Okay, I'm finally back. It wasn't so much writers block, but extreme laziness. I was like "I must update! People are actually reading this!" and then I decided to sleep instead...
Also, I HATE WRITING ON THIS STUPID KEYBOARD!
Harry, although he was loath to admit it, wasn't as infuriated at he was letting on. Well, not by much. Once he ignored the fact that these pompous fools had sort of kidnapped him, and that he was currently in the grasp of perhaps the most dangerous non-magical creature in the world, being led towards his doom that seemed to have materialised in the form of shawarma. He wasn't happy about being forced into attending this gathering- thing – whatever it was. A victory lunch? He sighed to himself, and tried to ignore the slightly nauseating swaying he was forced to endure whilst caught by Banner's alter ego.
"Let me down. Now."
All he received for his half hearted demand were smiles and winks. He sighed again, this time blowing dark, dirty bangs out of his eyes. The temptation to escape was present, but Harry was averse to the idea of harming the Avengers to achieve it. That didn't mean he wasn't pissed. He was irritated beyond belief, but there was an odd amusement that bubbled up within him because of the playful way the others were acting around him. It reminded him of the times spent with his friends in Hogwarts. The camaraderie that could only be achieved after you went through a life or death situation with someone. The beginnings of it were there, and when his mind strayed to his so called 'team mates', he couldn't stop the happiness he felt when he considered having that sort of friendship again. But then of course his common sense had to make its way to the fore. 'You had your chance, and you let them die.'
Then the guilt that was always present swelled within him. People close to him always died. The amount of family he still had verified that claim. Voldemort may be gone, but the life Harry had chosen to create for himself just increased the amount of enemies he had. When he had agreed to work with SHIELD, he had taken it into account that he didn't have anyone to put at risk by becoming an agent. It was a strength as well as a weakness; something Fury had informed him of in the beginnings of their working relationship.
There is no one to hold you back, but who are you fighting for?
He had fought for his friends, but they were gone. In the end, the war with Voldemort had cost him everything, and he wasn't sure he deserved another chance...
"Here we are, the Shawarma Restaurant! See Steve? I told you I knew where we were going."
"Stark, we passed this street twice before you decided it was the right one. If this 'shawarma' stuff isn't worth it, I will make it my goal in life to ruin yours. I'm tired, hungry, and this suit stopped being comfortable about four hours ago."
"No need to be so grumpy, Capsicle," Tony exclaimed, attempting to look scandalised, but only succeeding in looking more untrustworthy than before, "I understand that shawarma is something to do with meat, and if I want to try it, it must be worthy."
Clint sighed, "It's most definitely not worth it."
Tony ignored them, and stepped into the half demolished restaurant. Seeing that there were no staff members present, he seemed to deflate with disappointment. "I was so sure the owner of a shawarma restaurant wouldn't leave in the event of an alien apocalypse. It just didn't seem like the type of thing that would scare them. Robots, maybe, but not aliens. Never aliens..."
He continued to peruse the menus on the walls, when a head cautiously peeked out over a dust covered counter.
"... You want... shawarma?"
Tony smiled victoriously at the others, most of which just rolled their eyes at Tony's luck. From Harry he received only a raised eyebrow and a bored expression. "Yes dear sir, if you could perhaps prepare six of your finest shawarma... shawarmas? Anyway, we would appreciate them greatly. You are, of course, talking to the saviours of the planet."
The chef's eyebrows, already raised extremely high, disappeared into his hair. "The aliens are gone?"
"Indeed," Tony proclaimed grandly, before clapping his hands, "Now chop chop, you have heroes to feed!"
The unnamed chef immediately scurried out of sight, no doubt to create the best batch of shawarma ever made in all of history. Behind Tony, Steve surveyed the room, and seeing only one table in the middle of the rubble strewn room still standing, decided to drop into one of its' chairs, exhaling loudly at the relief brought with finally being able to relax. Clint and Natasha quickly followed his lead. Tony and Thor looked set to follow when they were interrupted by a deep growl, and a cough. Everyone looked around to see the Hulk outside the shattered shop front, an angry expression on his face, and an irate Harry still clasped between his huge, green fists.
