And Happy Three Year Anniversary of this fic! - And thank you to all those who have shared their appreciation, kudos, comments through these last four years (wow! Can't believe it's already been three years... and that not even counting when I started drafting the story.)

Also happy to inform you that I've passed my Thesis! Woohoo! (on the other hand, job hunting and unfortunately had a grandparent and a great-uncle pass away in the last month... so felt like a need for some cheering up/change of ideas, and thus: New Chapter! Woohoo! (Finally))

Thank you again for all your support and patience - hope you enjoy this update. Warning though: not beta-read, Sorry. (Will also try and fix the comment mentioned errors/mistakes in the previous chapters, but not promising anything. X)



"Charlie's in Romania studying dragons, and Bill's in Africa doing something for Gringotts," said Ron. "Did you hear about Gringotts? It's been all over the Daily Prophet, but I don't suppose you get that with the Muggles - someone tried to rob a high security vault."

- Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

}{ HP }{ MCU }{

One - Two... One - Two… One - Two…

Steve barely panted through his seventeenth turn around the three oak trees to give him once more a view across the land to the house at the other end. Well, mansion.

Trust Stark to have not one but two properties in New York City. Steve couldn't afford a one-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights let alone anywhere in Brooklyn[1].

To be fair to Stark, the Stark Mansion was all Howard Stark, rather than Tony. Tony was the Tower in Midtown.

The tower which was unfortunately in the middle of the current chaos (as was Tony). Literally.

New York City - Midtown in particular - was the centre of a (space-battle induced) mess. SHIELD (and the people above SHIELD, namely Secretary Pierce), not to mention the US government, the military (General Ross high on that list), and various agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA...) wanted to have long chats (or as Tony had said with more colourful language 'stick their noses into everything going on'), including about the dimension hopping kid (not that they knew that).

Getting Harry (and Bruce) out of the limelight had quickly felt like a very good idea. Romanoff and Barton had been even more insistent to the fact than Tony and Thor. Not that the interested parties had forgotten about them because of their change of residence. A good third of Steve's SHIELD debriefing had been focused on his interactions with Harry and Fawkes. (Thor's had focused on how SHIELD was treating his brother and Harry's snake rather than answering their questions.)

While Harry wasn't part of the seidrs that had been hunted down by the 'Nine Realms', said purge had happened. Magical users with powers similar to Harry's had been persecuted to extinction... or near-extinction. (Tony had actually theorised that Harry's ancestors might have been seidrs. A group having found an escape from the persecution, through dimension travel. Neither Thor nor the Magical Hat had shut down the possibility.)

It wasn't like Earth - whether this one or even the one Harry had come from - was any better, looking through their own Earth's History. The number of agencies wanting to at the very least question the twelve year old kid didn't sit right with Steve. Heck, he wasn't oblivious to the fact that was mainly Tony Stark's own power and influence (and private mansion) that made it that most had backed off, at least for the moment. The whole thing actually made Steve think of his own experience after Project Rebirth. The army had continually forced him in the role of a trained monkey, all while doing tests and taking samples of his blood, until he had taken matters in his own hands when Bucky had been in trouble.

Steve couldn't imagine how things were for Natasha and Clint, back at headquarters. Then again, Barton was on leave for the week, given the whole mind-control.

Romanoff was mainly doing... something. - She had been at the mansion last night, for 'The Wizard of Oz'. (To think, people now were able to have you own home cinema experience. And in Tony Stark's case, it was indeed a cinema-screen-sized worthy experience.) Just like the first evening, there had been a long debate on which film to watch, with choices including 'Labyrinth', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'Matilda'... but ultimately they had gone with the 'original' movie about magic. Tony had also insisted that Clint - or 'Legolas' - had to be there for whenever they did The Lord of the Rings viewing. (There had also been a comment about Oz being from Steve's generation, so it should be less jarring for him. Steve had more focused on the memory of Bucky wanting to see the film, but they never gotten round to going.)

As for Tony, since his 'debrief' (if they could really call it that the little amount of time Stark had spent during it), Stark had already gotten several calls from Fury, while his dame dealt with the press being extra eager and wild with speculations. Steve had seen more than one article convinced that Harry was Tony's child from 'an evening with a previous encounter' (this being the less vulgar version of such articles).

In fact the only debriefs that had happened at SHIELD Headquarters were of those employed by them - that is to say, Clint, Natasha and Steve. Bruce had swallowed a bunch of the magical lemon drops before his. Thor had done a discussion of sorts at the Mansion, before following Fury back to SHIELD, to where they were keeping Loki. Since then, the Asgardian spent most of his time either with Loki or with his own Earth dame (a scientist who Steve had little chance in understanding what she actually did). Heck, the only true reason the Asgardian returned so often to the Manor was to be close to Harry and the baby phoenix while they still tried to figure out how to proceed with all Harry and the Hat had told them. (The Asgardian had helped with the clean up. But, to be blunt, Thor was better at the fighting (and destroying) than at the cleaning following.)

As for Harry's, the debrief had included both Thor and Tony; the Asgardian as his 'outer space representative', Stark as his 'Earth representative' (and the Magical Hat as his universe representative, not that Fury had known that).

There was also the fact that the big alien hole had been directly above Stark Tower. As such, it wasn't that surprising to learn it wasn't currently 'structurally sound'. Nothing immediately life threatening, but as Steve understood it, it was 'highly recommended' to not stay there. And that wasn't even taking into consideration the unknown 'gama elements' and 'energy readings' Stark's different machines were apparently picking up on. Stark had mentioned the tower - or really his 'AI': 'artificial intelligence, but not the Skynet type, don't worry' (whatever that meant) - was doing a full scan of the building while it was empty. One of the studies was the variation in gamma radiation before and after the battle. With what had happened to Dr Banner, a study seemed like another good idea, even to Steve.

