Disclaimer: I do not own anything from both Harry Potter and Avengers…
Summary: When Harry finally accepted the fact that he had stopped aging, ten years had passed and he knew it was time to leave. AU.
The general idea of the first two chapters are similar to that of criesofthefallen's Taking Chances. Check out their story if you have time; it's pretty good.
Chapter 1 – To Begin Anew
The war had left the Wizarding World in pieces and its eighteen-year-old Saviour even more so. The only difference was that one had, slowly but surely, been rebuilt; the other had not.
After the war, Harry had quietly packed his things and found a small flat in Muggle London to move into. Polite but firm, he had turned down offer after offer to dinner parties and social gatherings, brushed off his friends' attempts to cajole him out of the niche he had made for himself, and generally ignored the goings-on in the magical community he had once called home.
And gradually, the time between visits from people he knew became longer and longer, and Harry found that he didn't really mind. The war had taken something from him and he knew instinctively that he would never get it back. He much preferred being alone now, and his friends stopping by usually just resulted in frustrated defeat for them and a migraine for him.
It wasn't as if Harry was idle though. He had enough money in his vaults to live comfortably for at least another century or so without lifting a finger but he had never been one to sit around doing nothing. With the Elder Wand now in his possession (quite literally as both the wand and the resurrection stone had returned to him after he had thrown them away and had bonded with his magical core soon after, leaving him with the ability to perform wandless magic. He hadn't let himself so much as think about the resurrection stone; a part of him wanted to test his ability with it, but another, larger, part of him knew that messing with the dead was bad news all around.), magic no longer proved difficult for him, so he had turned to other branches of study instead.
He had always been good at math so he had started there. He had picked up physics, which had eventually led to other fields in the subject. Aero physics and quantum physics had interested him and he had spent many hours holed up in his flat going through book after book. But he couldn't very well enter either field; they were both too much in the spotlight, and being noticed again was the last thing he wanted. So he had finally turned to mechanics instead. He made friends with the owner of a garage in London, who, upon realizing that Harry wasn't from a rival business and was simply interested in auto mechanics, invited him in for a tour. The tour turned into lunch breaks in which Harry would bring lunch, and West, the garage owner, would teach him about the practical aspect of fixing a vehicle.
And just like that, time went by, day after day, month after month, year after year, until one day, Harry could walk into the repair shop and customers would greet him on sight, asking his advice and paying him to fix their cars. He knew West's wife, Sienna, and the man's two children called him Uncle Harry. The garage had become more of a home than perhaps even Hogwarts had ever been. Harry had found that he liked working in the quiet haven it provided, and West had practically adopted him as a younger brother after a few months, bullying him into eating and making sure he got back to his flat for some rest when he discovered Harry's unhealthy habits in both areas. They ran the garage together now, with West insisting Harry get half the income when Harry had tried to refuse.
It was peaceful and normal and Harry found himself content and even happy at times. But fate and luck had always hated him, so it would stand to reason that the simple life he had made for himself would never last.
"You need to leave."
Harry paused in his work before rolling out from under the car he had been working on to look up at West's gruff features. Nothing fazed him much anymore and this was no different. Keeping his features blank, he waited for West to continue, ignoring the tightness in his chest at the older man's words.
West heaved a sigh, running a hand through his dark hair. "Look Harry, I love having you here, you know I do, but you can't stay here," The man glanced to the side at the open garage doors before frowning down at him. "You must have noticed: it's been ten years but you haven't aged a day."
Harry stilled, tensing even as his fight-or-flight instinct flared to life. West must have caught it because his frown turned into an outright glare.
"If I had a problem with whatever's affecting you, I would've chucked you out five years ago," West snapped harshly. "I know shit's happened in your life, kid; I can see it in your eyes, but I didn't press when you first came and I'm not going to press now. But some of the customers are talking. Not the usual regulars; they know how to keep their mouths shut and turn a blind eye, but the jackasses pissing money who come here a few times a year; they've gotten suspicious. Sooner or later, they'll be asking questions and calling scientists and doctors, and next thing you know, you'll be sold off to the highest bidder and locked up in some government facility like a lab rat. I don't like it any more than you do but you need to leave."
Harry listened to West's long tirade, letting his head fall back as the mechanic finished. He knew, of course, that he had become something of an immortal. Seven and a half years ago when he had woken up one day and wondered why he didn't own a shaver, his life had taken a downturn. West had been out of town visiting family and, not having known Harry long enough yet to trust him completely with the garage, had closed it up for the six months he would be out of town. Harry had spent that time alternately staring at the mirror and tearing through all the magical books in every single library he could get into. None of it had been remotely useful until, at the end of the six months, desperate and not a little bit scared (because there had never been a time when he had ever thought living forever would be a good idea), he had taken a knife to his wrists, watching with clinically morbid fascination as the world dissolved around him.
And then he had met Death itself, nondescript and not really the terrifying image most people associated with it, and it had kindly explained to him exactly what it meant to be Master of Death. He could get hurt and he could even die, but he would always come back because one of Death's duties was to keep its master alive. It had been vague when Harry had all but begged it to tell him he would live out a normal, albeit extended lifespan like everyone else. There were rules and consequences, Death had told him, but hadn't said much more than that before sending him back.
