This is a small two-shot, containing my version of the "Harry is the Master of Death and joins the Avengers to defeat Loki" plot. Obviously, I own neither of the two franchises or I probably wouldn't be writing this :-p I hope you enjoy.
Fury, Death, and Her Brother Harry
"You wanted to see me, Kingsley?"
The man rolled his eyes. "That's Minister Shacklebolt to you, Auror Potter."
It was a ritual they performed every time Harry was called here. "What is it you wanted?" He asked, ignoring Kingsley's admonishment.
"I might finally have something interesting for you and your… partner. What do you think about America?"
Harry raised his eyebrows. Truth was, he was monumentally bored. Ever since the war, there was nothing to really challenge him. Several times he had thought about taking a sabbatical and trying to find adventure outside of Britain, but he couldn't do that to his friends and little Teddy. Now, if it was a work assignment, that was a different Nundu hunt altogether.
However, five years navigating the Ministry of Magic had taught Harry a thing or two about maintaining a pokerface. "It's a large continent, I believe."
"New York then, for the moment." Kingsley specified.
"What would I have to do?"
"There is some sort of international defence association that deals with super human threats. They have a lot of surveillance, and are… how should I put this… they feel that in exchange for keeping the existence of wizards and witches a secret they are entitled to… compensation."
"They are blackmailing you?" Harry concluded with a smirk.
"Not me so much, as they are the Supreme Mugwump Delacour and the ICW." Kingsley corrected. "They want the help of a wizard for their organisation, SHIELD or something. Both as an agent to work for them, as well as a contact and informant when it comes to the magical world."
"Why me?" Harry asked curiously.
"I thought it might be interesting for you. I know you have been bored with Auror work, and you are already taking all the hardest cases."
"And you think working for a Muggle Secret Agency will do the trick?"
"You read their papers, don't you?" Kingsley asked, seemingly switching the topic.
"Do you know about someone called Iron Man?"
Harry nodded. "He is some kind of super hero as far as I know."
"He works with them."
Harry perked up. So it wasn't ordinary threats this agency was worried about. That might indeed be interesting. Kingsley went on, obviously knowing he had caught Harry's attention.
"They are trying to do something called the 'Avengers Initiative'. It seems they want people with special powers to work together as a team to defend the planet from all kinds of stuff. Apart from the Statute of Secrecy, the ICW also thinks if a wizard was a member of this team, then we could call upon them in a state of crisis."
That sounded like a sensible compromise to Harry. Truth be told, even though Magical Britain and most of the magical world had become more open after Voldemort, most witches and wizards still didn't want to deal with Muggles on a regular basis. But some form of contact with an agency dealing with, as it seemed, superhuman threats might be a good and worthwhile idea.
"When would I start?" Harry asked.
"The request came a few months back, and after much debate how to respond and who to send it took my offer to ask you to actually come to a decision. Now it seems that during our time of debate, those SHIELD people have run into a spot of trouble. Something to do with a sceptre and a god as far as I understand. They have made an urgent request for help just yesterday or so, so I guess you could start immediately. If you agree, that is. This is not a short term assignment and you would have to retire as an Auror, even though your new position would mean you still have the status of one whenever you are here."
Harry mulled it over for all of a second. A new challenge, a new country, new people to meet. And the excuse that it was a work assignment so no one could accuse him of 'fleeing'. Yes, that would do nicely and he was sure his 'partner' would say the same thing.
"Where do I go and how do I contact them?" Harry asked.
"Everything is in this file." Kingsley gave him a rather thin looking folder. "Good luck, Harry."
Harry smiled at his old war buddy. "Thanks for this, Kingsley."
"I'm clocking out here."
Nick Fury shook his head. "Not an option!"
"It's okay." Agent Coulson said with a smile. "It would never have worked. They needed something to…"
"Coulson!" The director of SHIELD demanded, but it looked like it was too late. He immediately let the team know. Even though the medics had not yet announced it, he knew Phil Coulson was dead. Thus it is quite understandable that he reacted negatively, when he heard someone giggle behind him.
Nick spun around to find a woman he'd never seen before stand by his side. He reflexively stood back and pulled his weapon. "Who are you?"
