew. Harry was aware that this conversation was not one that would suddenly change Erik's mind, but he was sure he had made some real progress here.
"Get the hell out of my house and don't come back this time," Erik said. Harry eyed him for a moment.
"I will leave." Was all he said, not agreeing on whether or not he would come back. He walked out and could tell Erik didn't even bother to get out his chair to watch him leave. Harry sighed as he closed the front door to the small home behind him.
"Well, that was rough."
"Please repeat what you just said," T'Chaka said back after a moment of silence.
It had been a few weeks since Harry had last gone to visit Erik. He wanted to give the boy some time to cool down before he approached him again. Despite how volatile the last encounter was, he was sure he had made some headway with the boy. He had shown him, at least partly, that his plans weren't exactly realistic.
Even further than that, he had shown to Erik that despite his denial of it, up to this point, his goals were less ethical than he pretended they were. He was doing this as a form of vengeance to try and satisfy a personal longing for the world to feel as bad as he did.
"Father, I am sure you heard me quite clearly the first time." Harry shot back, continuing to speak in Xhosa. It was quite hard to ask his father this, it was better to do whatever he could to soften the blow.
"Do so anyway, please."
"Ugh, fine. Father, I would like to request that you meet with your nephew to possibly allow him to move past his current anger." Harry asked. The line went silent again. Harry breathed a deep sigh as he waited patiently for his father to process what he had just asked.
"Hadrian. You, of all people, know that I trust your judgment, but this is…"
"I understand. It will certainly be hard and I am not even saying we will see immediate results from this. That being said, I believe that deep down you are the source of much of your nephews' anger. I believe he has demonized you as some cruel person that easily took his own brothers' life. I think it is important to show him you are as human as anyone else. I believe even further that understanding what you did that night from your perspective will help him move on. As the murderer of his father, he may never like you, but I believe he might be able to move on from his anger." Harry finished his explanation. Once again, his father went silent at his words.
He understood the impact this might have on T'Chaka as well as it would on Erik. While not around for most of his reign as king, he knew that killing his brother was the hardest thing his father had ever done as king. Harry believed in many ways that T'Chaka blamed himself for that night as much as Erik did. Not just the murder either. His father also felt pain at the decision to leave his only nephew behind as well.
This meeting would help both Erik and his father move on from that night. The only difficulty was getting both of them in the same room.
"… I just don't know about this Hadrian."
"You will have to meet him at some point. Trust me on this, you're going to want to at least meet him on terms you set. You don't want to just be walking somewhere and have him confront you. You can't stay in Wakanda all the time."
"Hmm… Maybe you are right. I-… I need to think about this."
"I understand. That being said, I don't want you to do so indefinitely. Please give me an answer within a week."
"You do know I am the King correct."
"In my eyes, you are my father first and a King second." Harry countered. He heard a soft chuckle from the other end, but it went silent after a moment.
"Alright, I will give you an answer within a week."
"Excellent. Well, that is all I wished to talk about. Please give mother and Shuri my love. And, of course, Nala. I miss my kitty." Harry said to him.
"Hahaha. Yes, I will make sure to let all of them know that you have been thinking of them. I will talk to you soon."
"Alright, I will talk to you later. Goodbye. I love you."
"I love you too. Goodbye Hadrian."
The phone call ended and Harry looked down at the phone for a moment. He snapped it close and slid it into his pocket. He sighed as exited his room and went back to work on his classwork.
Harry was driving silently with his eyes on his rear-view mirror. He wasn't quite sure, but he was pretty sure that he was being followed. There was a black sedan that had been following him for a while now and Harry had decided to drive around a little to see if it would continue. The sedan continued to follow him from a distance.
He turned out of the city and onto the interstate and decided to head south towards New York for a little. He would see how far this would go.
His mind whirled with possibilities the further they traveled down the interstate. Could these people possibly know of his relation to T'Chaka? When T'Chaka had gotten them into the U.S with student visas, he had not mentioned his relation to either him or T'Challa. He has also made sure to keep their enrollment quiet to make sure they would not be bothered.
Wakanda wasn't a famous country by any means. Most of their exports were basic agricultural and textile goods and it was mainly to neighboring countries. The only thing special known about it by the outside world was that it once housed a large amount of Vibranium.