Harry glared at them balefully, "Seeing as how I was FORCED into coming here, I would appreciate someone ordering Banner to LET ME DOWN." Tony and Thor exchanged thoughtful looks before both their eyes darted towards the thick beam of metal that had fallen from the ceiling at some point during the battle, and was now lying rather forlornly on the floor of the establishment. Wicked grins lit up their faces, and Thor hurried over to it, and lifted it up.
"I find it strong enough, Man of Iron," he announced after bending it a bit with his Asgardian strength.
"Perfect," Tony smirked, before turning back to Harry and the Hulk. "Hulky, would you mind setting Agent Potter on that chair at the end of the table?"
The Hulk snarled at him, but lumbered into the room through the empty window pane, ducking slightly to stop his head from making more holes in the ceiling. Surprisingly, once he reached the chair, he set Harry down rather gently. As soon his the large hands loosened, Harry lunged forward, but before he could escape, the hands tightened once again. He glared fiercely at the tables occupants, who dared to laugh at his misfortune and did nothing to help him.
"When I get out of here," he growled dangerously, "I will make your lives living hell."
"No you won't!" Tony yelled from somewhere over his shoulder, "Your file said you had a Hero-Complex!"
Harry closed his eyes, and forced his face to become blank. "You know nothing about me. That file only told you basic information. Banner, let me go, or I'll – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STOP!"
The huge beam of metal that Thor had lifted from the ground was placed in front of Harry. Realising the intentions behind Thor and Stark, Harry began to hiss and snarl at them. Seeing that his anger failed to halt their actions, said anger caused his words to morph into hissing Parseltongue. Tony just raised his eyebrows as he observed Harry hiss nonsensical sounds at him. He shrugged to himself, and began to use the strength gifted to him because of his armour to bend the length of metal. With a high pitched screech, it folded. With Thor's help, after about a minute of pure brute force, Harry was bound to the chair by a thick, metal restraint.
Thor and Tony looked back to observe their handiwork. "Think it'll hold?"
Thor nodded his head seriously, "I don't see how he could escape. I sense no power from him at this moment, which means he has not cast any spells. His wand is in his holster, and thanks to our noble work, his hands have been restrained." Tony smiled brightly, and moved over to his own seat along with Thor, both of whom were still ignoring the enraged wizard.
Clint scoffed at the interactions between the two, "You do realise that if he had fought back, both of you would be smears on the pavement, right? You should be thankful that Grim doesn't hurt co-workers."
"I'm reconsidering that rule," Harry spat out, his flashing emerald eyes fixed on Tony, before he slowly calmed down, slumping slightly in his chair. "I need to get back to work. Once this insane torture ends, I have to go. I still have to interrogate Loki about the source of his army, and solve another case I'm working on."
"Look," Steve sighed, "Just enjoy these few hours of victory, and then you can go. It's not every day you stop a war, is it?"
Harry didn't answer. Little did they know that this wasn't the first war he had fought in, and won. It also wasn't the worst. After all, last time there hadn't been a few hours of victory for Harry. There had been only death.
"I believe there is a clothing store beside this fine establishment," Tony interjected abruptly, "Hulky, if you wanna change back, I'll pay for the clothes."
The green monster huffed out an annoyed breath, before turning away and heading back out of the missing wall. "Puny heroes."
Harry allowed his head to fall back against the back of the chair with a thunk. He stared moodily up at the ceiling, and contemplated his life. What had he done to fate to make it hate him so much? All he asked was to live in peace, perhaps with an exciting mission every few months, and a few dark wizards to destroy. Here he was, exciting mission over, another awaiting him... and he was bound to a chair. A memory of being bound came forward in his mind, and Harry grimaced. "If any of you decide to use my blood in some kind of warped ritual, I will turn all of you into snakes, and you will run my errands, specifically those that will lead you to a horrendous death in a pit of lava, and you will suffer. A lot."
There was a pause in the conversation, before it continued as his morbid proclamation was noted, and then ignored.
It was Natasha who said, "I think I can actually feel the angst emanating off of you. How old are you again?"