"Aw… is that a gun?" The woman asked giddily and seemed completely unconcerned. She had pale skin, red lips and long, smooth, pitch black hair.
"Of course it is a…" Nick started to answer, but then he stopped himself and decided to demand his own answers instead of answering such an obvious question. "Who are you? What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to stop this man there from dying. Sorry, I know he seems fine with it, but orders and all."
"Well, you are too late. He is already dead."
The woman laughed. "No he isn't. Trust me. I would know if he was."
"Then why does he look dead?"
"Well, he is on the verge of dying. I can't really do anything about that though, so I suggest your medics get a move on and start working on him. Dying is not particularly comfortable, I would assume and there is really no reason to have him experience it for longer than necessary. Don't you think?"
Just as she said that, the medics finally arrived and started working on Coulson immediately.
"Who are you?" Nick demanded again, since there was no need for him to talk to the medics.
"Sorry, my orders were to come here and keep those on the ship from dying. Not to introduce myself."
"Who do you work for?"
The woman cocked her head and looked at Nick as if he was an idiot. "My Master, of course."
"Director, Agent Coulson is in bad shape. We need to move him to the emergency room to have any chance, but that might just push him over the edge." One of the medics took Nick's thoughts off the strange woman. Before he could answer or even formulate a plan however, the woman turned towards the medic who had spoken.
"Don't worry. He won't die from transport." She said in an amused voice. It ticked Nick off that this woman sounded like all this was a game to her, but right now he needed confirmation.
"So you will continue to 'stop him from dying'?"
The woman nodded. "Certainly, my Master orders and I obey."
It wasn't that Nick trusted the woman, but the medic had said it himself. They needed to move Coulson in order to be able to help him. He turned towards the medic and gave him a nod. "Be quick about it."
"Yes, Sir." The medic acknowledged and he and his team went back to work.
Once the medics had taken Coulson away, Nick turned his complete attention back to the woman. "Now, I ask again, who are you?"
The woman just grinned at him. "Who are you?"
"If you don't give me an answer, then I'm afraid I have to put you into one of our detention quarters."
The grin on the woman's face turned into a frown. "That's quite rude, considering that I'm literally helping you out as we speak."
"I can't take any chances."
That caused the woman to pout, but she didn't reply.
"Then come with me. And don't try anything fishy or I will shoot you."
For some reason the threat made the woman smile. "Really? You will? I always wanted to try for myself how that felt."
"Less talky, more walky." Nick pointed into the direction of the detention area, ignoring the woman's words. "Move."
"Rude." The woman complained again, but she did start moving into the direction Nick had pointed. Just then he got a news update. "Agent Coulson is in severe but stable condition. However, from our readings he should have died right around the time we arrived. Now it appears he is going to make a full recovery."
Nick frowned as he led the woman, who thankfully never tried to resist, to one of the detention cells. What the hell was going on?
Natasha Romanov waited with the other 'Avengers' minus Thor and Doctor Banner in a conference room. Stark, Rogers and Clint all didn't look too upbeat. Natasha herself was replaying the last half hour in her mind. The only positive thing was the announcement that Coulson had survived, which came two minutes or so after the Director originally announced he was dead. How it had come to that confusion, Natasha decided to puzzle out at another time. At the moment she was just happy for any small bit of good news she could get her hands on.
Natasha looked up to see Director Fury enter. He didn't look happy. Natasha was beginning to suspect a pattern there.
"We lost contact to Thor and Doctor Banner and it appears a new player has entered the field."
"A new player?" "On whose side?" Stark and Rogers asked simultaneously.
"Yes and it appears on ours, though I cannot say for sure."
"What do you mean?" Natasha asked a little edgily. She wasn't in the mood for anything complicated.
"She currently sits in one of our detention rooms, since she refused to give me any information about who she is, or whom she's working for when she appeared on the ship."
"Yes." Director Fury confirmed. "She appeared behind me the moment after Coulson… nearly died, giggling. Naturally, I wasn't impressed. She then claimed that Coulson wasn't dead and that she was here on orders by her 'Master', whoever that may be, not to let him die. A few seconds later it turned out Coulson was indeed still alive, even though I haven't seen the woman so much as look at him."