But as far as the rest of the world was concerned, it was all stolen nearly a decade ago, returning the country's status to one of the poorest in the world.
Perhaps this was the government and they tailed him because they wished to gather more information about Wakanda. It would make sense. There was no real reason to, but if someone dug too deeply into T'Challa's and his information, they would certainly notice some discrepancies.
For one thing, even with their scholarship, they were living rather comfortably. For one of the poorest countries to make this happen might seem suspicious to many. Or it could simply be someone suspected something unusual about the country itself and were searching from the only source they could.
A memory came across his mind as he remembered several disenfranchised War Dogs that had broken into his father's office to steal information on Wakanda. It was thought that they worked alone for the most part, but there was also the possibility that there were more out there.
All the speculation did nothing to settle his issues though. He didn't want to lead these men to his abode just in case so instead, he was going to lose them in New York. Once he got to New York, he would temporarily ditch the car and then go on foot. From there he would hide and observe his followers to see what he could learn about them. He might even use legilimency on them. As long as they were mundanes, they should have no defense against it.
It took several hours to get to New York and on the way, he called T'Challa to let him know of the situation. He warned his brother to stay at the house and look out for anything suspicious while he was away.
Once he crossed over onto the island of Manhattan, he immediately started looking for a non-conspicuous side alley to park in. It certainly didn't take long. He pulled into the alley he chose and slowed as he approached the center of the alley. He glanced outside the window and noticed that it was getting dark outside. That only worked to his benefit so he nodded to himself before full turning off the car.
He exited the car and paused for a moment as he took a deep breath and paused for a moment to attune his magic with the natural magic around him. He had gotten so good at this over the years, it only took a fraction of a second. He searched out for a moment and looked to see if he could sense any nearby life forms.
He had gotten a reading on them before while driving, but he had only just felt their life force. It would take a little longer to be able to pick them out of a crowd with confidence. He felt tons of people in the buildings around them and even a couple walking on the streets perpendicular to this alley. After a moment, he was pretty sure he found what he was looking for. He felt two people approaching slowly in a car based on their speed and the way their bodies seemed to be floating in the air next to each other in a sitting position. They were about to pass the alley he was down so he turned in the opposite direction and started walking. When they passed, they would see his back as he walked further down the alley and away from his car.
As soon as they passed by, Harry apparated to the top of one of the buildings on either side of the alley. As soon as he landed on the roof, he cast several charms to keep hidden as he continued to feel where the men were. They parked a little further down the street before exiting their car and walking calmly towards the alley he was just in.
He then cast a simple listening charm down into the alley and onto the roof of his car. Right as it hit the top of the roof, the men turned down the alley and approached it.
Harry got his first good look at both of them. They were both Caucasian and wearing black business suits. The way they moved suggested some type of official training. That, coupled with the way they seemed to continue to observe their surroundings while also doing their best to look inconspicuous lent credence to his theory that they were part of some government organization.
"What the hell are we looking for?" He suddenly heard one of them ask quietly through his listening charm. He saw the one on the rights lips moving and it assumed it must have been him who said it.
"Nothing, in particular, just anything that stands out." The other answered as they looked into his car's windows.
"I gotta be honest wit' you. These kids seem pretty normal to me. The only thing suspicious was this kid coming all the way out here. Do you think he's trying to score something or what? We are near some local hot spots."
"Maybe, but I am sure there are some areas around where they live that he could go if he was hooked. Besides, none of our observations suggested either kid was on anything."
"So, what else could he have come out here for."
"I don't know."
"You don't think he noticed us following him, do you?"
"I doubt it, but it's certainly a possibility. Still, it's more likely that he is just visiting this city. It is a popular destination for foreigners and I don't think he has been here yet."
"Hmm. You're probably right. Still, seems like a lot of work for little gain. I mean, even if this pans out and they are hiding something, how would we explain how we got that information and what would even do with the information?"
"That's not up to us, that's for the director to decide. Besides, I doubt this will lead anywhere but you know we can never leave a single stone unturned." The man said.
"Yeah, you're right… Almost done?"