There was also Stark's need to 'taking it easy' (or really his definition of taking it easy) mainly at Ms Potts' insistence. (Ms Potts had also been rather peeved to learn that Tony had done the equivalent of signing a 'legally binding contract' without discussing it with her... Though, she had been mollified when learning it had to do with helping a kid find his way home. Her temper and no-nonsense attitude reminded Steve of Peggy.)

While Steve wasn't told everything, it was clear that the battle had affected Tony, more than the rest of them had been. The battle and magic had affected him more than just the dents in his suit, and shutting down during the fire swirling-magic ritual. (Steve wasn't one to judge. He had had more than one instance before and after Project Rebirth, where he had pushed himself further than he should have.) Steve was pretty sure whatever was going on was another reason for the change of scenery; getting Stark to rest, and out of being right in the middle of things. Though of course, the tech genius had refused to be detached completely, especially with regards to the kid.

Steve was currently tied in last place with Thor, with even the kid beating them, on Earth's technology knowledge.

Well, Harry and his magic talking Hat.

"I'm Harry Potter."

"And I'm the Sorting Hat."

Exclamations from all around the room had followed the statement, most jumping from their seats and crying out - Steve in the mix.

The Hat had apologised for the subterfuge, along with removing all blame from Harry. It had hoped that the Vow they had just done would assuage their various feelings of betrayal. This had followed with a promise that it would not share any of the information it saw within each on their minds (and hadn't that been a punch to the gut) - even with Harry. In the same train of thought, the magical hat pointed out that with Harry's 'usual minders not present' and Fawkes being 'in a juvenile state', they were his charges. He would prioritise them over the rest of the team's discomfort. In that light, he had needed assurance of their character.

The tale that had followed, shared by Harry and the magical Hat, was of another Earth; one fantastical (one possibly even more fantastical than the one Steve was living in). There were baby dragons, unicorns, and huge man-eating spiders. And yet, one just as similar to their own, with prejudice, wars, and death... The little Harry had so far shared made Steve's own childhood look pretty decent in comparison. (The little he had heard about 'Aunt Petunia' and 'Uncle Vernon' made Steve want to take the journey back with Harry and give them a piece of his mind.)

Aliens. Magic. Other worlds. Other dimensions. Talking hats.

Steve was honestly apprehensive as to what he would find out next...

Next most likely being at the big meeting happening at SHIELD tomorrow.

At least Steve had a large area to run. While some areas of the park were open to the public, Stark's private property was more than large enough for a run without any risk of being accosted, all while appreciating the surrounding nature. (Something definitely lacking in Midtown.)

The mansion itself couldn't be more different from the tower. Heck, Tony had said something about the building having been designated a Historic Landmark. Which meant that even Tony Stark shouldn't change certain parts of the building —or at least it's outside. (Stark had already mentioned more than once wanting to recreate his own version of the 'Sky Ceiling' in the Great Hall in Harry's school.)[2] The inside definitely was closer to the aesthetic of the tower, yet even there, the tone was less... gadget-technology centred. If not for its opulence, Steve found himself more at home... less jarred. Not that Steve had actually seen much of the mansion outside his morning runs. For the last couple days, he had spending most of his time helping with search and rescue, and clearing out the areas the battle had reached.

The soft grass changed to the crunching of gravel under his feet, for Steve to feel the smooth paving of the stone steps as he ran up and down them several times... And to notice the large snake sunbathing on one of the larger flat rocks by the fountain.

'Kevin' had arrived not long after them at the manor. In fact, Fury himself had delivered the reptile, along with giving news of Agent Coulson, who had woken up and was recovering. (After the visit, Steve might have asked Natasha to retrieve Coulson's trading cards, so he could sign them.) SHIELD had actually figured out that the snake 'Kevin' had been 'summoned' by Harry from a zoo Up-State, previously named by the zoo's vet. Steve wasn't entirely sure what Fury had done, but the snake was now as good as Harry's. The moment had been somewhat ruined by Tony pointing out SHIELD's objective clearly being getting forgiven for having done tests on the snake. That and the Director had also wanted to have a few words with several of them. After this original house-call, Stark had made it clear only a select few from SHIELD - i.e. Romanoff and Barton - were welcome in either the Tower or Stark Mansion. For the rest, Stark would come to SHIELD (when he felt like it).

Well, there was also the go-between in the form of Tony's dame, along with Colonel James Rhodes - 'War Machine'. (Steve did wonder which of them had the more ridiculous 'superhero name'.) SHIELD and the US Army were clearly using the colonel to talk with Stark... and try getting information about Thor, Harry and Fawkes.

In fact, it was War Machine's arrival, landing on the outer balcony, which had put a pause on the conversation in the Tower (interrupting the 'Hogwarts Houses' discussion). Colonel Rhodes had returned from a battle with the Ten Rings which had gone on more or less at the same time as the Attack on New York. (It was later concluded that Loki had had nothing to do with the attack, or the Ten Rings.) As for Colonel Rhodes himself - and later Ms Potts, Tony had been quick and insistent on their trust, even ready to (finally) wear the Hat for himself... Along with having Rhodes wear it, and do a 'Vow of Secrecy'.

Even the snake reaffirmed Stark wary stance with regards to SHIELD. While Harry apparently 'tasted of tall grass, lilies and 'the Blinding One' (with the 'blinding one' being the sun from what they had figured out), SHIELD, or least the labs it had been kept in were 'stale, with no blinding one', but instead, eternal tastelessness'. All the 'bipeds' tasted of a mix of fear, despair, or, for some, 'the eternal void of darkness'. The snake had also complained of his tank having been too small. Nor had he liked being prodded, his fangs and scales attacked, to the point that he had declared all of those who 'tasted of cold and were armed with tasteless teeth' mortal enemies of serpents.