"Coincidence?" Stark suggested.
"Maybe." Fury nodded his head. "When I asked her who she was, she apologised and told me her Master hadn't told her to introduce herself, so she wouldn't. She offered no resistance when I guided her to the detention room though. The thing is this: according to the medical report, Coulson should have died before the medics had even made it there."
Natasha frowned. Yes, she had seen all sorts of crazy abilities, some of them to do with fast regeneration. But for someone new to just appear out of nowhere exactly at the right moment looked suspicious, to say the least. Natasha's thoughts were interrupted when suddenly there was a voice behind her.
"Are you talking about me?"
Natasha swirled around, drawing her weapon in the process. Clint and Fury had done the same. Stark probably would have done too, only that currently he wasn't in his suit. What Natasha saw was a woman with smooth black hair, pale skin and emerald green eyes, who pouted in their direction.
"Didn't anyone teach you that it's not nice to talk about others when they aren't there to defend themselves?"
"How did you get here?" Fury demanded, ignoring the woman's pout and question.
The woman, in turn, seemed to disregard him as well, in favour of looking all of them over. Natasha was surprised when the woman's green eyes lit up when they met her own. "Are you the Black Widow?"
Taken aback by the question, it took Natasha a moment to answer. "Uh… yeah."
"Wow, this is so cool. I've wanted to meet you face to face for so long. I'm a great fan of your…"
Natasha gulped. The woman had suddenly charged forward while talking, and Natasha had reflexively shot right at her. Now the woman had halted and stood there, wide-eyed, with a hole in her chest. Every moment she would fall backwards. Every moment now. Every… what in the….
Instead of falling backwards the woman looked down towards her chest, her expression more curious than anything. As Natasha's eyes followed that of the woman she gasped. The wound there was starting to close already. The woman looked up again, meeting Natasha's eyes. Natasha readied herself for retribution, but there was no way she could have been prepared for what happened next.
"This is so AWESOME!" The woman squealed in joy, a big grin on her face. "I can't wait to tell Master I was shot by the actual Black Widow. Oh, he will be so jealous."
With two steps the woman had closed the remaining distance between them before Natasha could react, and Natasha found herself pulled into a tight hug. When she was let go, Natasha didn't really know how to react. From her perspective, the woman seemed excitable and strange, but not hostile.
"Nice to meet you too." She said, when the silence stretched out. Maybe she could get some information that would help them. "Miss?"
"Oh, I don't really have a name. I think. At least people don't usually call me by it. Use Raven, that's what Master calls me." She looked around the room once more and then leaned towards Natasha. "Everyone seems a tad tense, don't they?"
It took all Natasha had to suppress a snort. She was a professional and the woman – Raven – was talking about the Director. Natasha couldn't snort. Stark however had no such problems, which, ironically, helped clear some of the tension in the room.
"I ask you again, how did you get out of the detention facility and in here?" Fury demanded once more, but before the woman could answer, or even just ignore him again, his radio went off.
"Director Fury. A man just appeared outside. Said he is supposed to meet you. He has the paperwork to be let through."
The Director's eyes widened as his hand went to the radio unit. "What does his paperwork say?"
"He is supposed to be 'ICW Representative Harry James Potter'."
There was a loud sudden clap. Natasha flinched and turned back to the strange woman who was the cause of the noise. "Goodie, Master is finally here."
"Let him in and lead him here. I want to talk to him immediately."
By now, Natasha really should have gotten used to the surprises, but again the Directors quick admittance caught her off guard. She had never heard about the ICW, and from the looks on Clint's, Rogers' and Stark's faces they hadn't either.
"Director! When I told him to follow me, he just said he knew where to go and vanished in thin air."
No sooner had the new radio transmission come in through the Director's unit, that someone knocked on the door to the room. Knock-knock-knock. Finally back in control of her feelings, Natasha managed to observe the situation more closely. The Director had seemed surprised about the first transmission, but the one about vanishing in thin air had left him unmoved. It was clear that there was something he wasn't telling.
