The building was both alike, and very different than the Ministry of Magic and what she was used to, she'd never been here before, not really having a need because MACUSA did not have a Department of Mysteries so there was no point. She was sure Harry had been once, some enterprising historian had found a distant relation of his was one of their first aurors and so he'd gone to have a tour of the place and meet some of them. As she walked through the marble foyer, and raised an eyebrow at the enormous eagle insignia on the wall (though the fountain of magical brethren was perhaps more ostentatious), she noticed a handful of people staring at her. She wasn't really sure why, Harry was the famous one and the Voldemort wars hadn't really spilled over this far unlike the Grindelwald one, shrugging, she quickly made her way to the front desk and asked for the whereabouts of the man she needed to meet. Having sent him a patronus requesting an urgent audience, which she was pretty positive would be frowned upon but there wasn't the time to quibble.
The man walking towards her was fairly tall, with sandy brown hair and dark blue eyes. He seemed calm and poised, but had an air of someone with an easy going nature so she was hopeful what she said would be taken well. "Samuel Quahog" the man said thrusting his hand out
"Oh, i know who you are Miss Granger, follow me"
A sinking feeling crept into her stomach as she now feared the worst, what if this man basically made her persona non grata in this country because of her work with SHIELD? He lead her into a private room, with just a table and about ten chairs around it, and she felt the secrecy wards as soon as she stepped inside.
"So. Hermione Granger, war heroine, Unspeakable and now SHIELD agent. What is this emergency and why do i need to know"?
"I'm not a SHIELD agent" she blurted out, and then felt her face go pink in colour. "What i mean is, im a liaison i suppose, with them and the MoM, but for work on specific things, and i have zero desire to be an agent. The reason i asked to meet with you urgently is that there is a real and imminent threat to the world, and it will be starting here in New York potentially within the hour" she finished with a rush at the end.
Giving her a steady look, the President of MACUSA seemed to be x-raying her and weighing her up "Why should i believe you, and what does it have to do with the magical community here, because as you know i'm sure, although the law on no-maj relations was repealed, its still not a common occurrence, and we still maintain as much distance as possible".
"You can believe me or not really, but very soon this city will be the epicentre of an alien invasion and i don't really think they care if you're magical or not. The man leading them is magical, though a different kind than us, and he won't be happy with just ruling muggles, it will be everybody". Neither of them spoke for at least a minute and the room filled with a very palpable tension.
"Ok?" a confused Hermione repeated, the tension immediately deflating.
"Yes. I believed you before you even walked through the door, i just had to make sure it wasn't a SHIELD tactic to try and expose us to the wider world. If you say that this is going to happen, then i believe you. You have a reputation, you know, even over here we know about you and your friends defeating a dark lord, and some of our community are familiar with your work since then, particularly your philanthropy. But mostly, and i cannot stress this enough, you escaped Gringotts on the back of a stolen dragon, and that was the best thing i'd ever heard" He kept a straight face for all of three seconds before giving her a genuine smile "Look i'm sorry to put you through the wringer like that, but yes i had to be sure about you, and you didn't pull the 'do you know who i am' card, which only helped your situation and let me see what sort of person you are, so tell me, what do you need from me?"
"Basically i just need to know you won't send aurors to arrest me for helping the team Fury has put together, i know you have a relationship with the World Council because they're mostly based here, and you don't particularly know or care for Fury, but this team of his is made up of people with extraordinary abilities, and is separate from SHIELD, in that only two of them actually work there. I'll be doing a disillusionment on myself, for as much as i feasibly can, and mostly helping to retrieve their scientist and try and stop or at least slow down, Loki. I don't intend on being a main component in the fighting but if i'm needed to do that i will. I was also hoping that i could ask you to use some aurors to ward places around the city so that muggles can escape unharmed from those places" Hermione asked for the last bit on a whim but she couldn't shake that it was a good idea, and its not like the aurors needed to stick around. Technically she could do what she wanted as a DoM worker not a ministry worker, but she didn't want to cause a major problem and end up infront of a court hearing, so this was her safety net.
