Chapter 13: Agent and Jarvis
It was about an hour after Harry had placed the kids to bed that all of the lights seemingly everywhere blinked on. There was an odd sound that reminded Harry of a computer being booted up.
Getting out of bed and into his shoes, Harry got a feel of his magic to make sure it was awake and ready for just about anything.
Leaving his room and entering the living room he saw an agent he never seen before. He wore the standard S.H.I.E.L.D uniform, minus the sunglasses given the time of day, or rather night. He had a few bruises and was bandaged in a few places Harry could see. And though he seemed to move easily, Harry's trained eye saw that he was stiff, letting him know he had a bigger injury, assuming around his abdomen or chest area.
"Ah, Mr. Potter. Did I wake you?" the agent asked.
"Yeah...I mean, no. Unless you're the one making that noise?" Harry asked, still wary of the new comer, injured or no.
"Well it wasn't technically me but I did authorize for J.A.R.V.I.S to be reactivated." the agent replied.
"Jarvis?" Harry echoed.
"Operating at 100%. It is good to see you are mostly well Agent Coulson. But may I ask why Mr. Stark and the other Avengers are...children?" an invisible, British voice came from nowhere and everywhere at once.
Harry jumped and began to flare his magic, "Please calm down Mr. Potter. Jarvis is simply Mr. Stark's AI. We deactivated him when you took up residency here with the children."
Harry forced himself to look calm, but he didn't really feel it. "AI?"
"Think Google but far better and Stark-afied." the agent replied dryly.
"I am far more than that but thank you for simplifying me so much, Agent Coulson." the supposed computer replied rather sarcastically, too human for Harry to think this was a computer system.
"Um...okay?" Harry said uncertainly. Unsure on how to reply to that Harry decided to ignore the system and instead he furrowed his brow and asked the agent, "Why?"
"Why what?" the agent asked.
Harry scoffed, "Don't play the dumb game, agent. It belittles all of S.H.I.E.L.D."
The agent smirked a bit, "Even so, you'll have to be more specific, Mr. Potter."
"Alright, we can start with something simple. Who are you?" Harry asked.
"My name is Agent Coulson. And to answer your next question I work...er, worked, with Agents Romanoff and Barton frequently before this happened. I was their handler."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "And why are you here now?" though he knew these agents were still human and theoretically capable of human feeling and growing attached to others it wasn't something outwardly expressed. Harry suspected this tactical answer was a disguise for just being closer to the kids who used to be agents who could have been friends.
Still, Harry was wary because his parental instincts were acting up and it was too soon after the visit from Asgard. Clint and Natasha may be human but they were still special and god knows what sort of underhanded experiments they might be subjected to if taken from him. Even if it was by their supposed handler.
"To activate Stark's AI," Coulson replied easily.
Harry rolled his eyes, "Yes, you've said that. But why? Why now?"
The agent sighed and one of Tony's holo-screens activated and showed him Pepper's profile, "Ms. Potts is on her way and will be arriving in the morning. It'll just be easier to have Jarvis awake to quell her once she's here. Our word she'll doubt, his he'll believe."
Harry furrowed his brow, "Last I check Ms. Potts was civilian."
"She still is," Coulson replied with a nod of confirmation.
"Then as a government official can't you just order her to stay away?" Harry asked like it was the most obvious thing.
"Normally yes, but not this time. She's Mr. Stark's...well, lets just say that she's special to him."
"Then don't you think it'll be odd to see someone 'special' turned back into a child? I think and recommend you hold her off until he's changed back."
"And when will that be Mr. Potter?" Coulson's tone demanded though it was in a form of a question.
"As soon as I have better resources, agent." Harry hissed out.
Coulson ignored Harry's tone and replied, "Ms. Potts is CEO of Stark Industries and is basically in second in command of anything Stark next to Mr. Stark himself. She has access in places we do not and can be very adamant about things...especially if Mr. Stark is involved. And if allowing her to be near Mr. Stark in these...peculiar circumstances allows us access to certain things she can access that we can't...well, we believe it's a good trade off. "
"So she'll be here." Harry said.
Coulson nodded, "By morning. We'll have just enough time to meet her down stairs and fill her in on what she needs to know before the kids wake up."
"It's not easy to take in the fact that Earth was attacked by actual aliens. How is she going to take that her...special person, was turned into a six year old and doesn't remember her?"