When the Director caught her eyes, he sighed. "I had hoped they would get back to us sooner. But it seems our final team member has arrived." He said to the people in the room, then a little louder towards the door. "Enter."
Natasha's eyes widened. A final team member? She hadn't known that there was someone missing. Clearly, another kind of super hero. But who? And what could he do? As the door opened, she got a first look at the man. He wasn't really a lot to look at. A bit on the short side, scrawny, but his muscles seemed well defined. His eyes were the same emerald as those of the woman, Natasha noted. Maybe they were related in some way. Both had pitch black hair and the same comparably rare eye-colour.
"Master!" The woman behind her squealed. There was a small popping sound and suddenly the woman stood in front of the man. Natasha turned briefly, to see that she was actually no longer in her previous spot. When she turned back towards the door, the woman had engulfed the man in a hug.
"Hey, Raven. Did everything go well?"
The woman frowned. "Hmpf. Didn't your friend say this would be interesting. When I came up here there was only one guy to save. Boooooooring." The woman's mood suddenly swung from annoyed to happy in an instant. "But something else came up just now."
She turned to wink at Natasha before she continued cheerfully. "This is the Black Widow, Master. You know, the assassin I'm a fan of? I told you about her."
The man looked Natasha over and nodded in greeting, turning back to the woman. "She shot me." The woman went on excitedly. Great, Natasha thought, that was exactly how she wanted to be introduced to the new team member, as a gun toting maniac.
"Really?" The man asked, glancing over towards Natasha once more. His face was somewhere between a frown and an amused smirk, so Natasha hoped he didn't take this too badly.
"Yup, right through the heart. Isn't it great."
The man smiled at the woman bemusedly. "As long as you are happy, I'm happy, I guess."
"Oh, and this guy…" She pointed at Director Fury. "he was very rude. Can I kill him?"
With those four words, there was suddenly more tension in the room than ever before. Yet, the man managed to laugh heartily. "No, Raven. We went over this already, didn't we? You know you are not allowed to kill people just because you disapprove of their manners." He said strictly, as if he was talking to a petulant child. Completely in the assigned role, the woman pouted obligingly.
"He didn't even say thanks for saving his agent guy." She complained further.
"Well, in that case," the man replied amusedly, "you may still not kill him. But you are allowed to dislike him, if you want."
"But he put me into a cell after I saved his agent guy."
Natasha was beginning to suspect they were leaving a worse first impression on the new guy than they usually did, which she supposed was quite the achievement in itself. However, the new guy just rolled his eyes.
"And did he give you a reason why he did that?" The man asked still with a voice that suggested he was talking to a petulant little child.
"Because I didn't tell him who I was."
The man sighed. "Why in the name of Merlin not?" Natasha frowned. 'In the name of Merlin?' Who cursed that way?
"Master didn't say I should." The woman pouted.
The man shook his head. "We have talked about this, too, Raven. Just because I don't tell you to do something that's common sense doesn't mean you can blame me for whatever mess you get into."
The woman stomped her foot onto the ground. "Fine, be that way Master. I'll wait outside." With that, she stormed out, slamming the door shut behind her.
There was an awkward silence in the room for a few seconds, then the man turned towards them scratching his head. "Sorry about that. She can get a little… ah… excited, when she's around new people."
"So let me get this straight…" Tony started, after the new guy – Harry – had finished his extended introduction. "There is a whole hidden community of witches and wizards all across the world. And they sent you here to help us, because SHIELD found out about them and blackmailed your version of the United Nations with revealing their secret existence."
"It's a bit simple but sums it up rather nicely, yes." The man answered with a smile.
"And what about the woman?" Fury asked, and Tony rolled his eyes. With how obsessed he was about the woman, one could think the Director had fallen in love.
"Well, her secrets are her own to tell. If it helps, you can think of her as my sister, though that's not completely accurate."
"You will have to give me a little more than that." The Director insisted. "She just threatened to kill me."
"I do that at least three times a day." Tony interjected. If the woman managed to rile the Director up like that then Tony wanted her as close as possible for as long as possible, no matter who she was.
"This is no time for jokes." The Director growled, turning towards Tony.
