"Good morning sir. Congratulations on your successful skirmish in Pakistan, you have made the front page of forty five major newspapers in America alone as well as two hundred million websites and blogs."
Tony yawned, sipping on some coffee. "That's less than last time, guess with Rhodey active in settling disputes in Lebanon he was bound to take some of the credit. Seriously, the 'All-American hero'? What schmuck comes up with crap like that?"
"Do be advised sir that said 'schmuck' came up with the moniker 'Iron Man'."
"Well, guess he didn't have it in him for second round." Tony took a deep gulp of his coffee, and nearly gagged on it as he opened his terminal. "JARVIS, what the hell is this?"
"A Stark Industries computer terminal, specifications..."
"Ha, ha, funny, but seriously, what the hell is this message?" Tony demanded. "I didn't access the private archives three days ago!"
"I apologise sir, but Harry recently crossed into America and requested several files. Since you both share the same access codes, I did not see fit to inform you that he had accessed them."
He raised an eyebrow. "Harry... passed California? Doing what? And why didn't he visit his girl?"
"May I remind you sir that my approximate range vastly encompasses..."
"Shut it JARVIS... why would he need to access the private archives directly, whenever he needs something he requests it," Tony frowned. "There's a reason I made a program that logs whenever the private archives are accessed, in case of outside intrusion."
"An incoming call from Scotland, sir."
"Huh, speak of the devil," Tony mused, pulling open a holographic window. "Receive call. Hey, Harry, how's it going?"
Harry's face appeared on-screen, grinning back at him. "Hey Tony, sorry, I haven't had much of a chance to call you or Pepper."
"That's okay kid, it's Pepper you should be worried about though."
"How is she anyway?"
"Ah, that bad? I hope you make it up to her every night..."
"Listen, Harry," Tony quickly changed the subject in embarrassment, "did you access the private archives three days ago?"
"Yeah Tony, sorry about that, I needed to get the info I wanted immediately."
"Not a problem kid, you know there's a reason you have the same clearance I do, so what did ya need that was so important?"
"I needed the plans for the SHIELD HQ."
Tony raised an eyebrow. "The heli-carrier? What did you need that for? Surely you're not planning to build your own flying headquarters."
"Not exactly, I needed to pay Nicky a visit about our little situation back in Britain."
"Hmm, figures he'd be in the know. So found out anything?"
"Nothing much, really," Harry stated. "You can't help me unfortunately, international politics and all that, and I have to keep my activities low-key in case a smart wizard made the connection. You don't need to worry about that, though; I've completely redesigned my new armour so it's separate from the standard Iron Man suit design."
Tony snorted in laughter. "Figure you'd do that, 'bout time you stopped taking credit for my handiwork."
"Uh-uh, that was clearly me who threw that tank and you know it!" Harry retorted in the same joking manner.
"Yeah well we'll settle it once and for all, three-way fist fight, you, me and Rhodey, you dig?"
"Oh hell yes," Harry smirked. "Don't expect me to go easy on you just because you're my boss!"
"You're still getting owned – oh, I'll tell Pepper you said hi."
"You do that; I have to go now, time difference and all."
"Not a problem kiddo, see ya later!"
Tony sighed, leaning back in his seat as he finished his coffee. "JARVIS, pull up the plans for the Mark VII, I feel like we've got a lot of ground to cover today."
-IM x HP-
"So who's that handsome guy?" Harry picked up the Quibbler magazine, the front page a large picture of him giving a lady-killing grin, an almost perfect imitation of Tony's whenever he wanted to catch a girl. He flicked through it. "Huh, I'm impressed; it's word for word accurate."
"We're not the only ones reading them," Ginny stated, looking around the Great Hall. "From here it looks like everyone's got a copy as well!"
"Daddy sent me a letter; he told me that the magazines were so popular he's reprinted it for the fourth time since the first three batches have sold out," Luna commented dreamily. "He's amazed that it's more popular than the article on the Blibbering Humdinger."