Even his zoo enclosure, while 'acceptable', was also rather 'stale' compared to Harry. The kid had mused that it was like when he had discovered the wizarding world and Hogwarts. 'Once you know of it you don't really want to go back to Little Whinging'. (Steve was pretty sure that even he - a 'mundane' - wouldn't want to go to 'Little Whinging'.)

Thankfully, both Harry and Thor had spoken to the snake about not eating Fawkes - who tasted of 'many Blinding Ones trapped in a fledging'. While Steve could actually understand what Thor said (something to do with 'AllSpeak'), the snake seemed to follow Harry's hisses more. - The way Thor explained it, Harry was a 'Speaker', speaking the 'noble tongue of Nahder-Nadder... Nader'. Thor on the other hand spoke Norse (or really, Old Norse), which was automatically translated by the Yg-the Magic Norse Tree and AllSpeak to the listener. The discussion had led to several theorising something about perception and Plato's cave...[3] (while Steve was rather lost). One conclusion was that AllSpeak probably translated literally what was said - as a result, Thor's sentences tended to sound odd - while 'parseltongue' translated in words and in meaning what Harry thought he was saying in English. That and Harry 'tasted' even nicer than Thor, who tasted of 'lighting and a warm flat rock, ideal to slumber on'.

(Steve honestly wasn't sure he wanted to know what he 'tasted' like.)

}{ HP }{ MCU }{

There was a picture of Harry staring back at him. While Mr Stark had shown him (and Captain Steve and Thor) how to use a number of the technology from this Earth (with mixed results, especially with regards to Thor), Harry preferred the paper based newspapers to the large screens. The Hat had wondered if it had something to do with him being a wizard and this world having not needed to counter Harry's type of magic until their arrival.

The newspaper's cover was taken from some distance away, on their way back from the Shawarma place, just as Mr Stark had warned him about the press;

"It all starts with the paps. You gotta be careful with them — they can never get enough of you, good or bad. First, they're all friendly, but then they will take anything. H-Heck, the worse the better. Then there are the fans... — Soon you'll have your very own fans: boys wearing similar clothes to you. Earth girls writing about you in their diaries, convinced that they are the one who can 'tame your rebellious magical attitude'," the words completed with him doing a hand-finger-motion. Not that Mr Stark knew about Harry's own fame at the time. Harry would definitely not tell him about Ginny's Valentine's day poem... nor what her 'diary entries' to Tom Riddle had focused on.

He wasn't even the prominent person in the picture. Mr Stark stood out the most. Harry supposed it was his 'natural charisma', nothing like Lockhart and his smiles in Floorish and Bolts and at Hogwarts. In the photograph, he could also just make out Dr Banner. For someone who clearly stood out when in his other form, he was surprising adept at fading into the background when not Mr. Hulk.

The most disconcerting actually, was that it wasn't moving like a wizard picture would.

It was also strange to see himself without glasses. That would take some getting used to. Even from this distance, you noticed his green eyes — that and the tiredness in the whole of the group. While you couldn't actually see the circles under his eyes, Harry still felt the weight of the last few days. That and all that had happened before here. Hermione petrified, along with Colin Creevey and the other muggleborns (and Mrs Norris and Nearly-Headless Nick), Ron and his brothers dealing with their sister taken into the depths of Slytherin's Chambers, Lockhart proving himself a phony stealing people's memories, Tom Riddle and the basilisk, the Hat and the sword, Fawkes... Oh, and exams to revise for admits everything else.

A strange and tiring week... and yet not that strange, compared with at the rest of his life.

A year ago, he had confronted a full grown troll and a three-headed dog, had helped smuggle a baby dragon, met centaurs and tackled a unicorn-blood drinking possessed two headed wizard going after a shiny red rock. (Why did it all come down to shiny rocks?)

With a sigh, he put the newspaper down, for him to carefully pull out the wizard photograph. Throat tight Harry focused on when he would tell Ron and Hermione of this crazy adventure he had been on with Dumbledore's phoenix and the Sorting Hat.

Harry gave the couple a smile before placing it carefully in his robes and heading for the door.

The mansion a muggle of a labyrinth (though thankfully no moving staircases or shifting walls - though Mr Tony had mentioned wanting a 'Great Sky Ceiling' of his own), it took Harry a bit of time to make his way to down to the large living space. The kitchen and dining area were at one end, where Dr Bruce was already sat. The living area at the other, with Ms Potts - unsurprisingly - on her mobile phone (another difference between the two Earths).

Quietly moving passed her, Mr Tony's 'girlfriend' still turned as Harry entered, giving him a smile and nod all while continuing her conversation. (Aunt Petunia would have definitely pursed her lips at Mr Stark and Ms Potts living together without being married. Last summer she had made several comments about Mr Number Nine inviting his 'trollop' to live with him after his divorce from the previous Mrs Number Nine.)

Moving further into the space, Harry noted the different papers on the low tables; some with the logo of Mr Stark's company, others half-notes or drawings quickly drawn (though these Mr Stark tended to take with him). One of the tables was covered with several newspapers, unsurprisingly talking about the attack. The one on top was from yesterday. The cover had a huge 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS!' title written, with the rest of the page was taken over by a muggle photo showing the Celtic Flame Spell climbing up and eating away at the blue beam. According to Mr Stark, the text referred to the muggle books with the wizard Gandalf. Or at least the muggle films based on the books. (Captain Steve had only read the first book, but that wasn't actually part of the film series. Mr. Stark had called it a 'prequel'... 'just like Captain Steve'.)

Dr Bruce smiled up at him as Harry passed him heading for the fridge, before returning to his reading: one of the Hat's books. Captain Steve was most likely outside, running, as he had done yesterday. Just as Mr Tony was most likely already in his laboratory - or his 'la-ah-b'.

The other two 'occupants' were playing chess - wizard chess. As far as he could tell, the Hat had just instructed to one of his knights to take one to the red pawns.

