Chapter 12

Harry was doing a favour for a co-worker when the alarms started going off.

He was in the basement, trying to remove a cat from an electricity generator. How the feline had even gotten into the building in the first place was a mystery, but that was not what the main problem was. The generator it was hiding in was made up of multiple, huge, jet engines. It was the main back-up generator, designed to keep the Tesseract stabilised in the case of an emergency. And it was currently shut down, because some stupid feline had hijacked a ride to the base and hidden itself away in between different pipes, metal plates and belts.

If Harry had known anything about engines, he probably would have been a bit more relaxed, however he had never studied engineering; therefore, he was worried that if he touched anything, it might blow up the entire generator. And he didn't need that.

He had gotten into enough trouble for the fiasco with the Tesseract.

"Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..." He muttered, laying flat on his stomach on the cement, eyeing off the cat, which was crouched between a thick pipe an air vent of some kind. It pinned its ears back and glared at him.

This had been going on for half an hour. Of course, it was not his job, but he owed a co-worker a favour, after said co-worker managed to persuade Fury out of sacking him. So here he was, trying to remove a cat from a generator, in the basement of the FBI's secret base, where the Tesseract was hidden.

Then he felt it. A jolt in the air, not quite magic, not quite natural. The Tesseract. And it appeared that he was not the only one who noticed it either; the evacuation alarms started blaring. The Tesseract had de-stabilised.

"SHIT!" Picking a couple of Dudley's choice curse words, he leapt up wildly. He had to re-activate the back-up generator! fortunately, the stupid cat, started by the blaring sirens, decided that the generator was a bad place to hide after all, and lunged out, darting off into the sea of humans that darted in every direction in a wild panic.

Harry lunged forward and pulled a large lever, swiping his ID, turning on the enormous machine. However, it appeared to be too late. Another, huge, wave of energy from the Tesseract not only knocked him flat, but also sent the generator to a shuddering stop.

Cursing wildly, Harry pushed his way through the sea of people, making his way towards the room holding the Tesseract. Another surge of power made the walls shake. Perhaps he should have stayed in bed that morning.

"What are you doing, kid? GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!" A scientist shouted as he ran past. Harry ignored them. Suddenly, the surges of power stopped. Weird. He shoved the doors into the Tesseract room open. Fury! Fury was in there!

"Director Fury, Sir, the back up generator has failed..." Harry broke off, staring. There was another man in the room, one who he had not been able to see when he first entered.

The man looked, on first glance, to be a scrawny teenager fresh from a role-playing convention, with a long, green cloak, a weird, scythe-like weapon that had a glowing crystal in it, and a horned helmet that reminded Harry of a cow.

"Uh... am I interrupting something?" He murmured, glancing between Fury and the strange man. The strange man regarded him curiously for a moment, before a wicked smile spread over his face. Harry only had enough time to blink, before a bright flash of blue light struck him, sending his world black.

Darkness. Dust. Smoke. Silence.

Harry's eyes flickered open, however they provided no useful information. It was too dark. He coughed violently. He was lying on his found, with a heavy pressure weighing down on his legs. Where was he?

"Lumos!" He rasped, holding out his hand. Wincing as the light almost blinded him. Rubble. He was surrounded by rubble, boxed in! He was trapped!

He tried to move, however the weight on his legs stopped him. Fear started rising in his chest, however he forced it back down. panicking in this situation would only make things worse.

"Hello? Is anyone there?" He shouted, his voice cracking. Silence answered him. He grimaced. How was he going to get out of this one? Perhaps... no. It was too risky. His animagus form was something large, he knew; but would it be large enough to push however much rubble was on top of him off? Or would it just kill him attempting it?

Pain twanged in his chest. He winced, touching it with the hand that wasn't holding the light. Something warm and sticky. Blood. Shit.

Taking a few deep breaths, he allowed his thoughts to clear slightly. Wait... Idiot. Apparating! How stupid could he get, to forget the simple art of teleportation?

He couldn't spin on the spot, no; but he would rather risk being splinched than be trapped here until he starved or suffocated.

CRACK.

Light! Sweet light! Harry fell awkwardly side-ways, crashing down on top of his coffee table with a pained gasp. He got out!

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, he fumbled for the tv remote, hoping the news would provide some kind of insight into what had happened. The FBI base was supposed to be secret, yes; but judging by the amount of rubble that had been on top of him and the destabilization of the Tesseract, there must have been one hell of an explosion. And an explosion that size would NOT have been overlooked by the media, no matter how hard the government tried to cover it.

And he was right. His breath caught in his throat as the first thing he saw on the broadcast was an aerial view of the top-secret FBI base... or what had been the top-secret FBI base. It was now just a crater.

For the first time in his life, Harry thanked his powers as Master of Death, glad that he was not trapped, dead, under the enormous mass of rubble. He shuddered.

But... what had happened to the tesseract? And that strange man? And Fury? And all the other scientists and Agents? Hopefully they had gotten out... He had to get to the main FBI headquarters.

Ignoring the wave of nausea and dizziness that washed over him, Harry leapt up and rushed out of the door, carefully stepping over Crookshanks, who attempted to trip him on his way out.

He didn't even bother with the bus. Harry ran straight to the city center, not pausing for breath once. In fact, he did not even remember most of the run; perhaps he was going into shock. As he pushed his way through the front doors of the FBI building, he darted straight to the main desk.

"Director Fury! Is Director Fury here? Is everyone ok? Who made it out? Who didn't make it out? What on earth happened?" He all but shouted at the receptionist.

A few large Agents rushed over and dragged him away from the desk, forcing him down into a chair, calling people over. Harry's eyes darted wildly around. The building was frantic. Agents rushed around madly, on their cell phones, shouting and swearing.

He was shaking.

"Sir! Please calm down! Were you in the explosion? What is your name?" An Agent, crouched in front of him asked.

Harry did not reply, but rather took a deep, shuddering breath, hands shaking wildly. It was surreal, how detached he felt.

"I think he's in shock..." He heard someone say. "Wait... is that blood...? Call a medic! Ambulance, whatever! NOW!"

Harry tried to stand up. He had to find Fury, or Coulson, or somebody! Anybody! He had to know who had gotten out – or not gotten out – of the explosion!

"You... You don't understand! I need to... to see..." He tried to say, but his tongue felt heavy. In fact, so did the rest of his body... He tried to stand again, however firm hands pushed him back down.

"Hang in there, son. The ambulance is on its way."

"No! Not... hate hospitals..." Harry moaned, before promptly passing out.