Okay people. I seriously need to stop doing this. I need to actually SUCCESSFULLY have a one-shot STAY a one-shot! :|
So for real, this is the last one. No more asking for moreeeeeeee ~
Tony whined as he was dragged out of the casino by Clint and Steve. Natasha had casually mentioned the fact that she was tired and hungry not too long ago; this leading to Clint eagerly announcing that they should leave for the night and get some food while they're at it. So here they were – pulling a protesting Tony and hesitant Thor out of the bright lure of the casino. Tony was 'just getting into it' at the poker table and even Steve's endless patience was beginning to wear out by that time. Also the fact that he had had to sit through Tony's rant on their blackjack dealer 'Harry' and all the crazy explanations to being duped that seemed to spew out continuously from the not-so-sober man.
Bruce, being the only one that could handle Tony's eccentric personality, was trying unsuccessfully to get Tony to call their ride over. But the man was having none of it – still vehemently protesting that they return to the casino. Their mismatched group were congregated near the valet area, waiting for Bruce's efforts to get through to the stubborn man. A couple of other patrons were also lingering around waiting for their rides – couples and small groups. Natasha and Clint's sharp eyes watched as a valet came up in a sleek black motorcycle, parking it in front of a lone stranger; getting off and speaking to the waiting man whilst passing over the keys.
"Your bike, Mr Potter," the valet said in a sincerely polite tone. "Have a good night, Mr Potter."
"Thanks Dave," a familiar voice catches the team's attention. "You take care of yourself as well."
Tony instantly recognizes the voice and matching accent. Whipping around the thrusting an arm out to point at the man, Tony shouted: "Hey you!" Steve and the two assassins of their group catch the tensing up of the man's form and his right hand twitching instinctively. Relaxing his body slightly, he turned. All of the Avengers were surprised to see a familiar face. "Hello Harry," Tony's steady voice called out in that arrogant, charismatic tone that made the team repress the urge to groan and roll their eyes at the billionaire's antics.
"Hello Mr Stark," Harry replied politely, completely unfazed by Tony's charm. He had changed to casual clothes and was holding his helmet tucked under his left arm. Steve now noticed his bike and whistled lowly in admiration of it.
"That yours, Harry?" he asked in a friendly tone. Glancing back, Harry nodded affirmatively.
"Yes," he said, motioning lightly that Steve could come over and take a look. He himself turned back to face the rest of the group. Bruce smiled shyly at Harry.
"Hello, Harry," he said. Harry had a pleased expression on at the man's greeting.
"Hello, Bruce;" he said casually. His eyes drifted along the entirety of the group, nodding to each. "Ms Romanova, Clint," a knowing look passed between all three – recognising and acknowledging each other's abilities. "Son of Odin," a small bow. Thor let out a pleased, booming laugh. Tony shot a raised brow look at Bruce who merely shrugged in reply.
"It is good to see you once again; valiant warrior," another look of confusion passed between the group at Thor's words. Steve had returned by then and was thoroughly confused as well – although with most of his group; he always was.
"Warrior?" Tony repeated, his eyes glinting with interest as he eyed Harry. Harry shrugged it off humbly.
"Hey Harry, we were just about to grab a bite before heading home," Bruce cut in abruptly. "Would you like to join us?" It was a little dirty; him using Harry as bait so that Tony would come along. He felt a little rush of guilt at the knowing look Harry gave him, but was pleasantly surprised when Harry agreed nonetheless, as long as the rest of the group was okay with it – which they were.
So, Tony finally and begrudgingly agreed and ordered Happy to break multiple road laws so as to lose Harry from their trail in an act of mischief on his part. His jaw dropped in shock, however, when they arrived at the diner to Harry lounging against his bike comfortably.
"We didn't even tell you we were coming here!" he accused with a pointed finger. Harry once again shrugged nonchalantly.
"It's a popular place," was his only explanation as he led the way inside. Tony looked befuddled and disgruntled at the lack of explanation. Even Steve, Clint and Natasha were a little wary at this turn of events. When they had settled into their seats, they chattered away and ordered their food. It came as a surprise to the others when Harry's orders rivalled the unhealthiest of Tony's. Tony himself threw an approving look at the man who simply laughed good-naturedly.