"Yeah, I don't see anything in there that sets off any alarms. We'll probably try their house next and then write a concluding report." The man who had been analyzing the inside of his car said. Harry frowned. He concentrated extremely hard and apparated while concentrating on making absolutely no noise. He was suddenly down on the street level by the alley entrance.
The men were now walking towards him without giving any indication that they saw him. That was good, that meant that all of his charms were keeping him hidden like they were supposed to. As they approached, Harry stood in their path and made eye contact with each of them, not that they knew that.
He dove into each of their minds and gathered as much relevant information as he could before they got near him and he would have to move. He gathered as much information as he could before smoothly moving out of the way as they passed him by. He didn't move for a moment as he processed all the information he could gather in such a short period.
He would need to report this to his father.
Several hours later
"And you are positive they are not suspicious of Wakanda?" His father asked seriously from over the phone.
"From what I gathered from picking apart their memories associated with this case, their organization, SHIELD, seemed to just have noticed a few suspicious things but aren't confident that their investigation will go anywhere. They are just covering all bases." Harry explained.
"Hmm. Perhaps we should bring you home. Even if they have not found anything out yet, they might in the future." T'Chaka suggested.
"Father no!" T'Challa said back, seemingly rattled.
"I agree with T'Challa. I don't think that it would be a good idea for us to leave right now. So far, they have found nothing suspicious. After they search the house, they are pretty much putting the investigation on ice unless something happens to bring them back. If we randomly leave now, however…"
"It will bring suspicion down on you two… Very well, you may stay. I assume the only thing of any suspicion may be found on your computer, correct Hadrian." The King asked questioningly.
"That is correct," Harry responded easily.
"Very well, I will have one of our techs remotely connect and scrub the machine before tomorrow. After that, they should be able to check the whole house and not find anything of true suspicion." T'Chaka said.
"Excellent, I will leave it on overnight for ease of access."
"Good. What about you T'Challa, did you have anything else you wished to talk about?"
"No father, not on my end."
"Good. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to talk to Hadrian privately about his mission, would you excuse us for a moment?" T'Chaka asked. T'Challa frowned and looked at him for a moment in questioning. Harry nodded, causing T'Challa to sigh.
"Very well," T'Challa said before bidding his father goodbye and exiting the room.
"He is gone"
"Good. I have been thinking about what you have asked of me…."
"I… would be willing to come and meet the boy." T'Chaka finally stated. Harry smiled at the news.
"Thank you, father. I don't think you will regret this in the long term. Of course, when it happens, emotions will be high and there might be a fight… You might want to come in your armor. Bring a few guards you trust with this as well. When will you be here?"
"Two days from now," T'Chaka said reluctantly.
Two Days Later
Harry was once more hiding in the dark in Erik's house as he waited for him to get home. As always, the man didn't make him wait long. He was punctual as always. Erik entered his home and immediately walked into the kitchen. He opened his refrigerator and started rifling through until he pulled out a can of soda. He popped it open and took out a big swig before releasing a satisfied 'ah'.
"I thought I told you not to come back here," Erik called out without looking behind him. Harry wasn't surprised the boy had noticed him when entered the home. He was incredibly observant after all.
"Does that mean you are giving up on returning to Wakanda?" Harry asked calmly.
"I don't need help from a fucking colonizer to get to my own country," Erik said. Though the statement sounded harsh, he said it calmly. Harry rose an eyebrow.
"I assume that means you plan to break into the country. Not exactly the best way to reintroduce yourself to the natives." Harry asked.
"I didn't ask."
"No, you didn't."
Erik simply continued to stand and stare in silence at Harry while Harry did the same to Erik.
"You can leave now."
"Not yet. I have something to say to you for once. I hope you will at least listen to me for a moment." Harry said seriously as he looked at the man. Erik said nothing and the scowl on his face didn't leave, that being said, he could see the curiosity in the man's eyes.
"From the beginning of our meetings… No, even before then, I was one of the few that has been actively working towards getting you back and accepted by your home country. Despite what you have thought from our meetings, I have always been on your side N'Jadaka. I am the one who has been your biggest advocate through all of this. Even with your volatile beliefs and thoughts on things that could endanger Wakanda, I have always done my best to make sure that Wakanda does not give up on you. My concern, however, is not just about if you get to Wakanda, it is about your health as a whole. Our talks, although they made you mad, I hope you realize we're also to help you learn and go forward from this point." Harry said. Erik stared at him and seemed to weigh what Harry had just told him for a moment.