"Queen to C4", came a reply from overhead; Mr Stark's 'Just A Really Very Intelligent System'. The red queen stabbed (violently) the white knight in the stomach. (For their first game yesterday, Tony had insisted his 'A.I.' play red.) The white knight soon joined the growing pile of beaten chess pieces on the side of the board, with baby-Fawkes observing them.

As far as Harry knew this was at least their fifth game between the Hat and 'JARVIS', after Mr Stark had suggested they play. The two players were rather evenly matched; with each having both lost and won two games. How would Ron fair against them?

The sound of heals clicking against floor made Harry turn. Ms Potts was no longer on the telephone, though she continued looking down at it, typing on the little letters showing on the screen, as she let out a low sigh.

"Everything all right Ms Potts?"

In the few days he had met her, Harry rather liked Ms Potts. It did help that, just as several of Mr Tony's characteristics reminded Harry of Arthur Weasley (Mr Tony was definitely as intrigued about magic as Mr Weasley was about muggle inventions, and there was the whole flying Ford Anglia topic), several of Ms Potts traits aligned with Molly Weasley. For one, Harry was certain she would handle just as easily six rambunctious boys —and a girl.

Looking up, she gave Harry a tired smile, "Good morning, Harry. Just another matter to organise..."

Clearly JARVIS had been listening during the conversation, as, his voice louder, he suggested, "Shall I organise for the Stark Storage Facilities upstate to be cleared, ready for the artefacts from the MET to be able to arrive as soon as tomorrow, Ms Potts?"

"That would be wonderful JARVIS, thank you," the reply came with a tired look of relief — one of ticking one item off an endless list of things to deal with.

"The Met?" The London Metropolitan police was called the 'Met' for short, but he doubted this was the case here. (The police here tended to be referred to as 'cops'.)

Ms Potts smiled, "The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum, along with several others, is situated rather close to where the battle happened. Thankfully, the 'Chituari' didn't reach the museum. They normally do a big dinner in May called the 'MET Gala', inviting celebrities and big donors to fund the museum. Mr Stark and I had planned to go. We're always ready to support the arts, with an ever-growing collection."

Harry silently thought it was most likely Ms Potts who was interested in the art collections. Mr Tony was more about modern technology, rather than beautiful pieces created by others centuries ago.

"Understandably, the Gala has been postponed given the battle. In addition to this, some of the artefacts were damaged, from aftershocks. More are unfortunately still at risk due to the vibrations generated by the clean up crews. Stark Industries has been asked by several museums, namely the MET, to see if we could temporarily safeguard a selection of their more fragile pieces."

"Are there a lot of artefacts to store?" Harry asked, thinking of all the ornaments in Professor Dumbledore's office.

Ms Potts gave an amused huff, "The MET is the largest art museum in the U.S. While not all needs to be protected or repaired, there are still quite a lot that does — over a thousand pieces. S.I. is definitely not the only ones being contacted; Roxxon, Pym Tech, AIM..."

"Do wizards have museums?" the question came from Dr Bruce, looking between Harry and the Hat, no longer reading.

"Not as such," the Hat hummed. "There are mouseion. The Mouseion of Alexandria the most well-known, at least in Eurasia. They do not have collections of works of art. Rather they are institutions of learning for the best scholars of the magical world. As there are spells to protect artefacts, many — like myself — continue to be used, even a thousand years later."

"And our paintings move and talk," Harry added.

"In a similar light, it also means mundane museums are closely regulated," the Hat continued. "Mundane museums are much smaller to those here, from what I have observed. Magical beings are very keen on protecting their memorabilia. With it, mundane dig sites are often surveyed to insure nothing from the magical world is found. It is to save cultural artefacts, but also to protect the mundane from lingering wards or curses. I believe only thirty or so of the 121 pyramids can actually be seen by mundane tourists. Just as quite a few 'dinosaur excavations' turned out to actually be dragons - for the mundane to be duped or turned away through wards. What would possibly be in a museum in this world, is either still being used by a certain being, protected in someone's private property, or buried with their maker."

Harry was reminded of Ron's oldest brother working as a curse-breaker in Egypt for the Goblins.

— "JARVIS, make a note: I'm to be buried with all my suits."

Harry's neck snapped. Mr Tony had joined them, along with his friend 'Colonel Rhodey'. Colonel Rhodey who didn't look amused by the comment. Neither did Ms Potts.

Ignoring the glare and eye roll respectively, Mr Stark focused on the Hat, "Tell me, my Helpful Animated Thinker, what are the magical world's thoughts with regards to creation and ownership?"

The Hat gave a dry chuckle, "Mr Stark, you have brought up a subject behind thousands of years of conflict between different magical cultures. Beings: Veela, vampires, mermaids... each have their own beliefs. It is a staple of Goblin Culture that ownership is always with the maker; anything goblin-made should be returned to them after the 'buyer' dies. Conversely, most mages are of the mentality of 'consumer ownership'. More than half the wars between Goblins and Mages can be traced to such distinct differences in their traditions and how they treat their heritage."

Mr Stark eyed his friend, "the War Machine suit better return to Stark Industries if anything happens to you. The thought of any of my suits getting back into the hands of the US Army or worse Hammer" - his body shuddered.

"Hammer is in prison —Seagate down in Georgia," Colonel Rhodey reminded him.

Mr Stark scoffed, while Dr Banner turned pensively towards the Hat, "Mouseion of Alexandria, as in the Great Library of Alexandria?"

"The Mouseion of Alexandria does include the Library of Alexandria, yes." Guessing whatever it was the scientist was thinking, the Hat continued, "The City of Alexandria is one of the greatest hubs of magical cultures in our world. Mundanes believe it was completely destroyed during the Palmyran War.[4]"

Stark eyes narrowed. "Didn't Thor mention something about the other realms visiting Earth loads before he was born?... When was Alexandria's Library burned here J?"