Harry smirked as he glanced up. "Looks like our resident toad isn't too happy about it." The group looked up, and as expected Umbridge was fuming. Her face was red and puffy with anger as she stormed between the tables, grabbing students' copies and tearing them to shreds. "It won't do her any good, it's economics, ban an item which is wanted and you create a black market, I've already asked the twins to buy several stacks for when she inevitably bans it."
Hermione wanted to say something, possibly along the lines of scolding him for breaking what was going to be the rules, but seeing as it was Umbridge they were talking about, she merely opened her mouth, thought better, and closed it again silently.
You're learning. Harry reached for another sausage, feeling hungry considering his many nightly excursions and watched as a particularly familiar, pudgy hand with ugly rings slammed down on his arm. "Good morning, professor," he stated, not in the least bit unnerved. "You look bothered."
The toad had turned such a deep shade of puce that even Fudge would be hard-pressed to beat her. "Potter!" she spat angrily, waving an issue of the Quibbler in front of him. "What is the meaning of this?"
He grinned. "Why, that looks like a magazine toa... I mean ma'am." The Gryffindors around him attempted to hold in their sniggers at his deliberate slip of the tongue.
"I could see you expelled for this!" she fumed, her fingers tightening around his arm.
"No you can't," he stated, his grin turning into a smirk. "Now take your hand off my arm."
"And why can't I do that Potter?" she demanded, her tone sickly sweet.
"You didn't hear me. Get your hand off my arm," Harry growled. When she made no effort to remove the offending limb, he reached down and brought his crushing grip to bear. The toad gave a screech as he tightened his grip, and pulled her fat digits off him.
"Potter! D-D-Detention! Detention for the rest of the year!"
"Sorry, I have better things to do," he stated casually as he slung his bag across his shoulder and walked off, making sure to deliberately bump into her.
"That's it Potter, I've had enough! By the end of the day I'll see you with your wand snapped and expelled!" The woman screamed, loud enough to be heard by everyone in the Great Hall.
Harry raised a finger. "No, you can't. One: the school has no power over what I choose to do outside it; therefore I am well within my rights to appear in any magazines I choose, especially since I am a public figure. You can't expel me on those grounds anyway since there are no rules over giving interviews, considering how idiotic it is to ban it." He raised another finger. "Two: It is against school regulations for teachers to manhandle a student without permission. I requested you remove the offending appendage from my arm, as you did not, I was well within my rights to remove it myself. The fact that we are not in a classroom means that you have no power to make such decisions, even as High Inquisitor, you still need to obey the rules." He smirked. "You're not above the law, Umbridge." With that, he left, walking to his first class.
He was quickly joined by Neville and Ron, who ran to catch up with him. "You know you're bloody mad, right?" Ron said with a grin. "Bloody mad, in a genius way! Mate, that was brilliant!"
"You should have seen her when you left," Neville added, sporting a matching grin. "She was spluttering so hard, and then Professor McGonagall rubbed it in her face when she asked what was wrong!"
Harry smiled, knowing of the animosity that most of the teachers harboured towards Umbridge, Snape included. "Nice."
At that moment Hermione caught up to them. "That was a reckless stunt you pulled..." she began, "and I don't like it, but congratulations Harry, you've successfully driven her off the deep end."
"She went off the deep end a while ago," Harry answered.
"I hope you're not planning anything like that for a while..."
"Considering she's going to be gunning for me every chance she gets?" Harry paused. "How about tomorrow?"
Hermione shook her head in exasperation as the rest of them burst into laughter.
-IM x HP-
Umbridge's animosity towards Harry now fuelled dozens of new attempts to get Harry detentions, expulsions or preferably to maim or kill him. With her new little Inquisitorial squad on the loose, Umbridge had been on the warpath, and he had no doubt she had given them strict instructions to hunt him down, using any excuse they could to get him in trouble. He had heard plenty of stories of what went on in her 'detentions', and frankly had better things to do.
Thankfully he had managed to stay out of her way, using the school's many secret passages or in some cases using the Room of Requirement to make passages to where they needed to go. The few times the Inquisitorial squad had caught them, verbally trying to push him to make a mistake, Harry had managed to either ignore or twist their words and turn them on the abusers.
