I'm back, and I have discovered that my mind is creepy. I don't even know where this came from. DON'T JUDGE MEEE.
"Harry Potter? No way, he went missing years ago after he killed the British Dark Lord in that battle, didn't he? After he got his friends killed?" Harry couldn't control the flinch that the American Auror's words caused him. He found he couldn't fault the man, though. He had fled after Ron and Hermione had been murdered. And it had been his fault...
"Shut the fuck up, Jones," George spat, brown eyes flaring with unmasked fury, "Just SHUT UP!"
'Jones' stepped back in surprise at the venom in George's voice, seemingly shocked at his reaction. Harry hadn't yet removed his attention from George's face, memory after memory assaulting his mind, guilty conscience flaring up with a vengeance. He swallowed painfully, but did not attempt to flee. George had found him, fair and square, and Harry owed it to him not to take the cowardly route out, no matter how much he wanted to.
Fuck, this was never supposed to happen. He has wanted the Weasley's to forget about him, forget the responsibility they would have felt obligated to have for him after the battle, when every time they would have seen him would have been a reminder at how it was his fault that two of their beloved children had been brutally slaughtered simply because of their involvement with him. But here was George, the mirror image to his deceased brother, whom Harry had last seen laid out in the Great Hall, still and lifeless, surrounded by his grieving, tear stained family. George had been shaking Fred's shoulders, a childish attempt to wake up his brother who looked like he was only sleeping, discounting the grey, lifeless flesh, and the limpness of his body...
He hadn't realised his eyes had fallen shut, wand held limply in his hand, the memories he had so long managed to bury finally returning to the surface.
It's nothing more than you deserve.
"Harry, for Merlin's sake, LOOK AT ME!"
Harry opened his eyes immediately, just in time to watch the fair skinned fist descend towards his face. He had ample time to dodge. The amount of training he had received in his life, the untrained punch of an unskilled wizard could be easily avoided.
But Harry let it fall.
White stars erupted in front of his eyes as his head snapped backwards with the force of the blow. Unskilled though he was, George had put quite a lot of force behind the attack. An attack fuelled by anger, an anger that was dearly warranted. Harry let his head fall forward, ignoring the smarting pain of his already bruising left cheek. He contemplated if a normal person would have been knocked to unconsciousness from such a blow.
He waited there, head hanging, for the assault to continue. He, after all, deserved it, did he not? He had fled like a coward that night, refused to take the blame for deaths that he should have stopped. He had had one job. He was the Saviour.
But what Saviour allowed good people to die?
A goddamn shitty one.
No, George could do what he wished. He deserved revenge for the loss of his family members. Harry had escaped justice too long.
And then he was enveloped in a hug, George gripping him tightly, as if unable to believe he was real.
"Goddammit, Harry! WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GO? Oh God, we thought you were DEAD. Why, WHY!? I lost Fred, then Ron, AND THEN YOU DISSAPEARED AND WHY DID I HAVE TO LOSE THREE BROTHERS THAT DAY, YOU BASTARD?! Why did you leave!? We searched-" George gave a chocked hiccup, and fell silent, practically strangling Harry with the force of the hug.
".. What?" Harry hadn't even realise he had voiced the question, his voice weak and broken. Had he been in his right state of mind, he would have sneered at the pathetic behaviour he was displaying, and in front of unknown wizards, no less. But right now he wasn't the strong soldier that worked for SHIELD, the man that had stopped countless criminal operations, the best operative SHIELD had ever employed, the motherfucking Master of Death.
No, he was just Harry. The failure of a hero that was the reason he didn't deserve friends. For he only got them killed.
"I see Harry the Angst Machine hasn't been outgrown with age," George commented wryly, pulling back, rubbing reddened eyes, not even the slightest bit embarrassed at his outburst.
Harry stared at him blankly. Where was the violence? Where was the anger? That couldn't have been it. Wait a second, three brothers?!
Harry was suddenly filled with panic. "Oh Merlin, who else is dead? Bill, Charlie, Percy? Oh shit, I'm so sorry George, so-"
He was interrupted by another punch to the face. There we go.