"Most historians are in agreement that the library was destroyed when the city was invaded by the Palmyrene Empire, sir."

Stark didn't look convinced, "If I find out Asgardians or another realm stole our books and burned our library down, to leaves us in the Dark Ages, I'm going to declare war on them!"

Dr Banner huffed, "Careful Tony — gonna start sounding like a conspiracy theorist."

"Hey, I'm not be lectured by someone reading about knitting patterns."

"Excuse me?" Dr Bruce frowned; as did Harry.

Mr Tony eyed pointedly the Hat's book in front of Dr Bruce — "One Hundred and one best Knitting Patterns," the judgemental tone obvious.

Dr Bruce looked from Mr Tony, to Harry — to the others in the room, "Umm..."

Clearly sensing being amiss, Mr Tony turned to his girlfriend and friend, "Pep, Rhodes... help me out here" —

For the Hat to chuckle, "Apologies Mr Stark, you are not misreading. Nor is Doctor Banner; if I had to take a gander, I would assume that the book has a basic cloaking enchantment — an anti-mundane one — due to its subject matter."


"Subject matter?"

"Creatures of the magical realm."

Mr Tony paused, his hesitant look slowly turning into something more excited, clearly ready to unravel this new information.

Only for Ms Pepper to cut through — "Meeting with Columbia in half-an-hour. We're already late if we count NY traffic — and no, you're not going there in one of your suits."

Mr Tony gave a long pained groan — for him to jab his finger to Dr Bruce, followed by second accusatory prod to Harry, "You both are going to read out loud every page of that book for JARVIS to record" - for him to then point to the Hat - "and you will add any additional information missed out in this..."

There was a pause, the words trailing as he looked to the doctor. Bruce gave a jolt of understanding and looked down at the book's cover, "... Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Sca-Scamander."

Tony gave a nod, his eyes shining, "The Beasts Book — and when you are done with that one, there's the other one to look through as well.

"— Oh, and remember! Tonight is sushi night and Arthur's Origin story: a fantastical tale of the great wizard Merlin and a young Arthur before he was king."

Harry perked up; last night he had had 'proper American pizza' for the first time, Mr Tony having ordered New York pizzas as well as 'deep dish pizzas' from Chicago. (The night had included a small debate over which one was better. Harry really liked both but ultimately preferred the thinner crust ones.) Sushi was apparently from Japan, and was 'very different'.

Plus, Harry was rather enjoying their 'Movie Nights'. It had all started their first night in Mr Stark's family home (mansion really), with a remark about spies, double agents and secret identities. Mr Tony had made another quip in response, one mentioning someone called 'Keiser Soze';

"Who's Keyser Söze?"

The question came from Captain Steve, with Harry also wondering. Eyes wide, Mr Tony swerved to face the Captain, "You don't know who Kieser Soze!"

Thor frowned, concern clearly building on his face, "Is this King Soze a threat to Midgard?"

While Harry didn't think it a possibility, given how Mr Stark was acting, he did straighten in his seat. It did reassure him that Miss Natasha and Agent Clint just looked amused. In fact, Mr Clint was quick to reassure Thor, "no he isn't."

While there was some humour in her voice, Ms Potts chastised him, "Tony, isn't Harry a little young to find out who Keyser Söze is?"

"Of course not! He's nearly thirteen! — I watched that film when I was eleven."

Colonel Rhodey huffed behind him, to mumble, "That explains so much".

Yet Ms Potts wasn't convinced and insisted, "I'm pretty sure its rated R."

-"The Usual Suspects is indeed rated R by the MPAA for 'violence and a substantial amount of strong language', Ms Potts," confirmed JARVIS. And as if anticipating Mr Tony retorting, the AI added, "It is also rated 18 in the most other countries, including in the United Kingdom."

Unfortunately, that didn't stop Mr Tony from pointing out, "Ah, but rated R means that anyone under 17 only needs to be accompanied by an adult! Besides, Harry is nearly thirteen, it's not like he's six. And, I mean, let's be honest. Harry isn't any ordinary kid. He was part of the battle — killing aliens just this morning."

This earned him a glare from Mr Clint, "That doesn't mean we should be encouraging needless violence as a form of entertainment. If anything we should probably go for something family friendly."

Only for Tony to talk above him, pointing his finger at Captain Steve and Thor, "— Wait! You guys don't know about Tyler Durdan! Or Ms Bates!" —

For him to stop mid-motion, clearly realising something else, becoming all the more excited, or agitated, Harry wasn't quite sure. "—No. You don't know about Luke... Luke and his f— Leia and Han, Shubaka and Darth Vader!"

"The Dark Father?" Thor frowned in confusion.

Tony's eyes widened in panic, "No spoilers!" for him to pause and frown. "Wait how do you..." To wave off the god, "Nevermind. — Just don't say anymore in your weird translating language." [5]

He then swerved to look at Harry, his frown becoming uncertain... considering. Eyes narrowed he asked, "Do they have Star Wars back on Krypton?"

The name did ring a bell... But for the life of him, Harry couldn't place where he had heard it before. Given the conversation, he assumed it was a film of some kind. Either it was one for adults, thus even Aunt Petunia would think twice before letting Dudley see it. (To be fair, it had war in the title.) Or, the story or a part of the film was too 'unnatural' for 'ordinary folk' like Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia wouldn't be caught dead enjoying, let alone letting their precious Diddikums watching.

The answer must have been written on his face, as Tony clapped his hands together, a great big smile having appeared, "Right! It's official! For now on, in addition to making you discover the international culinary treats found in the Big Apple, we will be having Movie Night! Also, Jarvis! - No spoiling iconic films: a general search block on the biggest movie reveals... Not that I think we have much risk of either Point Break or Captain Capsicle figuring out how to work a computer."