"We'll find out tomorrow," Coulson said.
"You're a riot a parties, aren't you agent?" Harry asked sarcastically.
"Ms. Potts has been around Mr. Stark long enough to...accept this level of...oddness. Even after a very short amount of time." Coulson gave Harry, in the wizard's opinion, a creepy little smile as he said that.
"If that was your attempt at a sincere smile, I'd prefer you not smile." Harry deadpanned. "And even if she does take it well enough, do you really intend for her to meet Tony? He won't remember her."
"If she insist, we'll give her the best warning we can," Coulson replied, ignoring Harry's smiling comment.
Harry frowned, "I'm sure Ms. Potts is a nice lady but my worries aren't about her. Tony's a really smart kid. It's hard enough convincing him of an illness that he doesn't really have. Right now he's eating up the attention he didn't get as a child and letting things around him pass, but I have noticed things."
"What sort of things?" Coulson asked.
"I've noticed that he notices." Harry replied easily, "Tony's a genius. He can see and understand things that even some adults don't. If she can't properly restrain her reactions he'll notice something. He'll think there's something wrong with him and I can't let that happen. I swore to protect these kids...even from people who love them. I don't think we should let her in."
"...I agree with you Mr. Potter. But I'm not the one in charge." Coulson replies.
"Fury's authorizing this?" Harry asked incredulously.
"He...thinks you need help," Coulson replied easily.
"He has agents here helping. What more can he want?" Harry demanded.
"You're only one person Mr. Potter. Even if you're a wizard, you're still human. We're worried you're spread a little bit too thin," Coulson replied.
"That was nice Agent. Now how about we try again, this time with the truth, okay?" Harry matched Coulson's earlier tone and silently demanded rather than asked though it was in the form of a question.
"Mr. Potter-" Coulson began.
"I'd be careful with your next words Agent. If they aren't the truth or helping your case, I can have you teleported all the way to Siberia and I'll take the kids with me to the wizarding world and disappear if I don't like your next statement. I may be weary and have been deprived of sleep but that's not new and I can still hold my own, especially against muggles. One of the things I know Fury wants is more information about me so here's something he should have all of you jot down and remember very clearly. I don't like bullies. I don't like power hungry, greedy, powerful government officials who think they know what's better for everyone throwing orders around and disregarding those affected.
"I am also loyal to those who need help and are placed in my care and are under my protection." Harry said passionately. "So...let's try this again Agent. What more does Fury want?"
Coulson tensed ever so slightly but his face remained passive as he locked stares with Harry. Harry himself didn't look away nor did he back down. Though his magic was ready he wasn't showing animosity or was overly threatening towards Coulson. As a soldier in his own right, Harry Potter always held a bit of a threat in him, but he didn't want Coulson to think he was threatening him, but warning him.
"You're different from all others Mr. Potter," was Coulson's reaction. He then moved to sit down. Taking that as a good sign that he will at least be heard and possible negotiations might take place, Harry sat across the agent and fixed himself a cup of coffee seeing as that was what the agent had laid out on the coffee table.
"And exactly how many magic users have you met that weren't trying to kill someone or trying to take over the world?" Harry asked with a bit of sarcasm.
"Surprisingly few," Coulson answered. "I apologize not having tea set out but it's been stressful and coffee is preferred."
"Some teas have just as much caffeine but we all have our likes and a good cup of Joe is good every once in a while," Harry replied as he took a sip. He silently analyzed the agent before him. Coulson was showing a lot of vulnerability right now. Making his wounds more apparent and disclaiming that he needed his coffee to run. Harry has seen negotiation tactics like this. By giving something himself it should make Harry feel inclined to contribute something as well. But Harry didn't think it was that. Mentally frowning Harry decided that his earlier speech caused Coulson to target his Hero Complex and using pity to get what he wants.
"You said you needed resources?" Coulson baited.
Placing his cup on the table Harry ran a hand through his hair, "I've made calls. It's just not easy getting here."
Harry rolled his eyes, "You may not know the difference between myth and fact when it comes to actual wizards but you know politics, Agent."
"Politics are in place here?" Coulson asked.