"I can't promise help from aurors, even with being the president and with your name thrown in the mix, something like that would need to be brought up infront of our Wizards Council and i can't see that being a decision they make in half an hour. It might happen in the future and we take a more active approach with the muggle world but i wouldn't hold your breath. As for not arresting you, i will let the auror office know, and will take a copy of your magical signature so when you show up on the Big Board, you'll be left alone"
Thanking the man profusely, it was only polite after all, and he had been mostly helpful, Hermione got up to leave, and shook his hand goodbye. He'd asked her to return when she was done so he could be updated on what had happened and use it to form arguments both for and against their relationship with muggles in the future, readily agreeing to that and leaving a copy of her magical signature for them, Hermione exited the Woolworth building and went down an alley way near to where she was. After checking no one was around, she got her wand out her bag and whispered 'point me', to find her way to Stark Tower. Keeping her wand up one sleeve and the Elder Wand up the other she started to make her way to the tower, hoping she would be able to apparate to the top when she saw it. She kept herself visible for the moment so unsuspecting muggles didn't bump into her, and so hopefully maybe one of the team would spot her so she wasn't going in totally blind. After walking for about another ten minutes, she saw it, a huge tower with 'Stark' written on the side, she started to run, not knowing where anyone was or what was happening, but hoping she could head off Loki before he got started. She could see a lip, jutting off the side of the building that would do for an apparition point so, casting a subtle disillusionment on herself, she apparated there. She could see Selvig lying on the floor infront of a large round object holding the tesseract, so after checking to make sure he was alive, she cast a revelio charm, which bounced right off a forcefield. Frowning, Hermione then cast a stupefy to see if anything would penetrate the energy ball, but again her spell was deflected. Deciding to leave it for now and check where the Avengers were she then cast a homenum revelio spell and saw there were two readings coming from inside. Making her way there, still under her disillusionment, she saw Tony Stark making a drink, talking to Loki as if they were discussing the weather. Creeping closer to the pair of them, hoping to get a shot at Loki, a voice from nowhere with an English accent gave the game away before she even got three steps inside "Sir, i've detected a third heat signature but cannot locate its exact whereabouts".
"I'm guessing that's you Granger?" came the nonplussed voice of Stark.
Dropping her spell, she took in the appearance of both men, Tony Stark actually looked relaxed whereas Loki looked more like a man pretending to be relaxed but he seemed very much on edge.
"I just offered Reindeer Games here a drink, want one Glinda?"
Deciding to play along with whatever this was, she accepted his offer and went to stand nearer to Stark, he at least wouldn't knock her out, at least she hoped he wouldn't. "Yes please, i'll have whatever you're having" which turned out to be a Whisky, not her favourite drink but it would be rude to turn down.
"The Chitauri are coming. Nothing will change that, what have i to fear?" Loki said to Stark, continuing their conversation as though she hadn't interrupted.
"The Avengers. That's what we call ourselves, sorta like a team. 'Earth's mightiest heros', and Granger her who is like a secret weapon i guess".
"Yes. We've met" Loki said whilst his eyes flashed at Hermione. It seemed he was watching for something out the window, and happily he wasn't paying as much attention to her. Although he was probably waiting for his army which admittedly, was much worse.
"It takes a while for us to get any traction, but lets do a headcount here" Stark continued, "your brother, the demi god. The super soldier, living legend who kinda lives up to the legend, a man with breath taking anger management issues, a couple of master assassins and an actual witch". Hermione noticed Loki actually smiling when Stark described Banner, as if they were having a friendly chat and weren't enemies, though his countenance had darkened on the mention of both Thor and herself which didn't bode too well, she suspected he wasn't pleased that she was here with the Avengers in any capacity.
"And you, big fella, you've managed to piss off every single one of them".
Loki was smiling again, like it was all a game and he was having fun, and for a moment Hermione could imagine that he and Stark would make great friends if it weren't for Loki's need to subjugate Earth, they certainly both had extraordinarily large egos, and were almost playful with each other. He looked over at her and winked, whilst Stark just gave her another one of those 'i can't figure you out' looks. Rolling her eyes and sipping her drink to hide her blush, she put on her best bored face so she wouldn't be sucked in to any more of his tricks. "That was the plan" Loki said to Stark after not getting a reaction from her, and they both started pacing a little, which made Hermione put her drink down on a table and pay more attention to them both.