"… Does this have a point?"
"It does. I am sure you remember our last talk. I won't go into it with you again, but there was one thing, in particular, we talked about that I would like to address. Your anger." Harry said. Erik snarled at his words and looked like he was about to say something before Harry interrupted by holding up his hand.
"Let me finish before you go off again. Whether you want to admit it or not, I think deep down you know your goals aren't purely for the benefit of your people. You have a lot of anger from your childhood. Not that there is anything wrong with that from someone in your situation. That being said, I want you to be able to move past it and grow from the experience. That is part of living a healthy life."
"What. Is. Your. Point?" Erik gritted out, barely containing his anger.
"Okay. I would like for you to meet the King of Wakanda, your uncle." Harry said. With that, the anger seemed to evaporate from Erik. Instead, all that could be seen on him was shock. Clearly, there was no situation that Erik predicted which ended with him meeting the king in anything but a hostile environment.
"You… What the fuck?"
"Is that you agreeing?"
"No, the fuck, it's not. What the hell do you think you're even talking about?" Erik demanded.
"Most of the anger you feel can be laid at the King's feet. You have put him on this pedestal of cruelty for what he did to your father. I think you should hear his side of the story and understand that he is human just like you and me. Whether you think what he says about the incident is acceptable or not, you should remember that for many years, he and your father were close as brothers and loved each other. Despite what has happened, that love extends to you as well. You owe it to yourself and to your father to do this."
"You don't know what the hell you're talking about," Erik yelled smashing his fist against the table. Harry said nothing as he waited for him to simmer down. When his breath evened out a bit, Harry continued.
"Despite everything, I do think you want to help those who you consider your people. Is this true?"
"Of course, It is!"
"And you want Wakanda to use its resources to do so correct?" Harry asked.
"What if it meant giving up your anger and your lust for vengeance. What if the only way to get Wakanda to help you was to let go of the hate you hold onto. Could you do it?" Harry asked.
"My hate is what gives me the drive to do whatever is necessary to get the job done."
"You act like hate is the only thing that could possibly drive you forward. It is not. In fact, it will likely cause you problems because it will blind you from making the correct decisions while you choose the decisions that satisfy it."
"I'm asking you, Erik, not to give it up, just to be open to it and meet with the King and try. Do you think, at the very least, you could do that?" Harry asked.
"I don't want to meet my uncle."
"I am aware. We rarely want what would be best for us. It causes us strife because we usually have to work on or somehow change ourselves to be better. I can tell you from firsthand experience it is seldom fun." Harry told him.
"… If I talk to him, will I be able to go to Wakanda?" Erik asked. For once, Harry could hear some longing in his voice. He hid it well, but Harry was good at reading people for the most part and could see traces of it.
"If you do this, and you continue trying to work with me, then I promise that I will continue doing my absolute best to get you to return to Wakanda, as I have always done," Harry told him. This was true. As long as Harry had known of Erik's existence, he had been working to get T'Chaka to make up for leaving him behind. He knew from experience that leaving a loose end like that, besides being morally and ethically wrong, would possibly cause major problems in the future.
"… Fine. When are we going to meet?" Erik acquiesced reluctantly.
"Oh, about that…"
"What's right now?"
"The meet. You're going to meet him right now. He's just outside."
"I figured it would be best to rip this off like a band-aid before some time passed and you might change your mind.
"Are you fucking kidding me!"
"Nope. My King, we are ready." Harry called out. With that, they could hear footsteps moving through the other room and approaching.
"This is not happening right now," Erik said to himself. He looked like he was about to freak out.
"It is. Calm down and take some deep breaths, I will be here to make sure everything goes smoothly."
"This is not fucking happening."
Harry was about to say something else, but before he could, the door finally opened and in it stood his father T'Chaka looking serious but hesitant. Harry immediately formed his arms into an 'X' as a salute before returning to his sides.
"My King," Harry said in greeting. T'Chaka didn't respond, his eyes were looking directly at Erik. Erik was the same as he looked back at the King. He was holding himself tall, but you could see the indecision swimming in his eyes.