Harry sighed and nodded. "I can't tell you everything but you already seem to know some things and since one of those things just so happens to be our existence it makes it a bit easier. Look Agent, there are some wizard families that can be traced really far back, but there are also wizards and witches born into regular families who have no magical ties whatsoever. But we're still human, as you've stated. We're all born into a country who has its own governments. We're not uncivilized monsters...er, well...every species has their psychopaths I suppose. But anyway, my point is magic is really just like an additional skill set but we still live normal lives. We go to school, we get jobs, we love, get married, and continue the cycle, just like everyone else."
"You're just handled by a different government." Coulson stated.
"Just like you handle the weird and abnormal here in the states," Harry said.
"Is there another agency we should know about?" Coulson asked.
"I'm not a politician. I wouldn't know." Harry stated as he and Coulson locked eyes in another staring contest.
"But you're a hero. One of the biggest of all time. Surely you must know something." Coulson reminded him.
"I was raised and trained to fight a specific villain. I did and now I try to stay out of the field as much as I can," Harry replied.
"And yet you immediately jumped in to help when Loki attacked." Coulson said.
"From childhood I was raised to be the hero, it was engraved into me as a whole. I know I have a horrible Hero Complex, it's no mystery." Harry replied calmly. "I saw people in danger and so I acted."
"You must know something though." Coulson repeated.
"I do," Harry said with a bit of a smirk.
"But you won't tell me." Coulson said.
"For the same reason you can't tell me certain things Agent. It's nothing personal, it's just patriotic loyalty." Harry said as he finally broke their eye contact to take another sip from his coffee and lean back into the couch.
"You're in America," Coulson said.
"But not a citizen. I'm still pretty much British. But even if I was made an American citizen there are things I can't tell you." Harry said.
"Oh and why not?" Coulson asked.
"The same reason it's taking my resources much longer to get here," Harry said.
"Our surveillance says that epidemics have held your friends back," Coulson said.
"That's only my healer friend but she will still need clearance. The others who are...more in their prime need permission." Harry said.
"Aliens were just proven real. The order of things was just turned upside down. Muggles now know that they aren't alone." Harry said seriously.
"The magical societies are planning on revealing themselves?" Coulson asked, more alert now.
"I didn't say that but I'm sure there are some who believe now may be the time to do so while others believe the exact opposites and want to tighten security. The governments are very wary and are being very careful of any magic users going in and out of their control. America, as you can imagine is a hot zone right now." Harry explained.
"So every country has magic users and governments?"
"...as I said before Agent, we are human with magic just being another skill set. The form of government in the country typically reflects the muggle government system that's in place in that country. I'm a wizard but I'm still British. I hold the Queen in high regards just as I'm sure any possible magical being in this country celebrates the 4th of July and holds high regards for the Commander and Chief."
"You're far more talkative Mr. Potter," Coulson commented.
"I can't get information without giving it, can't I? That's the game played these days, isn't it?" Harry replied.
Coulson smirked a little and gave a nod, "I suppose this is where I answer your basic questions now?"
Harry thought for a moment. He picked up his cup and looked intently at it and during that time drank three long sips.
"I've answered some basic questions but those are answers that until now you could only guess at. But like I stated before, I'm not a politician. I'd like to make a trade of me asking questions since...I really don't care for this political game you or Fury are interested in playing."
"And what do you want in return?" Coulson asked carefully.
"A favor." Harry replied simply.
"What sort of favor?" Coulson inquired.
"Keep Ms. Potts from coming here," Harry said.
"...it won't be easy," Coulson said as he set down his coffee.
"Neither is taking care of two gods, two geniuses, one who happens to have quite the double personality if he gets angry enough and the other is just as narcissistic as a child as he was as an adult, two master assassins, and a kid who is a super soldier from the 30-40's who are all now miniaturized. But hey, I can manage and in comparison this favor should be a cake walk," Harry deadpanned.
"I can buy you a few days before Ms. Potts eventually gets her way in here. Either through us or by Jarvis." Coulson said.
"Can't you just shut him off?" Harry asked.
"Yes but we'd rather not." Coulson replied.
"Jarvis is a powerful system. With all that's going on he can come in handy. During these days that we try to keep Ms. Potts from here we will try to get her to use Jarvis as much as we can and as much as she allows in the clean up," Coulson explained.
"And he needs to be activated within the tower to work?" Harry asked.
"It's the only place weak enough for us to hack at the moment and the least likely option for Mr. Stark to retaliate for messing with his toys once he's restored to normal." Coulson answered.