There was a pause then, for him to swerve once more to Harry. His eyes widened once more for him to near-whisper (though his voice was far too excited for him to actually be able to whisper), "can you see dead people?"

Harry frowned, "What, like ghosts? Umm, yes."

Tony's eyes weren't the only ones to widen (further). The others in the room straightened. Even Thor mentioned that only a select few could 'see and converse' with spirits.

As for Mr Tony, he started looking round the room as if searching for some. Considering it, the man was possibly half-excited, half-worried to ask if there were some here in the Mansion.

"There aren't any here. Only wizards can become ghosts... Or at least only back in my world."

Later, when Harry had headed to his room, he heard Mr Tony groan some more, "What I would give to not have been spoiled so many stories... even just about Luke!"

Harry had no idea what he was talking about and who Luke was. The Hat on the other hand had chuckled, 'I do in fact know who Luke is. But don't worry, I won't spoil anything.'

Ultimately, the first film they did settle on - as it would not 'disorient Harry too much' - was the Disney film, Fantasia. The other deciding factor had been Captain Steve having perked up when film and its company had been mentioned. Apparently he had seen some of their earlier films; 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves', something to do with someone named Willie and his steamboat, and 'Fantasia'.

The film had sparked Tony from calling him Mini-Gandalf to 'Gandalf's Apprentice'. He had even suggested it as Harry's 'Super-hero name'. Harry had been more focused on the brooms not flying, but rather cleaning. (Mr Tony had also mentioned something about not watching the film while eating mushrooms. Thor had been as confused as Harry by the remark, while most of the others had huffed or chuckled. Although, Captain Steve looked like one of his cherished memories had been ruined.)

And tonight...

"Did Merlin actually exist in your universe?" the question coming from Colonel Rhodey.

"Yes, but..." Harry frowned, trying to get the History correct (he could thank Binns for not knowing it well). Gratefully, the Hat took over, "There have actually been three Merlin's throughout Britannia's History."

Mr. Stark' eyebrow rose as he moved closer, "Three Merlins?"

— "Tonytwenty-five minutes."

"Fine. J — Record everything mini-Merlin and Gandalf's hat say: magical creatures; goblins and their magical artefacts; Gandalf, Merlin and the Sorcerer's Apprentice all having tea with the Queen..."

Colonel Rhodes gave an amused shake of the head, to turn back to the Hat once Mr Stark and Ms Potts had left the room, "So... something about multiple Merlins?"

"In truth, there were two Arthurs and people get their chronicles intertwined. There has been but one Merlin, who studied under Master Slytherin at Hogwarts, and went on to become the greatest enchanter known in Eurasia. There were two wizards who are ofttimes confused with Merlin: Myrddin and Ambrosius. Ambrosius is the one who aided the 'other Arthur': a Celt King Arthur who battled against the Saxons in the early 6th Century. The 'real Merlin' helped Arthur, Duke of Brittany, in become King of England rather than his Uncle John, after the death of his other uncle - Prince John's older brother - Richard, several centuries later."[6]

Dr Bruce frowned pensively to Harry, "Haven't you used Merlin as an expletive?"

Harry's cheeks warmed, "Not in a negative way... more like muggles mention Jesus or other very famous figures. Other magical figures are also used, though not as much: Morgana, the different Hogwarts founders... But at least in Britain, Merlin is the most famous wizard, because how much he was able to accomplish not only in terms of magic, but for the country, in helping unite it. We also talk about his beard, which became really long when he was older. — Merlin's beard is more when something catches you by surprise: like a very long beard."

His cheeks and ears heated even more as Harry couldn't help but add, "We do also sometimes refer to his pants —underwear, especially when frustrated. — Merlin's Pants!"

}{ HP }{ MCU }{

Clint was technically still on leave for the rest of the week.

Officially, Clint was also one of the few agents who had built a rapport with 'the seidr' — as Harry was now formally referred to (because stating him by name — first name at that, would only remind most that he was a child, albeit an 'alien child', at least according to his file). Clint was one of the few (four if you counted Coulson) in SHIELD that 'the seidr' trusted.

And yet, Clint was one of the few surviving SHIELD agents who had been compromised; Coulson and himself in the most literal sense. (Heck, even Selvig was considered compromised, along with Agents Johnson and Blake, who had also been put under Loki's Staff.)

Nat had the whole Black Widow stigma going for her. All turned agents (and double agents to other countries) had it. They were the last to be trusted and the first to be accused.

Steve had only just returned to active duty after being frozen for half a century.

And Coulson was even more on leave and recovering than Clint was. (Coulson was going go stir crazy until he was able to return to active duty.)

Unlike Coulson, Clint had gotten a full eval (psych eval included), along with his own grilling, hidden under the excuse of wanting to know all that had happened from the Tesseract acting up (including anything he might remember while under Loki's spell, which was next to nothing — Barton undecided if this was a good or bad thing). There had been blood works, brain and body scans (all while Clint hadn't tried to think too much on Thor warnings about Blood Magic). (Even Selvig had had an eval, remembering more than Barton did. The Magical Hat had mentioned something about the ability to 'compartmentalise'. This had allowed him to create a fail-safe of sorts to circumvent some of the staff's attack.)

All this hadn't stopped Clint from getting several updates both from the team, and from SHIELD (usually through Nat).

In the same light, it also hadn't stopped both 'sides' from requesting animatedly that he join today's meeting. (Unsurprisingly, Nat had been the most tactful in soliciting his presence... and Fury the bluntest.)

So, Clint had headed back for New York last night, just in time to watch 'The Sword in the Stone' (something to definitely re-watch with the kids).

And like the two previous movies, it had brought on a number of discussions about the kid's (and Thor's) world and abilities.

For one, Harry mentioned that the movie's representation of Merlin looked a lot like Professor Dumbledore, though his Headmaster preferred robes that are more vibrant. (Clint wouldn't be surprised if this Dumbledore guy had purposefully grown out his beard to remind other wizards of Merlin, and hence create an unconscious link in their minds between himself and the 'Greatest British Enchanter'.)

