Disclaimer: Tony Stark and the rest of the characters are the property of Stan Lee and Marvel Studios/Disney. Harry Potter and all associated characters and settings remain the intellectual property of JK Rowling and her associates. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: This fic is un-betaed and will most likely stay un-betaed. There will be mistakes and misspellings. There will be things that don't match up with what I wrote before (feel free to point out those mistakes). This is called writing by the seat of my pants. I lost myself as a writer, I think, by participating in fest after fest – it's time I wrote for myself again.
Notes: Ugh, sorry this took so long! I think this has been the longest between an update ever, but I might be wrong. Work and personal issues got in the way and this chapter just didn't want to come out. That and plot bunnies galore on various other projects.
Harry balanced the cell between his ear and shoulder as he adjusted the cuffs on his shirt. He hated the fact that he had to look professional each and every time he stepped out of the house, but such was the life of Tony Stark. He sighed, making sure it was heard on the other end of the line, and tried not to get too frustrated at the woman he was speaking to. She was just doing her job, after all.
"That tower was supposed to have a few floors already set aside for a living space. My father had it that way and I expected it to stay that way."
"Yes, sir," the woman said, her voice shaking a little. "Our records show that Mister Stane indicated that those floors be turned into—"
"Yeah, no. Okay, we'll get a hotel until the rooms are finished. Do you have a time frame on that?"
Hermione walked in with an empty suitcase while the girl answered. "It will be at least two days—"
"That's fine." Harry took the suitcase and tossed it on the bed. "Edwin is already on his way and he'll make sure everything is set up how I like it. You should have his flight information."
"Yes, Mister Stark."
"Good, thanks." Harry hung up and offered Hermione a smile. "What, you didn't pack for me?"
"I never pack for you." Hermione pulled out her own phone and ran her finger across the screen. "Our plane leaves in two hours. Have you told Clint that we're leaving yet?"
"He hides in my vents. He probably already knows." Harry pulled a few suits and clothes out, tossing them in the direction of the bed. "Have you heard from Blaise?"
"This morning after he woke up. He said there were a lot of late-night preparations, which is why he didn't call when he landed." Hermione folded the clothes and placed them neatly in. "He would also like you to know that he hates you for wanting to do this expo and hopes that you fall on your face at some point during your opening speech."
Harry laughed, tossing the last bit of his clothes he wanted onto the bed. "I'll let him know that I love him, too."
"I might get jealous." Hermione nudged his side. "Also, I want a vacation after this expo is over. Two weeks, at least."
"Two weeks where I go back to running this alone?"
Hermione snorted. "You have never run this company alone."
"Yeah, I know." Harry closed the suitcase and ran a hand over it. The authorities in London had given it to him after Howard's funeral and the old man's name was still stitched into the corner. The thread was faded, greyer than the black it used to be. "I can't do it without you."
"I hope that's me you're talking about." Clint came into the room behind Hermione and wrapped his arms around her waist. "Is it me, right?"
"You are so lucky that my overly-jealous boyfriend is in New York," Hermione said, though she didn't shrug out of the hold. "He was talking about me."
"Well damn." Clint sighed and put all his weight on Hermione. "My life is ruined."
Harry rolled his eyes. "When you stop putting holes in my wall, I will make you my favorite."
"That will never happen, so I'm safe." Hermione finally pulled away with a laugh. "I'm going to put my things in the car and make sure everything else is ready to go."
"We're going somewhere?" Clint asked, watching Hermione leave.
"Don't pretend you don't know."
Clint smirked and shoved his hands in his pockets. "I could use a vacation, only I know that isn't what this will be. Protecting you in a crowd of rowdy people is going to be hell."
"I don't need protection."
"Yeah, sorry, this is the Director's orders." Clint shrugged and Harry knew that he wasn't sorry at all. Something told him that, orders or not, Clint would take a bullet for him. "She said we had two hours?"
"Not that you need it, right?"
"Already packed." Clint smiled a little. "We're taking your private jet, right? The one where your flight attendants pole dance while in flight?"
Harry stared at him, confused. "Where did you get that idea?"
"You mean it isn't true?"
"No, it isn't true. I don't even have attendants, just a military pilot."
"Ugh, you are no longer as fun as I thought you were." Clint backed up until he could lean against the door. "Seriously, I'm reconsidering being your friend."
"You would never. I let you live in a shiny mansion instead of some kind of plain barracks."
"Such a cruel truth you tell." Clint let out an over-exaggerated sigh. "I suppose I'll have to keep you."
Harry snorted and picked up the suitcase. "Shut up and bring your stuff to the car. We're leaving soon."