"Be that as it may," The new guy interrupted, before Tony could retort, "that's all you get from me for now. She is my sister and my partner Raven." His tone was neutral, but there was a clear underlying threat not to try and dig further. "From what I understand you should have greater worries than her."
Fury narrowed his eyes, but after a moment his face went back to neutral and he sighed. "We do. We think we know Loki's plans, but we've lost him and no way to find him again. I don't suppose there is a spell to find a megalomaniac Norse god." The last thing was clearly meant as a jibe, which Tony thought was a bit unfair since it really wasn't the new guys fault that they couldn't find Loki.
Yet, Potter seemed to honestly think about the answer. "Hmm… you have to know a lot of tracking spells in my line of work, but I never have come across one like that. Give me a second."
Then the guy produced a mirror and started talking to it. "Get me story."
Tony frowned. What kind of story was he looking to get from a mirror. Five seconds later, Tony flinched when he heard a female voice which was not the Black Widow's. "Harry?" The voice sounded confused, but sobered up the next moment. "You're in the field, right? You need something?"
Tony saw Potter give a small smile towards the mirror, and realised that was where the voice was coming from. Then it clicked in his head. Story was a person and probably this was their way of 'phoning' each other. "Yes, listen. Do you know how one tracks a megalomaniac Norse god?"
"Huh. Norse gods are difficult." The voice answered immediately and sounded like this was basic knowledge. "Are you sure he's megalomaniac?"
The new guy looked up from the mirror, towards Fury. The director just nodded silently.
"Yeah, pretty sure, Story."
"That might help." The voice answered brightly. "Keep your mirror at hand, I'll have something for you in a couple of minutes."
The new guy smiled at the mirror. "Thanks, Story, you're the best."
"I know. Whatever would you do without me?" The voice replied playfully.
Then there was silence and the new guy put the mirror back into his pocket. He looked up and seemed surprised the whole room was looking at him. "What? Never see someone make a phone call?" He quipped in amusement
Tony grinned. "Sure, it's just that people tend to use… phones."
The new guy snorted and grinned back. Tony decided he liked Potter. And his so-called sister. Anyone who could rile up Fury was a friend in Tony's book. Not to mention Tony would get to see some actual magic. Maybe he could get the new guy to come to his lab to run some tests once their mythological problems had been dealt with.
As they were waiting for whoever had been on the other side of the mirror to get back to them, Natasha decided to approach the new guy. Maybe he could help Clint. But first she would probably need to do some apologising.
"Hey. I'm sorry I shot at your… sister. She was an unknown and just came at me."
Potter waved it away. "Don't worry about it. She'll probably tell everyone she knows about it. She really is a big fan of your work." He grinned. "Don't be surprised if the story ends up with you unloading two full rounds at her."
Natasha blinked. "You seem to take someone shooting at your sister awfully well."
"As I'm certain you noticed, Raven is special."
Natasha suppressed a snort. That was one way to put it, she supposed. Then again, it was nice to know she had fans. Maybe.
"Why does she call you master?" Natasha asked interestedly.
"Mostly to annoy me. And because of an old storybook." Natasha raised her eyebrows and Potter squirmed a little. "Look, it's a long story that isn't very happy. I may tell you eventually if we continue working together."
Well, now Natasha of course had to know. But he was a colleague now and she could grant him a couple of secrets for a while. Just like she had some. Or Clint. Out of professional courtesy, if nothing else. So instead, she changed the line of questioning.
"Who was that on the other side of the mirror?"
"A researcher I know. Works in the Department of Mysteries. She helps me out on my missions with new inventions and the like."
"Story?" Natasha asked, wondering about the name.
"Is she good?"
"She and her partner are the best." Potter stated with complete confidence. "No matter the problem, if there is something to do about it, they'll find it."
Natasha nodded and decided it was time to ask her question. After all, if the new guy didn't know anything, maybe one of his contacts could still help. She couldn't let the chance slip away.
"Do you by any chance know anything about mind control spells?" She sounded tense.
The new guy's face distorted in disgust but he answered nonetheless. "It's something you have to know in my line of work. Why?"
"One of our agents was… turned. He's back now, but I'd like to make sure there is nothing left lingering."