"Not a great plan, when the rest of them come, and they will, they'll come for you"
"I have an army"
"We have a Hulk. And a Granger"
"I thought the beast had wandered off, and we've already seen that this lovely little witch isn't a match for me" he smirked.
"You're missing the point!" Hermione and Stark both said at the same time, gesturing him to continue Hermione started walking closer to Stark again, as he and Loki were basically squaring up to each other now.
"There's no throne, there's no version of this where you come out on top. Maybe your army comes, and maybe its too much for us, but its all on you. Because if we can't protect the Earth you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it"
It was a nice speech, Hermione thought, but all it was doing was aggravating the Asgardian, and she really didn't want an angry, unpredictable Loki on the loose. He stalked closer to the pair of them, though he was laser focussed on Stark "how will your friends have time for me, when they're so busy fighting you", and then he lifted his sceptre up and aimed it at Stark's chest, and like it was slow motion the three of them looked and watched, only for a clinking sound to happen, and Loki looking very confused, tried again. To be met with the exact same situation and Stark making a sexual performance joke to him, which only made Loki pick the man up by the throat and throw him across the room. Clearly it was a sore spot, or perhaps he'd just had enough of Tony Stark.
"You will all fall before me" he said, picking up Stark by the neck once again. Hermione armed herself, deciding that the time for discretion was over, she held a wand in each hand. Dual casting was difficult but, doable with enough practice and she had not let herself get sloppy after the war, and hopefully this would give her the edge to at least not get immediately knocked out by Loki. Stark started talking to someone called Jarvis which was odd, but then he was an odd man so maybe it was another quip she didnt get, or the voice she had heard earlier, and then he was thrown out of the window.
Hermione went to run to stop his fall or help him in some way but Loki was blocking her path. "Just you and i now, little witchling. Will you not join me, now you have seen how futile resistance is. How easily you are all crushed beneath me?" He was eying her wands carefully but he had the same maniacal glint in his eyes that he'd had on the ship, so she didn't let her guard down for a second. She wouldn't make that mistake again. "I would never join someone who was so hell bent on world domination. I've been fighting people like you my entire life". For some reason he seemed annoyed by the phrase 'people like you' and she figured he liked being one of a kind, though he certainly wasn't in that sense.
A red blur flew past them and out the window where Stark had been thrown and she hoped it was something useful, and would help him whilst she was being held from following him. Almost ten seconds later, the red blur had returned, and Stark's voice came from it, startling Hermione, though Loki seemed unsurprised. Exhanging more words with Loki he then blasted him with his hand, and it looked like magic though she suspected it was technology, he really was very clever, though exceedingly arrogant she thought. Behind him a huge, bright light appeared and created a giant hole in the sky, in all the Loki and Stark drama she'd forgotten the Tesseract completely which was very idiotic, and now there were insect looking things coming from the hole, which meant that Loki's alien army had arrived.
Stark has also seemingly forgotten the army and flew up towards them in his red suit thing, which could apparently fly using some sort of jet repellers. Hermione ran to the ledge of the building where she has apparated to earlier and started firing at the aliens, using 'depulso', 'deprimo' and 'bombarda' mostly, she was hitting some of them but they were too far away and were flying towards civilians. Deciding that she would be better at ground level to use protego more liberally to hopefully protect people, she apparated to an alleyway she could just about see from her viewpoint. Casting a quick point me spell to Steve Rogers, she ran to where it was showing her, which luckily wasn't that far. Hermione had never really been the leader of the 'Golden Trio' at school, more often than not she was the driving force behind them, but she was self aware enough to know Harry was their leader, and Rogers was definitely a leader, so she made her way to him, ready to follow orders and place herself and her magic under his command. So much for staying out of the fighting, she thought as she ran towards the super soldier.
A/N- Sorry for the delay in updates, but i was back in work last week and i was wiped out everyday. I'll post a chapter at least weekly, and hopefully more frequently when i get the time. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, followed or favourited this story, you're all too kind! Its my first fanfic so im dead nervous about it, but i've had some lovely reviews so thanks! Also this wont be a Hermione/Loki story, there will be a romance but it wont be that. Loki is one of my favourite characters, but in this fic so far their relationship is very contentious, even when flirty and where his character is at the moment, he'd make a terrible romantic partner.