Harry had woken up to four white walls and West's face looming over him, furious and worried in equal measure. Apparently, the mechanic had returned early and had decided to stop by Harry's place to ask him to dinner with his family again. It had been midday and he had found it strange that the curtains had been closed and at least three weeks' worth of newspapers had been piled up on his doorstep, so, after calling Harry on both his home phone and cell and getting no answer, he had forced the door open and found him bleeding out in the bathroom.
West had yelled himself hoarse after Harry had finally managed to stay awake long enough to listen, a disgusted 'how stupid do you think I am' look on his face when Harry had tried to reassure him that he wasn't really suicidal and he wouldn't do it again. The day Harry had gotten out of the hospital, he had found Sienna parked out front with a warm smile and an adamant glint in her eyes. Half an hour later, he had found a new home in his boss's guest bedroom, all his belongings in the closet and his flat's keys turned back in to his former landlord.
West had watched him like a hawk for a year and a half before finally easing up, but he had stubbornly turned down Harry's offer to move out and Danny and Janey had cried when they had heard that their Uncle Harry wanted to leave, so Harry had sighed and agreed to stay.
As for the issue of being Master of Death, there hadn't been much Harry could do about his newfound immortality but it was obvious he wasn't going to be leaving the land of the living anytime soon so he had put it out of his mind, not wanting to upset the family that had taken him in.
When his friends had found out (seven months later) that he had moved in with Muggles, their reactions ranged from confused to downright scandalized. They had pulled all their cards; Ginny still waiting for him (but Harry had gotten over that years ago), his education at Hogwarts (he didn't really need it anymore), the Wizarding World needing him (as far as Harry was concerned, offing Voldemort at seventeen for them and then spending another year fighting rogue Death Eaters had been more than enough), etc. Harry had ignored them all, and when Hermione had tried to force him to leave by throwing up a fuss and accusing him of being irresponsible and selfish while West and his family had been home, Harry had had it out with her right there on the front lawn. It had ended with the witch leaving, temper high, and Harry tired and drained. Neither had spoken to the other ever since.
To his relief and gratitude, neither West nor Sienna had pressed him about it, carrying on as if they hadn't seen their houseguest threaten an unknown woman for threatening them (though West had asked what Obliviate meant, to which Harry had given an honest answer, curious about the reaction he would get. West had blinked, shrugged and then pointed him at the nearest car that needed to be fixed and that was that.)
"Okay," Harry found himself saying now, rising to his feet. "I'll go pack my things."
Before he could take more than a few steps, West's hand had come down on his shoulder.
"I don't mean right at this moment," West said irritably. "At least wait until the kids get home from school. And I don't care where you go; just make sure you've got a phone and an address. I expect calls and letters every week."
Harry stopped and stared out of the garage for a long moment, contemplating his next words.
"I don't age," He finally said. "This doesn't bother you?"
West shrugged. "I should think it bothers you more."
Harry gave him a long measured stare. "...You're really strange."
The mechanic snorted and led the way back into the house. "You're one to talk, midget. Now get in here; Sienna has lunch ready."
In the end, Harry had cracked open a map, transfigured a pen into a dart, and hoped for the best. West had face-palmed when he found out his method.
"What if you had picked a place well-known for serial killers or something?" He had demanded.
Harry had shrugged. "New York probably has its fair share but I'll manage."
West had thrown his hands in the air and helped him get his things together, not even blinking as he gathered some of the quills Harry had forgotten in a side drawer years ago.
Seven hours and several tearful goodbyes later, Harry was on a plane heading for New York. If he had known just what was in store for him, he probably would've reconsidered his choice to move to this particular city.
Six months later, Harry was settled in Manhattan and had opened a business of his own. Once word got around that his garage, though smaller than most, had a very talented, albeit young mechanic running it, vehicles of all kinds came rolling in. Apparently, car accidents were the norm in New York City. The fact that he didn't charge very much for assembling parts and/or repairing them either was just a bonus.
It was a decent life though Harry found it slightly odd in the first few weeks when he turned to say something to West only to find himself alone. But he adjusted and remembered to write, not quite able to help the smile on his face when he was bombarded with dozens of letters in the first month.
It was nearing the end of the ninth month when autumn kicked in and Harry woke to a chill in the air and the telltale hiss of an overheated engine outside his house. When he peered out his window, he saw a worried-looking woman in a white shirt and formal skirt and two men with rolled-up sleeves bending over the hood of a sleek black unmistakable Audi R8.
Almost as if he had sensed him, one of the men glanced up and caught Harry's gaze. To his surprise, the man flashed a rakish grin, waved at Harry's currently closed garage, and made a pleading gesture, complete with puppy-dog eyes that actually didn't look completely ridiculous on him considering the fact that the man looked to be in his mid-thirties. Harry couldn't quite hold back a snort as he moved away from the window, eyeing his bed for a moment before grabbing his work clothes. Technically, he didn't open for another two hours, but once he was up, there really was no point in going back to bed. He might as well start the day by doing what he did best.
Of course, Harry had no idea that his life would change quite drastically in his decision to help one Tony Stark.
Finished! Please review!