"Thirty," he growled, then a pause, "Thirty-ish."
Natasha studied at him for a few moments, "You look to be about twenty at first glance, but something about you makes you seem even older than thirty. I suppose in this business, it's impossible to retain the innocence that comes with youth." Her eyes darkened slightly towards the end, perhaps reliving memories just like Harry was. At her words, Harry raised his head to look back at her.
"You would know of that?" he said, narrowing his eyes slightly as he examined her with his Master of Death sight, rather than his mundane. Said eyes widened slightly with surprise, "Hmm, you really would know about that. I'm not the only one older than I look. Non-magical science really is really quite amazing. I didn't believe this sort of thing was possible. How old are you?"
Natasha kept her face blank, not allowing any of her surprise or shock to show. "How did you know?"
Harry raised his eyebrows, before giving her a small smile. "Magic."
She smirked in amusement, shaking her head, "That's going to be your answer for everything. So does magic slow the aging process for all wizards?"
Harry felt himself freeze, before saying smoothly, "Yeah, it's a wizard thing. Nothing special."
They were interrupted by the arrival of a platter of what Harry could only assume was shawarma, and the return of Banner, now dressed in a dark shirt and trousers.
"Well this looks... appetising," Tony said as he picked up some of the curious food, and held it up to his face. "Mmmmm... meaty. Cheers."
Everyone mumbled unenthusiastically, and took a bite out of their respective meal. Well except for Harry. He still couldn't move his arms. Instead he observed the expressions of the others. Tony, for all his talk on the subject, was obviously disgusted by shawarma. He placed the shawarma back on his plate and forced his face into a pleased smile. "Delicious."
Steve on the other hand, continued to eat the food with a small frown on his face. Perhaps if he continued to eat it, he would grow to like it. Anything was possible. He used to be an ice cube. He would not be thwarted by meat.
Thor, Clint and Banner were all consuming their shawarma with fervour. They had eaten much worse in their lives, and Thor would go as far as to say he loved the meat combination.
Natasha on the other hand, did nothing to hide her dislike for the shawarma. After her first bite, she wrinkled her nose slightly before tossing the shawarma back on to her plate. "That is disgusting."
Harry eyed the shawarma doubtfully. "It can't be that bad. It's just meat." She raised an eyebrow, and held the shawarma in front of his face, inviting him to take a bite. He did so warily, and immediately regretted it. He struggled to swallow the mouthful, and then sputtered and coughed.
"Dear Merlin! Thats it, I've decided to live on lettuce for the rest of my life. That was horrible. I would actually rather kiss a Dementor than eat that crap ever again."
Even not knowing what a Dementor was, Natasha couldn't help but laugh. "Living on only rabbit food? Stark wouldn't survive that."
Harry laughed along with her before a beautiful plan began to form in his mind. "A rabbit you say? My fellow agent, would you mind terribly removing my wand from its holster on my right arm, and placing it in my hand so it points directing at dear Tony?" he asked quietly. He could not help the malicious grin that crept onto his face. It had been too long since he had last committed a prank.
"You won't try to escape? As idiotic as Stark can be, I agree with him that you need to relax. This job is important, but if you let it take over your life, it will get you killed."
"Not me," Harry murmured to himself, before addressing her again, "How about a swear?" She thought about it for a moment, before nodding. "Then I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
Both of them now smirking, Natasha reached over and after a few seconds, Harry's wand was once again in his hand. As soon as it was pointed at Tony, Harry called out, "Hey Stark?"
Tony looked up, and stared at Harry suspiciously. "Wait, what happened to your moping? I felt safe when you were moping. Now I feel like fleeing... We're all friends here, right?" He smiled nervously.
"Let this be a lesson on what happens when you decide to pick what restaurant we go to."
A jet of pink light flew towards Tony from the unnoticed wand held loosely and unnoticeably at Harry's side.