They ate and spoke, each sharing their own meetings with Harry. Clint and Natasha had had a brutal winning streak at the poker tables when Harry had made his entrance. Bruce had enjoyed a surprisingly intellectual conversation with the man at the casino's bar – Harry had even concocted some original mixes for him to taste. Thor, surprisingly, had been the one to recognise Harry first. He'd clasped a firm hand on Harry's shoulder and happily introduced himself and was very impressed when Harry had introduced himself with the proper respect Thor had grown to expect in Asgard – due to his lineage of course – but had never gotten from anyone in Midgard. They had then hit it off rather well – each knowing about the other's achievements somewhat.
As the conversation at the table became more casual, many at the table felt as though Harry had been a aprt of their team all the time. When it was time to leave, Harry had amusingly beat Tony to the bill. They were all still chattering away as Harry pushed open the door. He stopped mid-sentence and threw up his free arm, whispering instinctual words under his breath and the Avengers all tense and whipped their heads to the outside of the diner as the sound of an explosion went off right in front of them.
Eyes widened as they took in the smoke of the explosion spread out before them – as if blocked by an invisible wall. Some of them turned to stare at Harry who had cursed under his breath. Harry then waved his hand as if simply waving away the smoke. They were startled to see that the smoke did indeed clear out to reveal a group of dark-clothed individuals. A quick glance-over told Harry there were seven in total. His eyes narrowed and body tensed.
"Whoa, who the hell are these guys?" came Tony's casual voice – no doubt his arrogance trying to rile their attackers up.
"Tony—" Harry began to say, fully intending to tell the Avengers to back off.
"You know them?" Steve's surprised tone. "Who're they? Why are they after you?" he immediately followed up, his commanding side taking over.
"They're… kind of bounty hunters. And they're not after me, they're after—"
"Hand over the Hallows and we won't kill your filthy Muggle friends!" called out one of them. That, Harry thought with a long-suffering sigh. He heard Bruce whisper the word Muggle in a confused voice amongst the arrogant laughter of Tony and protests of Steve.
"Just calm down," Harry said placatingly, hoping to stall for time to allow the others to leave somehow. "We can—" he was caught off-guard as one of the men shouted a quick Killing Curse off at Natasha and Harry moved on instinct; leaping to block Natasha from the blow – which then hit him straight on. In that instant, Harry's eyes dulled and his body crumpled into a heap by Natasha's feet. The assassin was shocked still as her eyes stared at the body; none of them were sure of what had just happened and how everything seemed to be over in a second.
Bruce and Steve were the quickest to react – dropping to their knees before Harry's still form. Steve muttered questions and tried to stir the man. Bruce checked the attack's impact point for injuries and, finding none, proceeded to look for a pulse. He found none.
"Ha! How pathetic!" laughed the one who had fired the curse. The others joined in instantly, all shouting in vulgarities and insults. "The famous Harry Potter; 'Defender of Light'," the man spat, "killed so easily!" More laughter and jeering. "Looks like maybe the Dark Lord was just another failure himself, if he couldn't manage to defeat someone so weak!"
The Avengers were thoroughly confused by everything that was being said by the men. Defender of Light? Dark Lord? Sounded like one of their usual clients by the sound of things. Thor and the others had snapped out of their stunned stupor the moment the men had started shouting their insults and were all kneeling now. Bruce, Steve, Tony and Natasha were talking in hushed tones, completely on the verge of panic at Harry's lack of a pulse. They jumped up into action when they heard one of the men say; "kill the others, we don't need them."
They heard the men start to say the exact same words that had been said when they had attacked Harry, and their honed instincts immediately shouted for them to get out of the way. However, just as they were about to move, all six of them were thrown off to the side by some unnatural, invisible force; out of the way of the incoming jets of green coloured lights. Each of them recovered relatively quickly however – right after the attack had hit a wall ineffectively – just in time to see Harry's body rise up from its crouched position. Jaws dropped. They could only stare as Harry leaped into action, a determined expression set in his usually care-free face.