Umbridge had made several goes at him during her lesson (or as Harry and his friends called it, their free resting period), making many not-too-subtle suggestions ranging from Voldemort to delusions of grandeur to attention-seeking. Harry had responded with plenty of subtle implications in his words, cleverly concealing their true meaning though to those in the class the meaning was perfectly clear.
"So Harry, you going to stay with Snuffles for Christmas?" Ginny asked as the group sat in the Hogwarts train, watching the scenery fly by.
He nodded. "I doubt my kind and considering relatives would want me back for Christmas, it's really only logical. Don't worry, I'll come over to your place soon enough."
Hermione huffed. "You could run away like you did this summer though."
Harry shook his head. "I don't need to run away again. I found what I was looking for."
Luna stuck her head out from the latest issue of the Quibbler, her eyes briefly focusing on Harry's. "And what was that?"
He smiled. "Hope."
"Come on, kid, he's waitin' for ya," Moody grunted as he watched Harry roll his trunk towards them.
"Hey Harry," Tonks greeted with a grin. "Don't let Moody's grouchiness spoil your fun, you know he's still a little touchy about that whole sham last year."
"DON'T call me Nymphadora!" Tonks growled, her hair flashing red as they got into a non-descript car.
"So what's been happening while I've been at Hogwarts?" Harry asked, greeting Remus as he strapped himself in.
"Aside from Arthur getting killed by Voldemort's pet snake?" Tonks asked rhetorically.
"Don't get snarky," Moody answered. "Fudge has cut funding to the Auror department, funding that the department is running low on these days. In addition, he's boosted the Auror presence around the Ministry, which means…"
"Less Aurors out there," Harry finished. "Is this Malfoy's doing?"
Moody scowled. "No. That slimy bugger's probably busy working for his master. Besides, it looks like Fudge doesn't need any help being paranoid, he's doing just fine on his own."
Harry contemplated this silently. Time's going fast – Voldemort's going to move soon, and this time, he'll have a whole army behind him while we sit and cower. I have to move soon and force his hand otherwise it'll be a massacre for our side. Not to mention I have to clear Sirius's name. He mentally snorted. All in a day's work huh?
The car stopped, and Moody and Tonks went out first to check if it was clear before waving them inside.
"Harry!" Sirius was waiting for him in the living room, and the two embraced in a manly hug. "How's everything been at Hogwarts?"
"Not good." Sirius led him to a seat as Harry launched into a description of what had happened at Hogwarts since they had last spoken. At the end of it, Sirius looked grim. "So Umbridge is gaining more and more power. This isn't good – one final push and she could easily oust Dumbledore and take his position."
Harry frowned. "I don't think so. Whilst Dumbledore's been lying low, I haven't, and when she inevitably finds out about our little club she'll try and push to have me expelled, which, undoubtedly, she will."
"Merlin, Harry, I thought I told you to be careful!"
"Don't worry, if all goes well, I'll be reinstated as a student and people will know for a fact that he's back," Harry smirked.
"Oh boy," Sirius groaned, flopping into his chair. "I know that look, it's the same look James got when he was about to pull something crazy off."
"Damn straight. Don't worry Sirius; I won't cause much property damage – this time, at least."
-IM x HP-
"Merry Christmas, Harry!"
"Some Christmas get-together, huh Karen?"
"I've had worse. Hey, I knew this was going to be a 'long distance' gig."
Harry sighed. "I know, but still..."
"Cheer up baby, you'll see me summer anyway! So what's everyone up to?"
"Well the Weasleys have come over, they're downstairs getting ready for lunch, and we've opened all the presents this morning, Ron interrupted my sleep to do so," Harry said glumly, before laughing slightly at the irony.
"Oh, that reminds me, I need to get you your Christmas present!"
"Wait, Karen, you don't have to, heck I forgot..."
She pouted. "You forgot my present?"
"Oh hell, Karen, I..."