Tony had just enough time for one "Oh shit-" before he was struck by the colourful light. Immediately upon contact, with a puff of pink smoke, Tony Stark was no more, and in his place sat a fluffy, white rabbit. Bunny Stark hopped onto the table, and looked down to stare at tiny, snow white paws. All eyes observed the bunny with fascination, and Thor slowly lowered himself in his seat, wisely refraining from speaking. The memories of his time as an amphibian were still strong.
The bunny tried to move towards Harry, and with very unbunny-like gestures, attempted to convey his apology, and want for forgiveness. Harry simply examined the rabbit, and tilted his head to the side, brow furrowed in deep contemplation.
"Something is missing..." he muttered, and then he brightened as he discovered what. "Of course!"
Another gesture, and a summoned hat landed on top of Tony with a plop. Indignant rabbit noises could be heard within the hat, and it was this that allowed the floodgates to burst, and for everyone in the room to roar with laughter.
"Anyone – wanna pull the rabbit – outta the hat?" Clint howled.
Upon hearing the laughter, bunny Stark managed to harness his fury, and managed to tip the hat over, sending him sprawling. He stumbled to stubby feet, and hopped towards Harry, murder in his little rabbit eyes. Harry, head still tilted to the side, chose that moment to transform. The folded metal beam fell onto the seat, for Harry's mass was no longer holding it up. In his place, a large, pitch black raven with glowing green eyes stood, and continued to stare at the white Stark rabbit, head still tilted to the side. Now Tony understood what the movement was.
His tiny rabbit heart nearly exploded with fear when bunny instincts overloaded his brain at the sight of the rabbit predator in front of him. A few terrified noises of bunny terror later, and Stark was back in his hat, ears peeking over the top. Harry gave a harsh croak, and transformed back, appearing on the table in his human form once again, and cross-legged.
An abrupt gesture, and Tony was also human once again. Unfortunately, the hat failed to survive the transformation which left Tony on his back, staring at Harry. "... You're not a nice person."
"Wait a second," Steve said, "If you could turn into a crow, why did you let us grab you? Why not just fly away?"
"Raven," Harry corrected, "And I wanted to keep something secret. I guess once you've transfigured enough of your co-workers, it just seems odd not to transform yourself, if you know what I mean. Besides, now you all realise that if I wanted to, I could have killed you all. Obviously you have no power over me. It was all a lie."
Steve stared at him oddly. Bruce leaned over and whispered, "I think he's being friendly. In an 'I let you kidnap me, I trust you', kind of way."
"See?" Tony exclaimed, shaking away the mentally scarring events that had just occurred, "You do like us! We're your friends because you let us kidnap you."
"Obviously he was just unsure as to what would happen if he transformed while being held by Banner. Hulk might have crushed him once he shrank," Natasha commented.
"We are not friends," Harry said clearly, "Working on one mission together doesn't mean anything. I'll admit that working with this team wasn't all bad, but I work better alone."
Surprisingly, it was Thor who said what they were all thinking, "You lie to yourself, friend. We saw you fight with us, and you are clearly a leader. I realise that I know not what you have undergone in your life, but you must learn not to live in the past. There will come a time in the future where you will need us. I hope you will remember us in that time of need."
Harry said nothing, and held his hand out to Natasha. Wordlessly, she placed his earpiece in his hand. He placed it back where in belonged, and stood upright on the table, walking to the edge and then jumping gracefully to the ground.
He looked at them all before nodding in acknowledgment. It wasn't an agreement, but it was progress. Just as he was about to disapparate, Clint called out, "Beers next Tuesday, me and Coulson. The usual place." Harry rolled his eyes, and then he was gone. It was time to get back to work.
Okay, nothing great happened, but I needed to add a filler chapter. Mostly coz if I didn't the story would be too short. Response is appreciated, except if it's mean because that would make me sad and make me lazier. Thank you to dear Ken for motivating me to write today rather than sleep. Or maybe I should curse you. I'm really tired now :L Next update is next weekend! I HOPE! MOST PROBABLY! I THINK! Yeah...
The thing with Natasha was about how Black Widow is resistant to aging. If anyone hadn't guessed, she's kinda the love interest. I hadn't planned much romance, so it'll kinda be a little flirting, but no mushy stuff.
Thanks for reading :)