Then there had been talk of 'animagus'... 'animagi'. The Magical Hat had explained that while human transfiguration was possible, it was very advanced magic —and very dangerous. Personal transformations - 'becoming an animagus' - was restrictive to one animal, and was a long and arduous process. And no, transforming into a magical creature, such as a dragon, was not possible; only a (non-magical) animal was. (Clint did wonder what animal he would be. Following his codename, a hawk wouldn't be a bad choice. How would Nat feel if she was able to turn in an actual black widow?)

Of course, one of the big topics of the meeting was the kid (along with Loki).

Truthfully, Clint doubted anyone on Earth — even the great Tony Stark — would be able to help the kid find a way home. Just thinking of the 'progress' SHIELD had made in the several months they had been playing around with the Tesseract while he watched from the rafters. Selvig himself had said they were only at the beginning of their research.

Heck, Clint had read the reports from before Project Pegasus. There was of course that questionable suppressed period in the 90's. (As far as Clint was aware, most of the documents hadn't just been redacted with black marker, they had been completely wiped clean). Before that, the Tesseract had been with SHIELD since the 70's, after Stark Senior had fished it out of the ocean. Over thirty years of research, and what had they really found out? Sure, Junior had more advanced tech to help them out but dimension travel?

Then again, Stark was clearly barely containing himself from asking a million questions ever since first meeting the kid on the Helicarrier. For the most part, he appeared to have been able to restrain himself. But there had been several excited conversations on 'string' and 'super string theories' and 'Calabi yo'[7]-something with Banner. (To be fair a million questions had started popping up in Clint's own head since Mojave.) — Stark had even mentioned putting his robot army on the back burner to focus on protections against hostile magic from other worlds. Barton hadn't been sure if he was joking or not, before hearing mention of a 'Project Ultron' whilst talking with Banner and his AI.

Clint gave more chance to Thor's Magic Kingdom, clearly already more competent in space travel.

Though maybe not Thor himself, the guy was clearly more a doer than a thinker.

Hell, if he hadn't been the bad guy in all this, Loki would be their best bet. What with him clearly showing a level of competence and knowledge, one he had transferred to his mind-controlled team. Sure, Clint had only been given knowledge pertaining to his own 'mission'. Selvig on the other hand, Clint was sure whatever knowledge Loki had transferred to him included stuff about space travel.

As for the 'other side': Clint still didn't know what to feel about the magical hat having read their thoughts. Definitely less violent than the staff, but that only meant it had been more subtle in its approach. The vow definitely helped — along with everything Harry —Harry, the Magic Hat and Fawkes, had done since coming on Earth.

With the Magical Hat, Thor's knowledge (along with Nat having another go at getting more information from Loki in the near future), plus Stark and Banner's super-brains, and Stark's AI, surely they would be able to come up with something?

If Clint were truly honest with himself, he wouldn't be surprised if the key lay in the Tesseract. That ... would not go down well with SHIELD, and probably not with Asgard and the rest of the 'Nine Realms' either.

And then there was that nagging thought in the back of his head (nothing to do with Loki's mind-magic thankfully). He hadn't been able to tell much to Laura, but his own thoughts were clearly mirrored in the rest of the team: should they send the kid back to his world?

This other Earth had your everyday horrible people-slash family members who Clint wanted to call social services on.

It also had a hidden magical community. One where Merlin had actually existed a thousand years ago... along with witch hunts, evil wizards, and magical bigotry (not to mention actual racism between magical races; Clint had gotten several echoes on yesterday's conversations on Goblins, Centaurs, and other 'magical beings').

And then there was the magic school; a school full of children, with a huge mythical snake in its basement, huge spiders in its back-garden, and not-so-Princess-Ariel-looking mermaids in the neighbouring lake. (Clint would definitely not show Lila the sketch Bruce had drawn of how mermaids looked in the lake near the kid's school.) The school which sounded less and less like the place Barton would want to ever send any kid - magical or not - his own included. The kid's story sounded like it came straight out of a Tolkien book, with a few modern twists inserted. (It was somewhat also alarming that the only one who wasn't that concerned was Thor, who had beings such as Rock Trolls, Fire Demons and various coloured Elves in his world.)

As for this Dumbledore guy, he reminded Clint of Fury: more a general, than the Headmaster of a school (especially with all the other titles he had). Then again, every parent and teacher a school could very easily describe a school being a warzone of sorts... (Nat had made a comment on 'indoctrinating them young'. Hell, the US school system was a prime example that depending on where you lived, the stuff taught to yours kids changed drastically.)

Then again, Clint lived in a world where Norse gods existed. Where terrorists weren't the worse threat to the planet; where war heroes came back from the dead... Were they any safer really?

Speaking of... the last ten minutes had been subtle —and not so subtle hints to Harry. Each one had been shut down, usually by Stark, but there had been a couple bluntly done by Thor — and another by Rogers.

At least they were currently trying to play ball. The fact that they were trying to play ball with Stark was... well... For one Stark - and Thor - still refused for Harry to go to any of the SHIELD facilities (with Clint} fully on board with).

Well, SHIELD was trying to play ball. General Ross had already made three remarks to Banner being absent, along with being a danger to National Security. Nor had the US Military warmed up to Stark since he had broken his contract with them... and sent his replacement to jail. — Carson, Head of Defence, had evoked getting Pym Tech on board now that it was under 'better leadership'. To which Tony had mentioned his father saying something about Hank Pym throwing a good punch. (Clint had tried not to react to the later comment while Carsons' jaw had twitched. The 'Pym Punch' before Pym had quit was rather well known in SHIELD.)

"... leads us to the next piece of discussion: Doctor Selvig mentioned a 'Convergence' in his debriefing. Mr Odinson, is there anything you can share with us on this?"