"Don't worry about it, you've done more than enough for me this year! Anyway, you should be receiving a file about now."
"Got it." Harry typed in a few commands and opened the new attachment – only to blush and duck as he quickly hit the 'exit' key. "K-K-Karen! You..."
She gave a sultry smile. "You like it?"
"How did you sneak that lingerie by Tony?"
"You're joking, that man can't see anything other than Pepper and his own ego."
"Good point," Harry conceded. "Say hi for me will you? I don't think I'll have the time to call them today."
She sighed, knowing exactly what he was going do. "You know you're a compulsive workaholic right?"
"What can I say, it's what you like best about me," Harry retorted.
Karen burst into laughter. "You've got me there. Alright, I better go, gotta meet up with a few girlfriends..."
Harry frowned. "Wait, aren't you..."
"Don't worry, my dad has no idea where I am and I trust my friends not to rat me out. Bye Harry!"
"Bye..." Harry switched off the link, his frown never leaving his face. Whilst he had no doubts to Karen's shady past, Harry was not one to pry. He trusted her. So why do I feel so suspicious all of a sudden?
He shook it off, standing up. "SAM, pull up the satellite." The console gave a beep as a holographic projection showed up of magical Britain. "Zoom in on the trace..." he watched as a reticule appeared over an area before homing in, showing a dense group of clusters. "The clusters have grown," he mused thoughtfully. "Significantly. Residual dark magic traces have also increased, SAM, do a full scan of the site and the area within 100 miles, cross-reference with all known maps, satellite images and inhabitations near it."
"Done, Harry." The holographic image swivelled and broke up, separating into several layers showing the entire land layout. "There are no structures within the adjacent area. It is completely isolated from civilisation, and Mage Vision scanners detect the presence of numerous wards."
"They won't be difficult; it's clearly a temporary post. How's the new armour holding up to the tests?"
"There are still some difficulties in crystal synthesis, for that reason, I highly recommend avoiding an extended skirmish."
"I don't think I'll be there for too long anyway." Harry said, slipping on his jacket. "Run the simulations on best point of entry and attack SAM, I'm heading downstairs." He frowned as he came out of his trunk, which automatically closed, and opened the door to come face to face with an exasperated Hermione.
"Harry, where were you? I've been knocking at this door for five minutes!" she yelled in annoyance.
"Sorry," Harry said, brushing past her. "I've been busy."
At that Hermione rounded on him furiously. "Harry, I've bloody had it! I've been patient and quiet, like you asked me to, the background person, but if you don't tell me what you've been doing I'll..."
"Tell Dumbledore?" Harry shot at her. "Good one, at this point even he can't stop me."
"Stop you from what Harry? What in Merlin's name is going on?" Hermione growled, struggling to keep up with Harry's powerful pace as he walked down the stairs.
"Nothing much, you know, just pissing Umbridge off, the usual..."
"Don't you give me that!"
But Harry, as usual, brushed it off and ignored her, much to Hermione's chagrin.
-IM x HP-
The ride back to the castle was rather awkward. Hermione had glared at him for the duration of the short break, and even as they got back into Hogwarts she continued to glare angrily at the back of his head, as if somehow she would take the secrets from it which so desperately eluded her, though she had plenty of other things on her plate, such as the build up to OWLs.
It was during one of these relaxing days that Harry found himself being wrenched from his enticing breakfast by a certain fat toad – he would've stunned her, but seeing as she was leading him to the Headmaster's office he would see where this played out.
"Ah, good morning Headmaster," Harry greeted, turning to the two Aurors and Fudge in surprise. "I see we have guests." He frowned at Dumbledore's worried face. "What's up Fudgy?"
Said 'Fudgy' bristled at him, before his face settled back into its look of glee. "Potter, I have you now! We've caught your extracurricular club, as you like to call it, but we both really know what it is don't we?"
"No, don't tell me, a group therapy session?" Harry asked sarcastically, plopping himself into a seat, finding his fingers fascinating. "So who was it?"
"We have certain sources..."
"Ah, I thought so. Marietta Edgecombe, eh? I thought she'd crack."