"I'm talking about you, you insufferable Flobberworm! You disappeared! Mum almost went insane! We all did! You just disappeared! You were part of our family, IDIOT! Fuck, you still are! For god's sake, Harry!"
"Huh?" Harry stuttered unintelligently.
"I knew you weren't dead," George whispered bitterly, "Not after all that happened. You always were angsting all over the place. I just didn't think you were so STUPID as to think you had to run! You thought we would blame you, didn't you! You absolute MORON!"
Well, this was not how Harry had pictured the reunion between him and his past. He had always pictured more violence, and, well, anger. George looked more irritated, and exasperated, and annoyed, and-
"HARRY! Shut off the inner turmoil for a minute, why don't you? Merlin, you'd think you'd have grown up a bit... Which, come to think of it, you haven't. Why do you still look barely into your twenties? Some sort of inheritance you never told us about? Are you part vampire or something?"
"What? No! What the- George- why are you- America! You here? How'd you find me? This is- " he stopped himself, and just stood there, staring at George in shock. Then he raised a hand to his cheek and rubbed it. "Ow."
George raised an eyebrow. "Sorry, mate, but you definitely deserved that. You've been a right old sod the last decade haven't you. THIS is why I tried so hard to find you. I KNEW you were an idiot. Probably been blaming yourself for everything that happened, hero complex stopping you from sleeping at night? America was my last try, to be honest. I've been practically everywhere looking for you. I've been here working this Auror stint for about a month now. Never figured I'd find you because you decided to become a Necromancer though. Although to be honest, it does fit rather well with the brooding, emo, darkly dressed, Angst Machine thing you've got going. Jesus it's practically oozing out of you."
"I have to agree."
Immediately wands were pointed at the newcomer. The Auror's were rather jumpy for trained professionals. Harry wonere absently if any accidental spells would be fired. Nick Fury just raised an eyebrow and then proceeded to ignore them, turning instead to survey the crime scene. "Potter, you seem to be in a state of shock. I assume this ginger haired man is an individual from your past? Good, I had hoped the team would be able to tame the Angst Problem but now I see its being sorted out."
Harry sank to the ground and buried his hands in his dark hair. "What the fuck..." I don't have an angst problem.
Denials not just a river in Egypt.
George held out his hand to Fury, who shook it calmly, his eye examining his robes and the wand still held in George's hand. "So has he always had the Angst Problem?"
"Oh yeah," George replied with a cheeky grin, it didn't reach his eyes, and he watched Fury for any signs of attack. The actions of a trained soldier. "Always blames himself for everything. I'm rather angry with him at the moment. He left a while back, and he's been rather difficult to track down. It was a fluke I found him today."
" 'm not a Necromancer," Harry growled, the sheer WTF of the moment causing his intelligent brain to abandon him for pastures new.
"Hm," Nick observed, and pulled out his phone, pressing a few buttons before placing it back in his pocket. "Pardon the interruption, but a serious crime crucial to our investigation was just committed here, and my people need to examine the scene, and debrief Agent Potter."
"Agent Potter?" George asked, surprised. He whistled appreciatively, and crouched next to Harry, shoving him good naturedly in the shoulder, almost causing him to faceplant into the ground, crouched down as he was, face hidden from the world. "Ickle Harrikins is all growed up! And a super spy! N'aww, baby brother, I'm so proud!" Harry yelped as George pulled him into another hug, pulling him up and spinning him in a circle. "A decade of pranking to catch up on, Harrikins! How did the little Marauder survive so long without Georgey to torture him?"
Harry allowed himself to be spun around, his body limp, his mind oh so confused.
"Whoa Grim, didn't know you swung that way. Literally and metaphorically... Harrikins?"
Clint. This day was just- Fuck...
"George! PUT ME DOWN! And- SHUT UP!"
"Sorry Harry! But this angst needs to be gotten rid of! Subordinates, cast Cheering Charms at Potter!"
The Aurors in the alleyway watched slack jawed as the red haired man who had led them for a month, and had barely showed emotion in all that time, was cackling gleefully as he swung in circles what was supposedly the Saviour of the Wizarding World...