Harry nodded, "Alright..."
Coulson stood up, "It's getting late and I shouldn't be keeping you from your much needed hours of sleep. It was just easier to have this conversation without the little ones running around."
"Right." Harry nodded slowly as he too got up.
"Leave all of this here. It'll be cleaned up by the time you wake up." Coulson said as extended his hand to Harry.
Harry shook the agents hand, "This AI...it's basically like a person?"
"Think Mr. Stark's cyber butler. He's here to help in any way he can. You know have access to anything on the internet, most files you can ask for, and any operating fast food delivery services Mr. Stark is fond of."
"Will it realize Tony's condition and know not to mention anything it's not supposed to?" Harry asked.
"Agents in another room have briefed me on the situation, sir. I know I am not to inform Ms. Potts on Mr. Stark's current condition though she is constantly calling his cell as well as trying to reach me. I was created by Mr. Stark to help him and I will continue to do so. I am at your disposal and happy to help any way I can to get Mr. Stark back to normal...or as closest as to that definition that Mr. Stark can be."
"It has humor...I can totally believe Tony made him," Harry said to Coulson then looked to the ceiling, "Thank you...er, Jarvis. And yes, for now it's in Tony's best interest to keep outside influences away. Though Ms. Potts may be worried I believe it's best to keep her in the dark just a bit longer."
"Of course sir."
"And with that, I'll take my leave. I'll be back to check in as soon as needed. In the mean time, please try to get your resources here as soon as possible to fix this. The sooner we get this fixed the sooner we can all finally get a good night's sleep." Coulson said.
Harry scoffed, "After all the aliens and monsters and oddities we deal with, Agent, I think a good night's sleep is the most mythical thing either of us has ever heard."
Coulson gave that infamous smirk of his and nodded, "I won't argue with you on that Mr. Potter. Goodnight."
"Night, Agent." Harry said as he watched Coulson leave.
Once the agent was gone, Harry collapsed onto the couch and gave a deep sigh while rubbing his tired eyes.
"Is everything alright sir?"
"No Jarvis...not really." Harry replied weakly.
"It is a rather stupid question to ask. Anyone with proper eyesight can tell you haven't rested properly in some time. Both your heart rate and blood pressure seem a bit high. I suggest going to sleep and if you can, sleep in as long as you can and then have a big hearty breakfast."
"Merlin, you sounds like a lot of women in my life. And as much as I'd love to, I have seven kids and a teenager to wake up and cook for." Harry replied.
"I can have breakfast arranged to be sent over in the morning so you may rest, sir. You look like you can fall over any minute."
"I can handle myself just fine Jarvis...but the breakfast delivery might not be a bad idea."
"Go ahead and order for 8:00 AM delivery?"
"Yes please. And set the alarm for me at 7 will you?" Harry asked as he ran his hand through his hair again. Standing up he stretches and yawns loudly.
"I'd recommend sleeping in to at least 9, sir."
"And who will watch the kids?" Harry asked.
"I have been told there are capable agents on duty, sir. And some of them have spoken highly of your godson and his influences on the children. And from the surveillance tapes I see the children worry about your health as well and would most likely agree on letting you sleep in. Probably until noon."
"Sleeping until noon is crazy. Wake me up at 7:45 AM then."
"In that case I suggest a mid-day nap sir. Your vitals are a bit alarming,"
"Did Tony intentionally invent you to be a nanny?" Harry deadpanned.
"No, sir. But I learn each and every day and over the years I have learned to properly advise Mr. Stark so I can easily take care of advising you, Mr. Potter."
"You don't even know me." Harry said tiredly.
"No, but you care greatly for Mr. Stark in his vulnerable time and you do not expect anything in return. I only want to look after the kind man who's taking good care of my creator."
"...Goodnight Jarvis." Harry said after a while as he walked towards his room.
"Goodnight sir. Pleasant dreams."
Just to clarify...there was never any plot line to this. Just random ideas that pop into my mind. I mean...you can sort of see a bit of a plot but there really isn't one. It's all meant to be fluff though some chapters are a bit more tense.
As you can see, I'm trying to bring all of the characters in. Next chapter I will try to concentrate more on Steve. He really needs the spot light on him for more than a few seconds.
Until next update, later!