"Listen here, Potter, that's no way to speak to the Minister like that!" Umbridge screeched, even as she looked at him in shock, wondering how on Earth he knew. "It's true, Cornelius! We even have a list to prove it!"
As she handed it to him, Fudge merely took a glance at it before his gleeful look returned. "So, Potter's Army eh? I see now you really are a delirious attention-seeker! What makes you think a group of brainwashed teenagers can replace real Aurors?"
"Speaking of real Aurors, where'd you put that money from the Auror department into anyway Fudgy? I must say, that's a spiffy new suit you're sporting..."
"Potter, I don't like your allegations!" Fudge spluttered. "Aurors, arrest him, and snap his wand! He is hereby expelled from Hogwarts! Put this brat in Azkaban where he belongs!"
Dumbledore rounded on him furiously. "Cornelius you have gone too far! To even think of putting a boy in Azkaban, without a trial no less!"
Harry raised a hand, silencing him. "It's fine, Dumbledore, I can see that it's no use. However, what makes you think I'll come quietly?"
Fudge sneered. "And how do you think you can stop two fully-trained Aurors, boy?"
"One..." in the blink of an eye Harry had stunned the first, ducking to avoid the disarming curse before snapping out another powerful stunner. "Two! Bye, Fudgy, Toad," he waved, and threw his wand forward, as an invisible force slammed two on his top four most hated people list into the wall, knocking them unconscious. "Well, looks like I gotta run Professor."
"Harry, wait!" Dumbledore cried. "I'll have Fawkes..."
"No need, I've already found a place to hole up," Harry said dismissively, waving his hand as he stepped down and began walking back to the Chamber.
By now class had already started, and as he rounded a corner he bumped into the person he most certainly did not want to see.
Snape was filled with glee, now was a chance to get revenge! "Potter, out of class eh?"
Hmm, well since I've already hit Fudgy and Toady without retribution... Harry shrugged, and smirked at the Potions professor. "Ever heard of a muggle stunner, Snape?"
Snape frowned in confusion, before WHAM! A nasty uppercut sent him reeling to the ground, and if his luck held up, he would get a broken nose.
Harry grinned as he ran off, the greasy bastard's wand was still stuck on a plaque in the Gryffindor Common Room, and so it looked like he got away with it!
-IM x HP-
"Harry, I do not recommend that you use the armour for an actual skirmish, there are still many tests to run..."
"SAM, don't forget what Tony likes to say in these situations," Harry stated coolly as he stepped into the boots, before multiple mechanical arms rapidly assembled the new armour around him. "Sometimes you have to run before you can walk."
"Logically that is highly incorrect..."
"SAM..." Harry closed his eyes as the helmet snapped into place around his head, and opened them to a glowing green HUD with dozens of readings. "Shut up."
Harry clanked forward, testing several motions as he balled his fists tightly, feeling the power coursing through the new armour.
Like Tony, it was painted red and gold, however the colours were significantly darker and the gold was more of an orange-gold. It was sleeker and more form-fitting, and the lines connecting the armour plates seemed almost seamlessly blended into the suit, as they occasionally coursed blue.
The suit was predominantly red, and the gold served to accent its contours and shape, and the faceplate was blank, losing the line that 'hinted' at a human face, aside from two glowing receptors.
The whole composition seemed more organic, hinting more at a bodysuit than a suit of mechanical armour, however it was no less powerful, and with the gleaming refractory coating, it looked absolutely intimidating.
"Harry, I have checked the weather forecast, there is meant to be fog and cloud all night."
"Good," he answered grimly. "It's a perfect night for hunting."
With that, he fired his thrusters and headed out.
Anyone who happened to be in the stratosphere at that moment would have no doubt noticed the blue comet zipping through the skies at a ridiculous speed. "This is insane!" Harry yelled in elation. "It's responding to my every thought! I've got perfect control!" he narrowed his eyes. "SAM, let's really put it to the test! Maximum velocity!" He locked his arms together as his emitters giving off a blazing bright blue trail turned into infernos, and with a whoosh he rocketed even faster towards his destination.