Harry was off the ground in the blink of an eye, and he pushed his body off to the side as he sent double-stunners wandlessly at the two hunters by the left rear end. Taken by surprise at both Harry's revival and the quick succession of his actions; the two couldn't do more than open their mouths before they went down. Another two – whom Harry immediately assumed as the leaders of the group – in front had recovered from their shock first and were leaping into action as they fired Killing and Cruciatus curses in his direction. Harry rolled his body behind a black car which the spell ricocheted off of uselessly.
As this happened, he also heard the startled shouts from the Avengers on his right where he had pushed them away earlier and once he was behind the cover of the car, he had turned to his side and sent a slightly overpowered petrificus totalus at the group with a whispered apology to keep them immobile. Harry could practically hear his heart beat in his chest as he felt the familiar rush of adrenalin through him. He knew he needed to take out the two in the front first because they would be the most problematic ones. After that, picking off the others shouldn't prove to be too difficult.
From the reflection of one of the car's side view mirrors, Harry caught a glimpse of said two turning to the two that he had earlier incapacitated; no doubt about to cast some finite and rennervate spells on them. He moved quickly – apparating himself right in the middle of the group. In rapid succession, he fired an imperio at one of the two, another stunner and an incarcerous at the other, along with a final petrificus at the man behind Harry. Straight after those few seconds, he disapparated back to behind another car wehre the Avengers were all frozen.
He winced when one of the men sent a bombarda at the car he had first taken cover behind; effectively blowing up the vehicle rather spectacularly. He heard the man that he had put under the Imperius curse battling with another. Harry flinched once more when the man sent an unhesitant Killing Curse at the one under Harry's control – regardless of the fact that they were allies. Harry had to move swiftly before the remaining two could revive the others. This was one of the many downfalls of holding a 'no-killing' policy; enemies were able to revive their disabled allies. Because of this, Harry had had to train himself to act instantaneously and to take out his opponents one after another as fast as possible so as to avoid that from happening.
Bracing himself one last time, he apparated no more than five metres away from the last two hunters and sent a stunner yet again at one. They were prepared this time, however, having understood his tactics and no doubt grasping his ridiculous 'no-killing' rule. His stunner was blocked just as the other sent a cutting curst at him. Harry grunted in pain, instinctively coiling back his injured arm. His mind took over and disregarded the injury for the time, flinging the arm back out to cast a highly powered hex at his attacker, followed by a lethal cutting charm on his previous target – managing to successfully wound the man's left leg so much so that he fell to the ground with a sharp cry. Harry twisted his wrist as he cast an expelliarmus which flung the man's wand out of reach as he lay sprawled on the ground.
Harry leapt agilely out of the way of another Killing Curse, followed by a shouted Cruciatus. Regaining his bearings, Harry focused his full attention on the last hunter, pushing back on his feet and launching himself up. His quick footwork helped him to dodge the barrage of spells sent his way as he got waited for the right moment and angle. Achieving it, he raised his right hand once more and yelled a Cruciatus curse back at the man – right during the short interval the man had taken to catch his breath before casting his next curse. The man dropped to the ground in with agonizing cries and shouts. Slowly, Harry straightened his form and caught his breath.
He watched the man writhe on the ground in pain for a short moment before casting an incarcerous, ropes materialising and wrapping itself tightly around the man, before cancelling the curse. The man groaned in relief and his body was too tired to even attempt at breaking through his bonds.
Still panting heavily, Harry turned slowly to the other five undermined bodies on the ground and cast more incarcerous charms on them and levitated them into a pile. He gazed a little detachedly at the man that had been killed by one of his own men – but inside the blank mask, he still felt a little sting of guilt as he looked into those clouded eyes. Absentmindedly, he flicked his left wrist behind him to nullify the petrifying spell he had cast on the Avengers. In the background, his mind registered some moans and groans from the group as they probably tried to shake themselves out of the weird experience. He also heard the softest of footsteps approaching him. He snorted softly – impressed that the professional assassins were true to their reputations in being up and ready so quickly.
Then, without warning, he yelped in surprise as his legs gave out from under him and he fell to the ground. Impulsively, he threw his arms out to catch himself and be sure he didn't fall too hard. He had forgotten about the injury on his arm and gave a sharp cry from the pressure of his body weight on the arm and hurriedly pulled back the arm, cradling it to his chest gingerly. He didn't realize the increase in the volume of those approaching footsteps until he heard a voice call out right beside him.
