Temporary Team-mates

Not many people knew that the most powerful wizard in the world lived in America. Even amongst wizards, the young man's exact location was a well-kept secret. There was no way a muggle should have known it at all.

However, Director Fury made it his business to know these things. And the name had been at the very top of his list for joining the Avengers Initiative from the very beginning: Harry Potter, saviour of the Wizarding World.

Unfortunately, the wizard in question didn't quite agree.

"Why did you show up to help us?" Clint Barton asked, fully aware of the previous 'interactions' S.H.I.E.L.D had had with the wizard.

The Gryffindor turned to the agent, brows creased as he thoughtfully gazed at the Agent. "Hmm… I wonder what it is about S.H.I.E.L.D agents that make all of them so paranoid and interrogative…?" There was only the slightest hint of annoyance in his deep green eyes. "It sounds rather exhausting, to be honest. Why don't you ever take the more simple route and say 'thanks for the help'?"

Hawkeye looked away. Natasha fought the urge to smile at her partner's uncomfortable body language. S.H.I.E.L.D couldn't have endeared itself to the wizard in the past few years. The Director had been dead-set on Harry Potter joining the Avengers. And he hadn't been very polite in 'asking' the last few times.

"Thank you for your help." Steve Rodgers finally offered, the genuine grateful smile that accompanied the words erasing his annoyance completely.

"So why did you show up to help us?" Tony Stark re-iterated, not one to dance around anything.

The Captain looked at his team-mate in askance but Harry just shrugged.

"Well… he was going to destroy most of the world and rule the rest of it." He answered philosophically.

Steve nodded in approval. "So you decided to help to save the innocent civilians." Apparently that earned him another warm smile, Harry mused. He didn't get to bask in it for long, though, since the Director took that as his moment to speak up.

"Yet you declined to join the Avengers" Fury sharply pointed out. Everyone in the room was fully aware just what an understatement that was. "Despite the fact that they are specifically assembled to deal with these sort of threats. If you had joined the Avengers it would…"

The Gryffindor stopped him there, already familiar with the speech. The Director of S.H.I.E.L.D had given it to him before, back when he had still been 'politely' asking him to join. "I won't." was his immediate answer.

Surprisingly no-one dared argue. They all knew just how… convincing S.H.I.E.L.D could be, when they wanted something. Bruce had not exactly joined them completely voluntarily. Tony Stark had read enough of the Director's classified files to be aware of his methods en manners of persuasion. Steve Rodgers didn't exactly approve of S.H.I.E.L.D's methods either, but he was a soldier first and foremost and even if he didn't like it he could, to some extend, understand the reasoning behind it. As agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff had actually been part of the force send out to… retrieve the wizard. Several times. Each of them ending in failure and making the Director even more convinced to have Harry Potter working for him.

Calmly, the messy-haired man continued, his tone completely matter-of-fact;

"I have already informed you that I will not be your weapon. I won't work for someone I don't trust and instead of trying to earn that trust, you decided to coerce me into working for you. Of course I wasn't going to agree; you threatened me. Actually, I am still a little… miffed about that."

"You're… miffed?" Bruce asked hesitantly in the ensuing silence.

Harry nodded thoughtfully "Yes. Yes, rather miffed."


"Why, yes." the wizard answered Tony's outraged cry agreeably.

But the billionaire couldn't let it go. "Seriously? Fury's been trying to make you into his lapdog all this time, threatening you, stalking you…"

"That's enough Stark!" Fury interrupted sharply.

Predictably, the stubborn man didn't listen "… and trying to manipulate you into working for him. And all this time you refuse point blank and when the shit finally truly hits the fan and an alien overlord is taking over the planet that we hadn't yet figured out how to beat, you just show up and defeat him with a little wave of your wand like he's nothing more than a playground bully…"

Harry cocked his head, looking at the widely gesturing man in something akin to fascination.

"…even though you swore you wouldn't work for Fury and yet you took down that alien-lord anyway and all you have to say is that you're miffed?"

A sudden hush fell upon the group of Avengers while Tony tried to regain his breath.

With the eyes of his temporary team-mates and the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D all scrutinizing him, Harry fought the urge to fidget and shrugged his shoulders instead.

"My cousin used to bully me on the playground. Everywhere else too, actually" the wizard finally said, with a small frown. "I wish he had been that easy to defeat."

The silence stretched so painfully that Harry nearly winced.

"…I think I am actually still more than just a little miffed with him." He hesitantly offered.

Tony really didn't know what to say to that.

A.N.: Yeah, I don't know what that was about either. Just... miffed. It's a funny word, right? And yeah, Thor is not around right now.