"Harry, you are approaching the target destination."
"That quickly?" Pushing away his surprise, Harry narrowed his eyes. "SAM, activate attack mode. Mark out the battle zone and sync with the Mage Vision satellite." Watching through his HUD, he suddenly saw over a dozen clusters light up beneath the clouds, and an orange perimeter showing the battle zone. The whole interface changed, showing a list, from SPELL INVENTORY, SPELL TEMPLATE, to RITUALS at the bottom.
With a thought Harry picked out the spells he wanted for immediate use, and smirked. "It's show time. Powering emitters!"
He landed in the middle of the Death Eater group with a heavy metallic clang, and all hell broke loose.
The Death Eaters may have been fresh recruits but they weren't stupid, and began firing at once, pelting him with hundreds of spells – a blue bubble surrounded him, the spells bouncing off harmlessly as he raised his arms, and small pods began revealing themselves all over his body, before he answered with a monstrous onslaught of magical blasts, throwing his enemies as he paced back and forth, firing in every direction. Swiftly he sidestepped a killing curse, and made a superhuman leap forward, burying his fist in another Death Eater and sending him flying back into another group that moved to engage him.
Harry charged after them as energy swords spouted from his arms, giving off a high-pitched whistle as he slashed through wave after waves of enemies, never stopping, never relenting, never giving them a chance. He jerked around, firing off a magical missile the size of a cannonball that detonated once it hit its target, exploding with such a concussive force it sent everybody flying.
"Harry, barrage of killing curses at five o'clock!"
"Engage countermeasures!" Harry ducked down as chutes in his suit opened, sending out pieces of shrapnel at high speed that intercepted the curses far before they could do anything. He jumped up, firing his own barrage of curses at blistering machine-gun pace before firing his thrusters into the crowd, his blue blades igniting as he cut into his enemies with deadly, pinpoint accuracy.
"There are still a consider number rapidly converging on your position, they are attempting to outflank you!"
Harry looked around, weighing his decisions quickly. "There's still plenty of cloud cover! Pop some smokes, we're heading for the air!" As a smokescreen formed around him, he shot into the air, obscured by the clouds before doing a fly-by of the battle zone. "SAM, the wards were broken by my signal interference emitters, can you accurately pinpoint the remaining enemies' locations?"
"Patching through to satellite… done sir."
Suddenly over fifty targets lit up on his radar, and Harry grinned. "Let's go for some aerial bombardment!"
His arms started glowing as he aimed downwards, and began firing large spheres of energy towards his enemy. Obscured by cloud, nonetheless from the flashes of electric blue light he knew that each of them landed.
Harry stopped, flying directly into a cloud. "Let's give them the shock of their lives."
Using the cloud as a conductor, he fired off arcs of electricity, letting them head for the ground in the form of strikes of lightning. He kept this up for a minute before he paused, and gently landed back on Earth.
"We are down to fifteen percent power Harry."
"It went by quickly. There's still more than enough to get back though." Harry answered as he scanned the warzone. "And it looks like…" he clanked forward, grabbing a badly burnt Death Eater, hefting him up to face him. He turned on his external speakers. "I could kill you just as I killed all of them, but I'm letting you live," Harry stated, his true voice muffled to become metallic. "I want you to find your master and let him know that the war has begun, and there is a soldier more than ready enough to take the fight to him. And make sure of it, there will be heavy casualties for your side unless he shows his slimy snake face and I can end it once and for all."
-IM x HP-
A/N: Apologies for the delay. I've been thinking of doing another crossover, a Batman/Harry one, as I was suddenly struck with an interesting way to do it. For the reviewers who occasionally demand that I finish my older stories – most likely they will stay unfinished, especially since most of them are a year or two old. I have improved my writing skills since their inceptions, and to be frank some of them are embarrassing. Perhaps one day I might go back over them, but not for the foreseeable future. As of this moment they are virtually all abandoned, unless someone would like to adopt one of them – please review me if you want to since I don't read my inbox.