"Harry!" it was Steve's voice. Harry's form jerked a little on impulse as his head whipped around to see the entire Avengers group behind him. Steve had kneeled down beside him and had placed a hand on his shoulder. Tony had an uncharacteristically serious expression on his face as he fiddled with his phone, frowning at the device. Natasha and Clint were walking around the pile of incapacitated men with narrowed eyes, probably making sure that they were out for the count – and if they weren't; making them. Thor was standing looking a little concerned but unsure what he could do to help in the situation.
Bruce had also dropped to his knees on Harry's other side and was speaking softly to Harry, attempting to coerce Harry into allowing him to take a look at his injury. Snapping out of his reverie, Harry nodded absentmindedly and slowly extended his arm to the man who took it with a murmured word of thanks and gentle hands. Steve, assured that the doctor could handle that, was then also eyeing the pile of men warily.
"What was that?" he asked in a no-nonsense tone, turning to face Harry who winced a little bit – feeling much like a child caught doing something naughty at the tone Steve was giving him.
"Sorry," Harry mumbled almost too soft for Steve to catch. His own eyes drifted to the pile of rope-tied figures. "They're hunters." Harry explained blankly, his face blank and eyes half-lidded in exhaustion.
"Hunters?" he heard Tony repeat, confused. Harry nodded, then remembered that the motion wasn't exactly helpful.
"Sort of like bounty hunters," he repeated his earlier words. "If they come after me it's only for…" a crease appeared between his brows as he contemplated the consequences of telling the group about the Hallows. He was saved from this predicament, however, when the group's attention was stolen by a black hummer pulling up before them and a familiar figure stepping out. Harry didn't notice this as he was still staring unseeingly at the ground.
"Care to tell me just how you idiots managed to get into trouble during your damned leave?" came a voice. Harry's mind was fuzzy and he felt the threat of a headache whenever he thought too much and his body was also about to give out. He was currently just focusing on regaining some energy.
"Hey, how come you automatically assume that it was our fault?" Tony's indignant rebuke.
"The hero Potter has been injured by his own," Thor's cryptically answered Fury's question at the same time as Tony's remark.
"Isn't everything always your fault, Stark?" Fury bit back, and then heard Thor's words. "I'm sorry, what?" finally, he seemed to notice the extra person that clearly wasn't a part of his Avengers group sitting on the ground between the Captain and Doctor Banner. "Harry Potter?" he said incredulously, catching a glimpse of the familiar tattoo on the inside of Harry's left wrist. At the call of his name, Harry slowly lifted his head – obviously he'd rather just fall asleep right where he was to be perfectly honest – and Fury's suspicions were confirmed when his eyes landed on a very familiar and unchanged face, along with Harry's trademark lightning-bolt scar that was peeking out from under his dark hair. Harry frowned at Fury for a moment, trying to recall where he'd met this man without self-inducing a headache.
"Nick Fury," he said finally, a little bit of surprise etched in his features. Fury's countenance changed to a more amused expression as he nodded in affirmation and took in the ragged state of the man before him.
"What happened to you?" he said. Harry choked out a short laugh. He shrugged, then winced when it bumped his hand against the gentle prodding of Bruce's fingers. Bruce admonished him softly before falling silent in his ministrations to clean the wound once more.
"The usual," Harry answered nonchalantly.
"Ah yes; a day in the life of the Savior of the Wizarding world," Fury said with a roll of his eyes. Harry grimaced at the title but said nothing.
"Say what?" said Tony. Clint and Natasha too were eyeing Fury with sceptically raised brows. Harry simply sighed. He ignored the rest for now and turned his attention to Bruce.
