AN: Hi everyone! Just wanted to take the time to say that while I am not new to reading fanfiction, I am quite new at posting what I've written. This is my first story EVER on this site, so I'm quite excited. I hope everyone else is too.
Some things to know!
** Just so everyone is aware, other than an extremely basic plot line and a few specific scenes, I have utterly no idea where this story is going. I'll be making it up as I go for the most part. In accordance to this, it will probably be a slow moving process on my part. However I am most open to suggestions!
** I am looking for a Beta Reader/Editor if anyone is interested!
** This is a FEM!Harry story! I treat my FEM!Harry almost like an OC, so I'm sorry if she doesn't seem "Harry" enough for you.
** I graciously accept flames from people, but please inform me of your troubles and concerns in an intelligent manner. No "Ur story Sux!" crap please.
SUMMARY: After a life of war and adventure, all she wanted to do was live a fairly quiet life running her little café and avoid inquiries on future children from Mrs. Weasley. She didn't expect Tony Stark to wander his way into her life and decide to never leave. FEM!Harry/Tony Stark
'…I just wanna scream and lose control, throw my hands up and let it go, forget about everything and run away, yeah! I just wanna fall and lose myself, laughing so hard it hurts like hell…'
Helen gave a start and rolled off her bed, landing on the floor with a dull thud as Avril Lavigne started singing loudly from the iPod dock next to her bed indicating that it was 5:30 and she needed to get up and face the world. She groaned and detangled herself from her covers, standing up with a wince as she stretched her back, sighing in relief when it gave an audible 'crack'.
She gathered up the blankets and tossed them on her bed without a care. Turning to head into the bathroom, she promptly tripped over Bayer, the two-year-old Great Dane she rescued from a kill shelter two months ago. It had been a completely spontaneous, but welcomed addition to her quaint apartment life here in New York City.
The dog raised its black head from where he laid next on the floor next to the bed and stared at her accusingly for a second before returning to his previous position.
"Not my fault you blend in with the floor," Helen grumbled, flipping on the light switch on the wall to illuminate her bedroom as she entered the bathroom. She gave herself an onceover in the mirror.
A head of wild, black-coffee curls made worse by a wild case of bed head? Check. Her mother's bright, jade-green eyes? Check. Full (but not oversized!) breasts and womanly curves that decided to show up unexpectedly after Hogwarts? Double check.
The twenty-seven year old witch gave a sigh and started the shower, stripping herself of the black Pearl Jam t-shirt and maroon Dr. Pepper pajama pants she'd worn as sleepwear that night. She stepped under the spray and promptly cursed, turning the water hotter quickly before she froze herself.
Her mind wandered a bit as she absently went about her routine, thinking over her life up to that point.
After the war, the Ministry had put an inordinate amount of pressure on her to become an Auror and lead the cleanup effort rounding up the Death Eaters after Voldemort's defeat. Despite pursuing the idea earlier, after everything was said and done, Helen wanted nothing to do with the Ministry in general much less submit to being their personal Bitch more than she already had throughout her life. When Gringotts approached her with an offer of joining the Cursebreakers, she told the Ministry to collectively 'fuck off' and hopped the first plane to Egypt.
She spent a year in Egypt with a few of the Cursebreakers there as crash course training instead of returning to Hogwarts with Hermione and Ron. Her two friends had been angry with her decision to basically run away, but eventually came to accept the fact that she was doing what she wanted for the first time in her life.
The three of them made sure to remain in regular contact via letters during Helen's years with Gringotts and the Cursebreakers. Helen also made a point to make appearances at birthdays and major holidays to spoil her growing collection of nieces and nephews. Much to Molly's annoyance, Helen had yet to find a man and settle down to have her own children and the Weasley Matriarch made it known at every family occasion that she was anxious to see little Potters running around before she kicked the bucket.
Helen was no stranger to relationships. Her issue was having them last more than a few months at best. For the longest time, she was fully absorbed with travelling the world, doing digs and expeditions, looking for treasures, and rising rapidly through the ranks. Now she was too absorbed with running her café. Besides… She was used to being alone.
The Goblins hadn't been too enthused when she decided to retire a year ago after building a massive fortune outside of the sizable Family Fortune she inherited from her parents and Sirius, built from her commissions and finds. They'd been even more upset when most of the team that she had built around her had decided to retire with her and follow her to New York.
Helen killed the water just as it started to go cold and stepped out, grabbing towel to dry off with, wrapping it around her as she re-entered the bedroom to get dressed. She strolled over to her walk in closet and dropped the towel carelessly on the floor as she fished for a pair of underwear from her drawers, finally settling on a matching lacy, neon green set that Kitty had gotten her for her birthday that year, slipping the garments on. Next, she shimmied into a pair of dark washed skinny jeans that glued to her legs like a second skin and grabbed one of her work shirts – a yellow one with the coffee shop's logo in black.