Lab technicians followed Clint into the alley, saw Harry and George, shrugged, and headed deeper into the alley towards the ash piles. This was SHIELD. They had seen worse. The carefully avoided The Great Agent Grim's flailing limbs, and if any of them were smirking beneath their masks, they weren't letting it be known.
It took a bit of manoeuvring, but Harry finally regained his intelligent mind, and easily escaped Georges grasp, flipping backwards an landing on the balls of his feet.
"Oooh," George exclaimed, "Impressive, Harrikins."
Clint sniggered. "Harrikins."
Harry silenced him with a glare that could have burned metal. Barton fell silent, realising that this was more serious a situation than he had thought upon entering the alley.
"George," Harry said in a low voice, so as not to be heard by anyone other than George, Barton and Fury, "Why... why aren't you angry...?"
George's face closed over, and Harry flinched at the lack of emotion. "Oh don't worry, little bro, I'm plenty angry. After you disappeared, and Ron an Fr-Fred died... I blamed myself. Why had I survived and they hadn't? Why was my family destroyed? Why was my mother crying every time she saw me, and was reminded that I wasn't a twin anymore?" The self hatred welled up in Harry, and he averted his eyes from the raw pain in George's eyes. "But then I got over it." Harry's eyes shot back to Georges face, and green eyes widened comically. "I realised that it wasn't my fault. Hell, we were at war, Harry. People die in war. I lost family members, yes, but so did countless others. It took years, but I couldn't wallow in self pity. It wasn't helping me, and it certainly wasn't putting my family back together."
Harry's lips parted, and he tried to say something- anything- but found he couldn't. George decided to continue on.
"It was then I realised that you must have run away, rather than been killed. If I was feeling like that, I knew Harrikins, the person so prone to self blame and angst, must have felt like EVERYTHING was his fault. I remembered how you were after Sirius, and the look on your face as you watched the spell hit Ron and Hermione. I knew. I knew you would have blamed yourself. So I came after you. Took me a while, didn't it?"
Harry blinked, and felt a warm emotion in his chest. He crushed it immediately. So running away hadn't even helped his adoptive family in the slightest-
This time it was a slap.
"Dear God, Harry. I knew the Hero Homplex was part of your 'thing' but this is ridiculous. When you left, you started trying to save people again, didn't you? Became an Agent, determined to stop crime? Well I suppose that was given, it's just the kind of person you are, but I KNOW you did it for stupid reasons, didn't you? In Ickle Harrikin's head, this is atonement, I isn't it?"
It was then the Harry's famous temper was unleashed. "OF COURSE THIS IS ATONEMENT! After all I caused, I don't deserve anything else!"
"Do I need to slap you again?" George asked flatly. Clint was watching the conversation between the two wizards avidly, head flitting right to left as if watching a tennis match. This was Grim's back story? Holy hell.
Harry scowled, the sighed, rubbing tired eyes. "I had expected meeting you again would be... different."
"You expected me to blame you." George's voice was still flat.
George rolled his eyes. "Harry, we are family. Everyone knew what they were getting into when they decided to fight Voldemort. They were fighting him even before you were born! Just because he directly targeted you doesn't mean you are to blame for his murders. That was all him. Not you. Get it? So stop wallowing in angst and move on with your life, because we don't blame you. Why the hell would we? We miss you. Brother."
Harry swallowed painfully, and if he was a crier, he probably would have been blubbering all over the place. But he was Harry Fucking Potter. He might admit to the occasional angst, but he didn't want anyone's pity. It made him feel weak.
He gave George a short nod, and watched the smile that made its way onto the redhead's face. "Okay."
"Thank God," Fury sighed, watching his best agent begin the journey towards overcoming his past. "Potter angst was goddamn annoying."
After Harry had been debriefed, (he decided to omit the fact that the Necromancer Creeper seemed to have a fascination with petting his hair), and was now sitting with George in a cafe down the street from the crime scene, catching up while they waited for George's international portkey to leave. Harry found himself idly watching the nonmagic folk go about their lives in the city outside the window.