"Thanks," he said first, starting to pull his arm away from Bruce's assistances; much to the man's protests. "It's okay; I just –" Harry gave a quick flick of his right wrist, wincing once more at the movement, and his wand slipped fluidly into his grasp. Bruce, Steve and Tony's eyes widened at the object whilst Thor's seemed to brighten with interest. Harry passed over the wand to his left hand, albeit a little hesitantly, and steadily pointed it at his injury; casting a voiced tergeo – which immediately cleared up the blood from his wound. Taking in a deep breath to calm himself, he cast an episkey, and then hunching over and crying out softly at the pain that shot up his arm. A panicked yet steady Bruce quickly took a firm hold; a hand on Harry's shoulder and another on the arm.
"It's fractured," he said as an explanation he hoped would be useful information to whatever Harry was doing to himself. "You'll need to see some medics and get a splint." Harry turned to Bruce as the information sunk in. He didn't think that the curse had actually managed to fracture his arm. Shaking his head, Harry pointed his wand at his arm once more and muttered a ferula; a spell that efficiently bound and splinted his arm.
Then, the group heard a commotion behind them and saw a growing group of people that were speaking around the damages in the car park of the diner; some pointing at the Avengers themselves – or the more recognizable ones like Thor at least – as they spoke. Harry shuffled his feet to try and get up but was stopped when Fury spoke up.
"Don't even try, Potter," he said, gaining Harry's attention. "There's no need to wipe these people's memories." The Avenger's eyes widened at the words and most, bar Thor, turned to stare at Harry at the mention of him possibly wiping people's memories. Fury smirked; "we can just pretend this was all a normal Avengers conflict." Harry frowned, not really wanting to lie nor putting the blame for the mess he'd created on these people. "Anyway, I heard from Stark that you died. Doesn't coming back take a lot out of you?"
Harry's face smoothed out in astonishment at Fury's memory of small details such as this. "Yes," he said slowly. "It does."
"And yet you still managed to take out these people," Fury motioned to the still immobile group. "But judging by your current resting place on the ground, I'm inclined to believe you should stop there." Harry scowled at the ordering tone being used on him. "I'll contact the Ministry to come pick them up," Fury added with a jerk of his chin toward the hunters. Harry nodded and thanked him.
"Wait wait wait, 'come back'?" Tony's voice finally cut in. "So you were dead. How can you 'come back' from being dead? Not like you were a frozen capsicle like grandpa over here," he tilted his head to Steve.
"No Stark," Fury answered before Harry could. "Looks like some introductions are in order." He turned to face the group, nodding at his makeshift team and then once more at Harry. "Avengers, may I introduce Harry James Potter," Harry groaned, already not liking this. "Savior of the Wizarding World, and Master of Death." Jaws dropped. Thor laughed heartily, clapping Harry on the back good-naturedly and yelling his own introductions and commending Harry on his achievements.
"Master of Death?" Steve, Bruce and Tony all repeated with differing tones of disbelief. Harry cast somewhat apologetic glances at the two beside him.
"And a wizard," Tony threw up his hands dramatically. "Wait a minute… 'magic'… So that's what you meant!" Tony abruptly noted. "Oh you cheater," he said with a cheeky grin directed at Harry. "Master of Death, huh? Well, that explains the dying part. Well then; welcome to the team, huh?" Harry's mouth popped open at the sudden change of subject.
"Uh—no. What, I…" he turned to look at Fury who definitely didn't look like he was going to be helping him out of this. Fury himself had wanted Harry on the Avengers when he'd first drafted up the Avengers Initiative anyway. "I'm not—"
"Oh you are," Tony said confidently, his eyes already twinkling at all the mischievous plans running through his head and possibilities opened by Harry's 'abilities'. "Believe me; if I say you're on the team, you're on the team. Because after all – what Tony Stark wants, he gets."
Harry groaned, running his left hand over his face; not even trying anymore. "Fantastic," he said sarcastically. Now he had a damned billionaire and team of superheroes after him.
"Exactly," Tony said, already grinning as he secured his win. Harry peeked out from behind his fingers at the pacifying hand on his shoulder to see Bruce giving him a small, yet open smile. Steve too – although confused – was shaking his head at Tony's antics but nodded approvingly at Harry. Looks like Harry'd just found his entertainment for the next few decades.
All you people owe me lots of nice reviews for doing this :I Not ones asking for more though; seriously .
Once again, ending was a i rushed and impromptu but oh well... losers cant be choosers :P
Back to studying + VTAOM