A quick trip back to the bathroom to brush her teeth and do her makeup – just a bit of mascara and some lip-gloss – she gave herself another onceover and called it good.
"Come on, boy," Helen called to Bayer as she grabbed her yellow Converse. She slipped them on quickly as the Great Dane trotted over to the door, tail wagging.
She locked the door and descended the stairs with Bayer trailing after her, hanging an immediate right as she reached the ground, opening the glass door that lead into the café. Music was playing softly and all the TV's were on indicating that as usual, Faye and Cicero had both beaten her there to get started on the morning's fare.
Bayer made a beeline for his dog bed by the fireplace where he did a few circles before laying down, promptly falling asleep. Helen gave him a glance of fond exasperation as she made her way to the kitchen, ducking under the counter instead of lifting it open to walk through.
"Good morning, my Minions!" Helen said cheerfully as she opened the swinging kitchen door. The two people glanced at each other before rolling their eyes in unison, going back to ignoring the witch.
Helen merely grinned, making a beeline for the bowl of cookie dough that had been prepped, working methodically to whip out tray after tray of chocolate chip cookies.
Despite his pounding headache, Tony could not get out of there fast enough, tossing on whatever clothes of his that he could find to slip out of the unfamiliar apartment he woke up in. He couldn't remember much of the previous night and surely didn't remember going anywhere with the store-bought blonde he woke up next to. Apparently last night was yet another tick on Tony's growing tally of drunken one-night-stands that did nothing whatsoever to help him get over Pepper dumping him a month ago.
They had told everyone it was a mutual split.
As a matter of a fact, it had blindsided him so thoroughly that he chucked the diamond ring he'd bought into the lake at Central Park and proceeded to get so meticulously smashed that he woke up in a New Jersey cow pasture with no recall as to how the hell he got there and the mother of all hangovers.
The press had a field day with that little excursion.
His situation now wasn't much better. Not only had he apparently lost his phone sometime the night previous, but also his coat, his wallet, and his watch.
Tony crossed his arms over his chest in a valiant attempt to keep warm in the biting February cold. He was cold, hung-over, and had no fucking clue as to where he was. He eventually gave up trying to place himself within the city and picked a random direction to walk. Two blocks down, the delicious scent of roasted coffee, chocolate, and baked goods filtered past him on the chilly morning breeze. He eventually located the source of the tantalizing smell in a coffee shop across the street from him.
He quickly scanned the windows, taking in the black and yellow decal with the snarling rampant dog done in a heraldic style with the words "Blackdog Coffee House & Bakery" arced above and below it. He noted that the black banners above the windows and door had the same name across them in yellow.
He figured that the place had to have a phone and being warm despite torturing himself with the smell of coffee would be better than freezing on the streets of New York. With his mind made up, he crossed the street swept through the doors. He was immediately assaulted with the rich smell of coffee.
Tony took a quick moment to glance around at the place and he was pleasantly surprised at the tasteful modern décor of the café. Despite the concrete floor, the place gave off a very warm and comfortable feeling with caramel-crème walls offset by depictions of tasteful, modern art and black and white photographs of famous New York architecture.
There were metal tables with matching chairs in groups around the place save for the area around a roaring gas fireplace where there was a mishmash of armchairs and couches arranged in a sensible manner around a few coffee tables that had copies of that morning's newspaper on them. There were a few flat screen TVs hanging off the walls that had various news channels with the captions rolling so patrons could understand what was being said. The Dave Matthews Band was playing from the speakers just loud enough to be heard, topping off the pleasant ambiance.
Tony was surprised to see the black Great Dane sleeping away on a dog pillow in front of the fireplace. It had raised its head to look at him revealing a white blaze on its chest, deemed him unimportant, and went back to sleep.
Tony wandered in further and eyed the countless creations housed in the glass cases up at the counter. His mouth watered and his stomach growled in protest as he gazed at them all longingly. Doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, brownies, croissants, muffins, scones, cookies, and cupcakes… It was everything you could imagine and more. The espresso machine gleamed in all its chromed mechanical glory on the back wall, sitting under a colorful chalkboard menu that declared a selection of soups, sandwiches, and salads as lunchtime fare.
The door to the kitchen suddenly opened and a nymph of a woman came out backwards, using her back to open the swinging door as she carried a tray of what appeared to be freshly glazed doughnuts. She was petite, but had dangerous curves hugged by the yellow t-shirt and skinny jeans she was wearing. Her hair was dark and reminded Tony of the color of the very black coffee they served. It carried a curl in it, pulled up in a ponytail.
She turned around and gave a start, obviously surprised to see Tony standing there looking so disheveled and shivering. He was equally surprised to see such bright green eyes.