"You look a mess, Harry Bear," George commented, sipping a mug of coffee.
Harry glared, and ran a hand through his perpetually messy hair, wincing as his hand came away dusted with dried blood and the pain the movement had caused his head wound. His neck also ached from the strangulation, and his ribs weren't that great either. "Will you stop calling me names? I missed you too, but Bear? Really?"
"You should have let the Healer in my Auror squad heal you," George informed him, ignoring Harry's complaints. "Head wounds are nasty. It could be serious. I wouldn't want Harrikins to keel over so soon after I found him."
"I wish," Harry muttered, before asking, "You haven't changed much... not like me..."
"Oh I beg to differ," George murmured, "I think this is the first time in a long time I've smiled as much as I have today. Finding you, no matter how much of a plonker you are, has really helped me. I'm ashamed to say I haven't been the most pleasant person to be around since the battle. Not many jokes or pranks, hell, I thought my squad was gonna pee themselves when they saw all those emotions I expressed when we 'reunited'... they probably didn't even know I could laugh..."
"Not your fault, Harry Bear, I just don't have much time for that sort of stuff anymore. Job, money, disgustingly adult problems such as TAXES, ugh, its despicable what life is like once you're no longer a baby wizard. I haven't invented something in a while. Now that I know you're safe and I can tell all the others, I might go back to working at the shop again. I've really missed it."
"So you still own the Joke Shop?" Harry asked with a small smile. Then he paused. "You're not going to make me come back with you?"
George sighed, drained the last of the coffee from his cup, then he grabbed Harry's, which he hadn't touched, and drained that as well. "I don't know if I could, Harrikins. I saw you today, talking to those Muggles. It's obvious you like what you do now. You're stopping crimes, and you're saving lives. That's your thing, and you're damn good at it. Why ever would I try to take that away from you? No need to worry, I'll be back in the states once I visit the family, WHICH you will also being doing once this case you're working on is over. Speaking of said case, I will be helping in any way I can. After I talk to the family, of course. Remember, Harry Bear, next time you will be coming too. Mum owes you over a decade of back-breaker hugs. I don't know if you'll get out alive."
Harry laughed genuinely, and stood up to join George as he walked out the door. "I don't think id min dif I didn't. Listen George. Thanks for... everything. You've, well, you broke my mind, but I think now... I dunno..."
"You'll be fine, Harry," George smiled, tousling his dark hair. "Wars are a bitch, and no one made it out unscathed. It was fate that I found you again, and that I knocked some sense into you. If the look on your Boss's face was any indication, the Angst Problem was getting annoying to deal with." He ignored Harry's squawk of indignation, and led them into an alley. "But I think you'll be better now. Once you come home, you'll be even better. So solve the Zombie case, and get on with your life. All the glaring you've been doing will give you horrendous wrinkles by the time you're forty!"
Harry grimaced at the mention of aging, but masked it almost immediately. "When I come back, I need to tell you, the family, some things. The reasons why I ran. I need to explain myself..."
"And you will, once the Necro-numpty is dealt with. I know you, Harry, you need to deal with this first. But that's okay. I know where you live."
"Nicky told me. Nice chap, that. He's pretty thankful that I solved the Angst Problem. I expect there will be pleasant Christmas presents from him in the years to come. He seemed eternally grateful. Merlin, Harry Bear, you must have been a nightmare!"
Harry glared at the brick wall beside him. "Angst Problem," Harry growled, "... there wasn't an Angst Problem!"
"Of course there was, Harry! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Portkey to catch. Fare well, Harry Bear!" And he was gone with a pop.
For a while, Harry stood there in that alley, the noise of traffic seemed somewhat distant to him even though he was very near the street.
In one day, he had found a lead to the case he'd been working on for weeks, the bad guy could creepily possess people and had a penchant for perving on Harry's hair, he could kill people from far away and turn them into zombies, Harry apparently had an 'Angst Problem' but that was okay because George, who had just disappeared after reappearing in his life after go knows how many years, had cured it, and a bunch of Aurors knew that Harry Potter was alive, and were undoubtedly telling the Wizarding community about it... and about the Necromancy... and the Aurors were aware of the town killings... which were probably going to continue... and Harry only knew the name the bastard had given him, Dominus Vitae, who had informed him that Harry would be assisting him in some of his plans...