"Hmm… I'm not the best at detecting mind magic. I can break it, no question. But lingering changes are harder." Potter frowned. "I'll take a look at him. Maybe one of my contacts has to see him once this mess is finished, but I'll do what I can. I should be able to make sure that there is no immediate danger."
Natasha nodded, knowing this was the best she could get for now, and signed for the new guy to follow her. Outside the room they were joined by the girl called Raven, who decided to accompany them after hearing where they were going.
"Are you sure that's a good idea, Master? Remember last time you had to deal with mind magic?"
"How long are you going to bring that up?" The new guy asked exasperatedly, but Natasha was suddenly worried.
"I saw myself forced to use an overpowered cheering charm. The guy I tried to help behaved like he had the best high anyone had ever had for two days."
If that was everything… "It could be worse." Natasha ventured, fairly certain that in the grand scheme of things with whatever vast magic available, she probably had a point.
"Yeah, just that the guy was the Prime Minister."
"The new one?" Natasha asked.
"The old one. Three days before election day."
"And you think you hurt his campaign?" Natasha asked.
"Don't know." Potter shrugged. "Looked like he was going to lose anyway. But I assume the footage of him dancing up and down Downing Street naked didn't exactly help."
Natasha blinked. Still. If she had to choose between not taking cheery Clint on a mission and not taking agonised Clint on a mission, she assumed she would prefer cheery Clint. So she shrugged the story off. "Never liked that man anyway." She commented. It was the truth, too. During the couple of short meetings she'd had with the old Prime Minister of Britain, they'd never quite seen eye to eye. The real question here was who in SHIELD had betrayed her and decided not to show her footage of the man dancing naked up and down the street. Though she supposed the question would wait until later as she led Potter and his sister into Clint's room.
"As I said, nothing dangerous." Harry righted himself after examining Agent Barton for a few minutes. "I'll take a blood sample for my contacts to analyse the magic left in his body, but everything seems to be in order."
Both Agent Barton and Agent Romanov seemed relieved.
"Can he come with us on mission?" Agent Romanov asked.
Harry nodded. "I don't see why not."
"I thank you for taking the time to make sure." Agent Barton acknowledged, though he still looked uncomfortable. Not that Harry could fault his suspiciousness against magic. He was just thinking about what he could say to make the agent more on ease, when he heard a familiar voice shout for him.
Smiling, and ignoring the slight flinches from his two new colleagues, Harry fished his mirror out of his pocket.
"Hey, Story. Have something already?"
"Yeah, found a tracking ritual. You wouldn't have the components, so we performed it for you. As I told you, anything Norse specific is difficult. Instead, the ritual simply finds the most megalomaniac god on earth."
"Are you sure that you found the right one?" Harry asked, worrying his lips.
Astoria rolled her eyes. "Well, that's really for you to find out isn't it? Though I suspect if there were two megalomaniac gods on earth, you guys would know about both of them."
Harry thought a moment and then nodded. "Fair enough. Where did you track him to?"
"He's in New York City. There is another large source of magical energy in his direct proximity. You should have no trouble finding that source once you are in the city."
Smiling at Astoria, Harry nodded again. "Great, thanks Story. You really helped us out. Listen, can I send a blood sample over for you to analyse? There is some magic left in a new colleague's body. I'm sure it isn't dangerous for now, but I'd like you to have a look at it."
"Sure, send it over. I'll take a look. Good luck for your business with the Norse guy. Oh, and Luna asked me to tell you that if you have to close an intergalactic portal, then you should make sure to get rid of the nuclear rocket first."
Harry frowned. "That seems awfully specific for Luna. Should I be worried?"
Astoria shrugged. "She also said to let you know that the Nargles are flying low today."
"Ah." Harry smiled knowingly. "Then all is well, I guess."
Astoria grinned back and blew him a kiss, before cutting the communication. Harry turned to the other people in the room. "Let's go to New York City then." Everyone seemed too speechless to say anything.
Well, everyone apart from Raven of course. His 'sister' clapped into her hands and smiled as if Santa had just revealed an extra big package for her. "Goody, finally I get to have some fun."