AN: My apologies for this chapter being so short. Apparently the scenes for this story are coming sporadically so scenes from later on in the future are appearing way before what I've posted so far... at least I have an idea what happens later on. To those of you concerned that Harry is a bit underdeveloped for 17 months, I'd like to tell you all that I'm the oldest of five and I've babysat my fair share of babies most of my life. Harry is actually acting way beyond what he should be acting for someone of 17 months and could very well be considered a 'genius' or a freak of nature. 17 month-old toddlers don't have Harry's vocabulary or his obvious understanding of the world around him; this will all be eventually explained in later chapters, though...
Thank you all for reviewing and reading. It means a lot to me and a lot of your questions will be eventually be answered as the fic goes along... I can't answer your reviews because I might just break down and tell you all of my future plans!
"Tony, Air Vice-Marshal Appelstein says that they're going to keep Harry on base until his parents are located," Rhodey said as he came up behind Tony's chair. Harry batted at his hand while Tony just gaped at the large screen with the information on Harry James Potter.
Tony frowned and just continued to type his way through more and more papers that kept showing up on this person. Harry giggled as Rhodey wiggled his fingers and tried to chomp on Harry's nose much to his delighted squeals as he tried to get away but still bat at the fingers as they made their way towards him.
"Hey, Rhodey, can you explain this to me?" Tony asked as he pointed to the screen and settled Harry on his lap when he started to slip off as he launched himself at Rhodey's hand. "How is it possible that a twenty-nine year old man that looks just like Harry, down to the green eyes and scar carved on his forehead, exist? His father? Uncle?"
"Maybe he's the father?" Rhodey suggested and nodded towards the pictures showing up. "Who are those people at the wedding there?"
Tony backtracked the pictures he was scrolling through and went back a couple of pages to a marriage certificate for James and Lily Potter performed in London. The man looked a bit like the Harry James Potter from the pictures except his hair was a shade lighter and his eyes were a different color. James Potter also stood much taller than what Harry James did.
"Mama!" Harry shrieked as he launched himself into the air towards the picture. "Mama!"
Rhodey looked from Tony to Harry and then back at the screen. "They named both their kids the same?"
"Maybe this older guy died and little Harry is the younger brother?" Tony said as he bounced Harry up and down. "Maybe you're a clone. Did your parents clone you to replace an older version of you, Harry?"
Harry's head cocked to the side in confusion and then pointed at the screen and screamed 'Mama' again with a radiant smile.
"I don't think his parents cloned him. I don't even think cloning is possible yet, Tony," Rhodey said with a put-upon sigh at his friend's antics.
"They died the 31st of October of 1981; here's the death certificate from the local coroner for the village of Godric's Hollow," the technician said as she put up another certificate. "They were interred in the village cemetery on the fifth of November of that same year. They had a son, Harry James Potter—"
The technician blinked at the interruption but shook her head and backtracked to what she was saying earlier. "Harry James Potter was born the 31st of July of 1980 and his guardianship status changes on the 2nd of November of 1981 to Petunia and Vernon Dursley of #4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey."
"Hey, wasn't the place we were just at?" Tony interrupted before the technician could continue with what she was saying. He looked over to Rhodey and the man was frowning, his eyes glaring into the big screen. "Little Whinging is just where we were at earlier today, right?"
Rhodey nodded at the question and looked down at Harry. "#4 Privet Drive is the house that you crashed into, Tony."
"Well, shi—ow, Rhodey!" Tony glared at his friend and rubbed at the back of his head while Harry giggled. "So, this is kind of weird now."
"We have pictures of Potter growing up because of school pictures," the technician said and typed away at the keyboard to put up the aforementioned pictures. "The face recognition has hits on a woman's Facebook album of her student's throughout the last thirty-five years. The program recognizes either little Harry's face on the pictures or it recognizes this older version of Harry because it's getting hits left and right. The youngest one is from her Nursery class when he was about three or four."
They all stared at the screen as it showed a picture of Harry playing with blocks and of a bunch of kids around the same age playing with toys of all kinds. The boy looked exactly like the Harry sitting on Tony's lap except that he was maybe a year older at best.
"That kid looks exactly like Harry," Tony said to the room in general. "How is it possible for this guy to look exactly like this Harry? I'm telling you, Rhodey, Harry is obviously the clone to this older Harry right here! It's not humanly possible to look just like this guy without being twins and this guy is too old to be a twin."
"Calm down, Tony," Rhodey ordered while he eyed the technician cross herself and scoot away from Tony and by association Harry as well. "I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation why this is going on."
"There is an explanation for it, of course," a large man boomed as he walked into the room and stared at the screen and then at Harry. "It's highly classified information, Mr. Stark, and I'll have to ask you to hand over the child now."
"Did you find his parents?" Tony asked, Harry was clutching at his shirt like a lifeline and the large man was eyeing the interaction with a raised brow. "Can the air force even take custody of a kid without his parents?"
"Mr. Stark, the situation with the child has become something that has to be dealt with immediately," the man continued. "You don't understand the actions that have to be taken in order to even have him here. If it had been up to someone else it's possible that he'd be sent somewhere where his uniqueness wouldn't be as appreciated as they would be with us."
"I don't even know who you are!" Tony yelled and scooted away from the man, his arm tightening around Harry's small chest. "What do you mean his uniqueness would be appreciated with you people? Is that code for something? Is the kid a mutant?"
The man made a noise in the back of his throat at the word mutant and looked at Tony in disgust. "I'm Air Vice-Marshal Appelstein. I'd appreciate it if you didn't use such vile words as mutants in my presence. The child is nothing like those… creatures; he is merely an asset of the Royal Air Force. Failing to hand him over will result in you being thrown in jail, Mr. Stark, and forcibly deported."
"Do you even know how to take care of a kid?" Tony growled, this time standing up from the chair and glaring at the larger and older man. The ribbons and medals on his uniform would probably have already tipped the man ass over teakettle if it wasn't for his abnormally large beak of a nose.
"Do you?" Appelstein shot back with a death glare. "The child is to go to RAF custody effective immediately."
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