"Can I drive?"
"No." Harry pushed Clint out of the room. "Come on, time to go have fun in the big city."
Clint whined about not being able to drive all the way to his room to grab his bag, and then all the way to the car where Hermione and Neville were already waiting. Thankfully, he quieted down once Hermione sent him a look, though Harry wasn't sure how long the quiet would last. Clint was only quiet when feeling out of place, and that just wasn't possible anymore around them. Somehow, Clint had become family.
The actual flight saw Clint doing work on his SHIELD-issues laptop and Harry didn't bother asking to see what he was working on. Friends and family, yes, but that didn't mean they got to share all their secrets. Clint knew the basics of who Harry was, but nothing past his name and how he became Tony. Clint had shrugged off the revelation and still called him Tony, but he also didn't blink when the others called him Harry. It was an odd relationship, but it worked. In return for that small gesture, Harry never asked Clint anything past basic details when it came to his job.
At some point in time, he must have dozed off in his chair because he woke when the plane bounced its landing, his neck sore. He groaned and rubbed it before leaning forward in his chair. He hated flying in planes and would rather use his broom or the suit.
"How much time until I need to do the opening ceremony?" he mumbled out.
"Less than an hour," Hermione said, handing him a bottle of water. "Just enough time to eat and get ready."
Fabulous. "You'll go to the hotel and get things settled there?"
"Of course. Clint will be in the rafters when you land to make sure that you're safe. Rhodey has a few people patrolling the crowds, and Happy will be there to take you to the hotel when you're finished."
Hermione rolled her eyes and got up to open the door once the plane stopped. Clint patted Harry's shoulder before following behind, leaving Neville and Harry in the main cabin.
"Are you ready to go?" Neville asked.
"No." Harry rubbed his eyes, but he stood up anyway. "I'm starting to rethink this whole thing."
"Stop over-thinking everything." Neville wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulders. "We'll be fine and I'm sure this will be fun. What could go wrong?"
"Oh god, please don't say that." Harry ran a hand through his hair. "I said that before I left for… Before. And we all know how that turned out."
"Relax, Harry. Jump out of that plane, fly your shiny suit down, and give them the show they want. Then, once we get back to the hotel, we'll have a huge Super Smash Brothers tournament where Clint will surely kick our ass."
Harry couldn't help but laugh at that, stepping in front of Neville to walk down the plane's stairs before him. "He'd go for Pit or Link, you know that."
"And you always go for Star Fox, it's okay. Pepper loves Zelda and I'll get Mister Game and Watch." Neville took the keys that someone handed to him. "Maybe, if Edwin is available, he'll join us. Rhodey, too."
"Did I hear something about Smash Brothers?" Clint asked, holding the door for Harry. "I am so in. I call Pit!"
"We know," Harry said, sliding into the car. Since there was room, Clint followed him into the back. "One day, we're all going to choose Pit and confuse you."
"You'll confuse yourselves first."
Hermione shrugged, a smile playing at her lips. "Probably, but it'll at least be fun." She handed Harry an ear piece. "I wrote your speech, so all you need to do is repeat it."
Harry stuck the piece into his ear with a grin. "What would I do without you?"
"Stumble around like a drunk and say the wrong things." Hermione turned to her tablet and hummed.
Clint snorted, leaning back in his seat. "She's got a point there, Tony."
Harry flipped him off, making Neville laugh from the front seat. Harry then let himself smile and pretend that everything was going to be fine. That the watch on his arm didn't tell him his poisoning level (8%) as well as the time. That he had no idea how he was going to get past a mistake like this.
He leaned back in his seat and listened while Clint and Neville argued about different versions of Smash Brothers and which one was better. This was normal. He liked normal. Right now, he needed normal.
Unrelated to this fic (but might be a possible future thing if I keep this going), but I have major Civil War feels right now. Kevin (guy who runs this showboat at Marvel Studios) said that it might be a good thing for the Avengers 3 story line (timeline wise), so of course I begin to hunt information down. I want to know, I can't help it. But the utter devastation that comes out of that story line just pulls at everything in my heart. I'm eating it up right now, but at the same point I'm trying to run far away from it. It's an odd thing to experience, let me tell you. So yeah, that's a Big Thing that might come up in the future. What side will Harry be on? Don't know. There's so much at stake for BOTH sides.
On a related note: I'm not looking for a beta, than you to the guest that wrote that review. If you found one mistake in an entire chapter, congrats to me since I quite literally just write it, don't read over it (except for reference), and post it. There is literally no editing whatsoever going on.