Fuck. Back to the drawing board. At least this time he had a name.
"Dominus Vitae?" an obnoxious voice questioned from directly behind Harry where he was seated at a computer specifically assigned to him, having been specially developed to deal with his magic. It was quite far away from the other monitors, and already a few of them were sparking. This was the only time Harry ever lamented his volatile power... and that he wasn't able to age because of it, and when- okay, he moaned about it a lot. "What kind of stage name is that? I bet that stripper is U-G-L-Y-"
Harry grabbed the headphones sitting beside the computer, and shoved them roughly over his ears, ignoring the amused glances Starks antics were drawing from the drawn faces of the other agents on the Bridge. The mass killings were getting to everyone. Except Stark, it seemed. But he wasn't involved with what was going on.
"Avengers. Meeting. Now." Fury's voice was heard loud and clear over the intercom.
Stark lifted one side of the headphones away from Harry's ear. "What does he want, Harry Bear?" Immediately Harry had him by the neck, shaking him.
"WHO TOLD YOU? It was Clint, wasn't it! I'm gonna kill him!"
"Agent Potter, please release Stark. I called a meeting. As amusing as your reaction to Stark's quips are, the matter we discussed earlier must be attended to. With Stark alive, preferably." Fury's voice sounded irritated, and Harry reluctantly let Stark own.
"Clint told me the Angst Problem was gone! You still seem pretty grumpy to me..."
Harry's eyebrow twitched with repressed fury, and he stalked away in the direction of the Avengers' Meeting Room. The area was empty, as usual. All the better to murder Stark secretly...
"I do not have an Angst Problem," he growled to himself, ignoring the smirk he could FEEL Stark sending his way. Loud enough so Tony could hear, he pretended to whisper to himself darkly, "Get a grip Harry, killing is wrong..." He smirked as the feeling of Stark's smirk disappeared.
"Very cruel... Harrikins..."
Harry entered the Meeting Room, followed by Stark, and took his place at the table. Bruce raised his eyes as Harry sat own without a sound.
"... Why aren't you complaining about how much you don't need us?"
Clint laughed evilly, and announce to the now full table, "Because he found his ginger boyfriend today." Natasha's head whipped towards Harry so fast that he was surprised her neck didn't crack, at Clint's words, "Who cured the Angst Prob-!"
With a snarl, Harry was across the table, wings and talons growing from the force of his uncontrollable anger. His attempt to eviscerate Clint was halted by Thor grabbing the back of his black shirt and placing him firmly back in his chair. Harry croaked, reminiscent of a raven, in indignation as a wing was bent painfully against the back of the chair. So many emotions today.
"Potter!" Fury barked out in irritation, "When Mr. Weasley told me that he had helped you deal with the problems in your past, I didn't think it would cause you to lose all semblance of control over your temper! Was this what you were like before?"
Harry immediately calmed himself, bird appendages disappearing, and a cold mask appearing over him face. "My apologies, Director. Today has been a... trying day." His head slowly turned to Clint, who sunk low in his chair, "And George is my, well, he is practically my brother. Any comments claiming otherwise are ill advised." He didn't stop the feral snarl that made itself known. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Natasha relax from the tense position she had been in. Odd.
Fury sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Now, back to the reason I have brought you here. As you know, Agent Potter has been involved in a case that the Avengers were not made aware of. I'm afraid that due to recent events, it has been decided that the team will be brought in to assist Potter in this assignment."
"You know," Stark commented, fiddling with the Rubik's cube that had materialised in his hands during Fury's declaration, "I think I liked Moody-Silent-Glaring Harry to Anger-Explosion Harry."
"... I don't want the teams help..." Harry, of course, was ignored.
"What's the case?" Steve asked curiously.