"Aye! Indeed Selvig is correct. - The alignment of the realms approaches."

"Alignment of the realms?"

"Aye," Thor smiled.

Ross grumbled, "What exactly does that mean?"

"It's the Convergence: when all Nine Realms are, but a few moments, aligned in truth. A joining of all our people. It is said to be truly beautiful by those who witnessed it."[8]

Carsons stared at him in disbelief "And you didn't think this was something important to mention to us?"

While Fury went for the more pertinent question, "When is this 'Convergence' supposed to happen?"

Thor's brows furrowed - "I am... uncertain."

Which, unsurprisingly, got Ross fired up, "This is why there needs to be — "

—a double beep-beep phone ring to cut through the rant.

Trust Stark to be the only person in the room to dare not but his phone on silent when in a meeting. And of course, instead of just turning the phone off, Stark checked his phone alert — to give whatever was on screen a frown.

"Are we keeping you from something Stark?"

"Oh just some Helpful Animated Tech, dealing with a small Peeves situation."

'Helpful animat—'—Peeves?

When Harry and the Hat had talked of ghosts (past magical) existing, they had also mentioned a poltergeist, prone to pranks, who haunted the magical school, and who went by the name of Peeves.

The Hat had also mentioned some bald yellow dressed lady - possibly a witch - who had visited the Helicarier with none of SHIELD being the wiser. Nat had mentioned the intel to Fury, but obviously the Director didn't get the 'Hogwarts' reference.

Had this witch returned —gone to the Stark Mansion while they were here?

It was mostly Clint's experience in having two kids, which meant that his next reaction was only noticeable to himself... and Nat. (Nat had the annoying skill of being able to read all his tells. It was impossible to play any sort of card or board game with her. Cooper and Lila only occasionally won against her 'cos she wanted to continue being their favourite aunt, i.e.: emotional manipulation. On his kids!)

Still it was also only thanks to his training and being a parent that Clint was able to follow the rest of the meeting all while wondering what exactly had happened-was possibly still happening at the Stark Mansion. Along with reminding himself: the kid wasn't alone. There was Bruce (and with him came the Hulk, if things came to the worse), along with Stark's AI, and the Hat... and Harry had magic... Plus surely Stark would be in more of a panic if things had gone sideways.


[1] Had a quick internet search of the more 'affordable' parts of NYC (NYC is supposedly the most expensive city in the World...); the 3 main parts seemed to be Washington Heights, Harlem or Parkchester; if you are an actual New Yorker, and feel like there is a better mention, feel free to mention it :)

[2] Stark Mansion: on the MCU website it states that it's in NYC. Wanting a proper Mansion feel with gardens, pool, etc. I identified the Bartow-Pell Mansion which actually existing in NYC. For this fic, we are going with H Stark having bought the Mansion from Robert Barlow's descendants. The Mansion is indeed a National Historic Landmark, and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. The Principle interior rooms of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum are designated a Landmark by the City of New York Landmarks Preservation Commission.

[3] I quite like how Waiting, by Kefalion (on AO3) explains how AllSpeak works, linking it to Plato's Cave - also short fic recommendation ;)

[4] The Musaeum, also spelled Mouseion, of Alexandria was an institution said to have been founded by Ptolemy I Soter and his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

Originally, the word mouseion meant any place that was dedicated to the Muses, often related to the study of music or poetry, but later associated with sites of learning such as Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum.

The Ptolemies reputedly established their Mouseion and Library with the intention of bringing together some of the best scholars of the Hellenistic world and collect all the books known at the time.

[5] "Vader" is the Dutch word for "father" (the Dutch word is instead pronounced "fah-der"), and the German word for "father" (Vater) is similar. I like to think AllSpeak would automatically translate it for Thor, giving him an unknowing spoiler.

[6] Celt King Arthur is a legendary king of Britain, and a central figure in the medieval literary tradition known as the Matter of Britain. In Welsh sources, Arthur is portrayed as a leader of the post-Roman Britons in battles against Anglo-Saxon invaders of Britain in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. He first appears in two early medieval historical sources, the Annales Cambriae and the Historia Brittonum, but these date to 300 years after he is supposed to have lived, and most historians who study the period do not consider him a historical figure. / Merlin (at least on wiki) is actually more linked with this Arthur: "Merlin is a mythical figure prominently featured in the legend of King Arthur and best known as a mage, with several other main roles."

However, to 'fix' the Harry Potter Universe mention of Merlin having attended Hogwarts, I've linked Harry Potter-Merlin to Arthur I, Duke of Brittany.

For those who know the tale of a certain Robin Hood, Arthur I was both King Richard and Prince John's nephew. In 1190, Richard I designated Arthur as his heir, in preference to Richard's younger brother John. Nothing is recorded of Arthur after his incarceration in Rouen Castle in 1203, and while his precise fate is unknown, it is generally believed he was killed by John. - In my Harry Potter version of this, Merlin stopped Arthur from getting killed by his uncle, and was a long prosperous ruler with peace (more or less) between magicals and non-magicals.

This explanation is actually also more with in line with how England is portrayed in The Sword in the Stone. European-style castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, and London was barely a settlement during Anglo-Saxon times, when the 'Arthurian legends' are supposedly set. In fact the novel the Sword and the Stone on which is loosely based the animated film has been considered rather anachronistic

[7] Calabi–Yau manifold: also known as a Calabi–Yau space, is a particular type of manifold which has properties, such as Ricci flatness, yielding applications in theoretical physics. Particularly in superstring theory, the extra dimensions of spacetime are sometimes conjectured to take the form of a 6-dimensional Calabi–Yau manifold, which led to the idea of mirror symmetry.

[8] "The universe hasn't seen this marvel since before my watch began. Few can sense it, even fewer can see it. But while its effects can be dangerous, it is truly beautiful."