"Bloody hell, are you alright?" the woman said, eyes wide with a British accent that caught Tony off guard.
"You don't suppose I could use your phone, do you?" Tony said wryly, trying hard to control his shivering despite the encompassing warmth of the place.
The woman quickly tossed the tray of doughnuts into the glass case and snatched the phone off the wall behind her. "Here," she said, handing it to him over the counter. "Go sit by the fire and warm yourself up."
"Thanks," he muttered gratefully, taking the offered phone. He dialed one of the few numbers he knew by heart as he made his way over to the fireplace to hopefully defrost himself. He really hoped he didn't catch pneumonia from his frozen stroll through the city.
[Where the hell are you?] Rhodey's voice said harshly from the other side of the line, answering on the first ring.
"How'd you know it was me?" Tony muttered.
[We've all been worried sick about you! You never came back last night, no one knew where you were, and you left your wallet and phone at some bar downtown! You've got to stop doing this to us!]
Tony winced and felt the guilt well up in him. He knew that Rhodey and Happy didn't deserve all the worry he made them go through. "Look, I'm sorry," he sighed, running his hand through his hair.
[It's fine, Tony. Happy will be there soon. For the love of God, try not to get into any more trouble until then, alright?]
The line went dead and Tony sighed again. He turned the phone off and tossed it on the table in front of him before dropping his head into his hands. He stayed like that until he felt something drape across his shoulders. He glanced up surprised to see that the British, green-eyed beauty had draped a colorful, hand-made blanket over him.
She twisted to a table behind to her to reach for a steaming yellow mug and a plate, handing them to him. "Here," she said softly with a bit of sympathy in her bright green eyes. "You look like you need a pick-me-up this morning. It's on the house."
Tony glanced down at the cinnamon roll and cappuccino in his hands complete with leaf design and icing. "Thanks," he muttered, slightly confused as to why a complete stranger would do something so kind for him. He briefly wondered what her angle was, but decided not to push his luck questioning her motives.
Helen tried to ignore the feeling of his eyes trailing her every move as she worked. He was trying to figure her out. It was obvious that the industrialist wasn't used to people being kind to him just for the sake of being kind. Everything had a catch and everyone had another motive.
Such was the life of a Celebrity.
Helen glanced up from making an espresso for a rather sour looking business man when a college-aged girl burst into the store wearing the inverted version of Helen's yellow work shirt, blonde and pink ponytail flying wildly behind her.
"You're late," she said in a sing-song voice as the girl ducked under the counter and made her way into the kitchen to grab an apron.
"I'm sorry!" she wailed as she came back out, tying the strings in front. "My scooter finally died and I had to run five blocks."
"I told you to dump that piece of crap weeks ago, Alex," Helen said with a laugh.
"There is nothing wrong with Alfred!" she cried with a pout, grabbing a mug from the stack to pour a man a plain coffee. "He just needs a fix-up and he'll be all better again."
Helen rolled her eyes with a fond grin at the younger female's strangeness and went about her business as more people started coming in. Together they filled countless orders as people came and went. Every few minutes Helen found herself shooting the roguish man on the couch a glance, telling herself that she was just keeping an eye on him.
"You know, it's bad enough that you're giving each other goo-goo eyes. Do you have to do it in public?" Alex said, faking a gag.
"Oh stuff it," Helen muttered, rolling her eyes. "I'm not giving anyone goo-goo eyes."
"Uh huh," the blonde said dryly, "whatever you say."
Helen gave the girl a glare before grabbing a tub of dirty dishes, stalking back into the kitchen.
"There you are." Tony glanced up to see his long time friend and chauffer standing not too far away. "Let's get you out of here, Mr. Stark."
Tony gave the place a quick glance, almost sad when he didn't find the green-eyed barista anywhere in sight. He tightened the blanket around himself and stood up, following Happy out of the place.
It was a little underhanded of him to steal the blanket the woman generously loaned him, but he figured it gave him a legitimate excuse to come back.
That and the damned thing was really, really comfy.
AN: So this is the end of the first chapter of my first HP/Avengers crossover. I hope it was entertaining enough. I can already tell from the first chapter and the other stuff that I've got written already that this is going to be incredibly hard for me to write. I'm going to try and explain Helen's back story a bit more, perhaps making a series of one-shots in the future, but I'm not totally sure yet.
**One thing I think I forgot to mention. The dates won't exactly line up completely in the Avengers and HP universe. Helen is 27, but this takes place AFTER the Avengers. I'm going to put Tony probably around 37-38, cause we don't know exactly in the Movie how old he is and let's face it, Robert Downey Jr. can totally pull off a younger age. (For those wondering what I imagine Helen to look like, I'll be posting a link to an image soon)
If there is anything I might have missed or is confusing, please leave me a Review with your concerns and I'll address them!