Fury cleared his throat, before beginning. "As you know, Agent Potter has been involved in this case for quite some time. We were reluctant to involve anyone but Potter in this case because of its... magical origin. The enemy is a wizard like Potter," A growl, "An evil wizard unlike Potter in any way, who has been committing mass murders in secluded towns throughout the country, which have been occurring regularly over the past millennia. Unlike past centuries, rather than one act, a number have occurred, and the death toll is rising rapidly."
"So a mass murderer? How is this case different than what we have dealt with before? Why can't Agent Potter handle it?" Natasha asked calmly.
"Because the Necromancer bastard is raising the corpses as zombies," Harry interjected dully. "I feel every single murder performed by his sick rituals, but by the time I get there, the deed has been done, and the town is empty or full of shambling corpses that I have to destroy. No one is spared. Men, women, children," Harry's mouth twisted," He doesn't care. He goes by the name 'Dominus Vitae' according to one Fergus Fletcher, recently deceased, and he seems interested in involving me with his plans, meaning that I can't do this alone in case he achieves that."
"This wizard is capable of defeating you?" Thor asked.
Harry shrugged, staring up at the ceiling. "This guy is centuries old. He's had hundreds of years to perfect his magic, and I've had barely two decades. He won't be able to kill me, but... he could cause much worse with me."
"What do you mean, he could cause much worse 'with you'?" Bruce asked, perplexed by Harry's choice of words.
"He told me that they're lives had to be sacrificed so he could live. He's performing rituals with these lives... the only reason I can think of is that he's using these deaths to fuel his own life. It must be what he meant. And if he knows rituals concerning power and life forces? Go knows what he could do with mine."
"Wait, I thought you said that wizards aged slow, or something?" Steve sounded suspicious. He could tell Harry was hiding something. "And why would your 'life force' differ from that of any other wizard's?"
Harry stared down at the table, mulling over whether or not he should inform them of his 'affliction'.
"When I said that wizards age slower than nonmagics, I was telling the truth. My Headmaster was well on his way to reaching two hundred before he was killed. I on the other hand, well, basically I don't age at all."
"What?!" five voices cried out.
"It was an accident," Harry scowled, "I can't age, and it's because of who I am. I'm the Master of Death." Harry knew Thor was the only one who understood the significance of the title, and just shook his head at the questions. "It doesn't matter what that entails," the look on Fury's face said otherwise, "What matters is that 'Dominus Vitae' seems to know whoI am, and he seems rather... interested." Natasha's sharp gaze was on him again, but he ignored it, distracted instead by the next comment made by Banner.
"Dominus Vitae. And you're the 'Master of Death'. You have a title. Dominus Vitae isn't a name, it's a title too. It's Latin. It means-"
The door to the meeting room slammed open, causing them all to spring out of their chairs into defensive positions, weapons pointed.
"Lord of Life."
Harry glared into the murky red eyes of the corpse that was now the host to Mr. Necromancer and standing in the doorway. "Just can't keep away, can you," Harry spat venomously. The head of the corpse, that of a woman, a new recruit by the look of the uniform, turned towards Harry, neck bending in a grotesque manner.
"Harry, dear," the double voice of a raspy woman and the deep baritone of a man overlapping each other, producing a sound that cause Harry to feel cold with dread. "I simply couldn't stay away. Not after my last visit ended so abruptly. I wanted to check up on how much progress you've made, and my, once again I'm sorely disappointed. I had so hoped you'd have found me by now, but nonono, still alone. Still... disappointed."
With a snarl, Harry threw a knife at the corpse in frustration. Of course, like with the other corpse, nothing happened. It was a dead body after all.
"Potter," Fury demanded sharply, "Burn it."
"Oh but you can't! Then I won't give Harry my clue! I came all this way for you, Harry. I would hate to be rejected." The corpse pouted, and congealed blood oozed sickeningly out of its mouth.
"I think you left something out during your telling of your last encounter," Natasha said, watching the corpse with narrowed eyes and it stared at Harry with obvious fascination.
"Not really... well... the bad guy may, or may not, find me attractive. It didn't seem important at the time..."
"DIDN'T SEEM IMPORTANT?!"
The corpse chuckled ominously, and shuffled further into the room. Clint immediately shot it with an arrow, and Thor threw his hammer. Shots were fired from both guns in the room, and Harry watched, already knowing the outcome.
The horrific laughter continued even though the corpse was rather... messy... after the assault. The ribcage was caved in, and holes dotted its body. An arrow was sticking out of where the heart should be, but a broken arm merely reached up and ripped it out.
It was a dead body after all.
The wheezing laugh continued, and Harry's wand appeared in his wand. Fire was the only answer, and that's what the Zombie Thing was gonna get.
"Wait!" It croaked.
Harry paused, and raised an eyebrow.
"You don't want to find me?"
Harry glared, and gritted his teeth. "Fine. Where do I find you?"
The corpse smiled again, "I'll tell you... on one condition."
"What condition?" he spat out suspiciously, "What do you want?"
"I think we both know what I want, Harry, but for now I will settle for... an embrace?"
Simultaneous cries of "Hell no!" and "Not a chance!" rang out from Harry's team. Harry himself remained silent, his eyes locked with the blood red ones across the room that continued to watch him, hungrily.
This case... Harry hadn't felt this much hatred since Voldemort. He wanted, no, needed, to kill this- Abomination.
He was in a team now, wasn't he? There was a saying, 'Take one for the team.' Well, Fury had said a team would be good for him. Harry wasn't so sure. This team seemed to bring out masochistic tendencies.
"WHAT? Harry, you stay away from that corpse, young man, you hear me?" Tony yelled. The others made their opinions on the matter known, but Harry blocked them out, and began moving towards the corpse. That's all it was, a corpse. No big deal. He'd just have to ignore it when the corpse... hugged... him.
Tony tried to grab him, but a wave of his wand later, and every ones' shoes were stuck to the floor. Their protests were getting louder, but Harry ignored them, keeping his eyes fixed on the corpse growing closer and closer, the crazed, bloody smile growing wider and wider.
Eventually, Harry was standing within arms distance, his face twisted into an expression of disgust and anger, unwilling to move any closer.
"Oh Harry, dear, you don't look very happy. Let me cheer you up. I promise I won't hurt you." Mangled arms encircled him, the bone in one having escaped the dead skin, the sharp body part digging painfully into his back. The corpse stepped in close, so close that Harry could smell the rotting scent coming from the body. The woman could have only been killed during the meeting to have gotten in undiscovered, but Vitae's possession of the body must have accelerated decomposition.
The dented head burrowed itself into the curve of Harry's neck and shoulder, and he scrunched his eyes closed as he felt the thick blood seep from the corpse's mouth onto his neck. Blood was staining the back of his shirt as well, and he suppressed a wince caused by the broken lips running along the bruises that twined his neck, the result of his earlier encounter with Vitae.
"You wish to know where I am, dearest?" The words were rasped into the side of his neck, and Harry crushed the desire to violently escape the hold, feel very vulnerable with this thing's mouth at his jugular.
He nodded shortly, and the arms wrapped even tighter around him, constricting his breathing.
"Well there's a thing you need to know first, dearest."
"What's that?" he asked flatly, ignoring the want to gasp for air as his ribcage was crushed even tighter.
The next words were a whisper.
Blunt human teeth bit viciously into his neck. He snarled, yanking his head backwards, trying to dislodge the corpse. The teeth ripped from his flesh, and he wildly tore at the arms holding him. Getting his wand arm free, he pointed it at the corpse, and yelled, "INCENDIO!"
The corpse gave a screaming laugh as it was set alight, burning like paper. Harry managed to free himself, the front of his t-shirt slightly burnt but otherwise unharmed. His hand immediately rose to grasp at his bleeding neck, and he watched with savage satisfaction as the corpse was reduced to ash in a matter of seconds.
Where am I? Now you'll never know.
He pointed his wand at himself, hurriedly healing the wound at his neck that was spurting blood. Stupid, stupid, STUPID. He wouldn't die, of course, but as always, injuries hurt like a bitch. He also unstuck his teams feet and braced himself for the chewing out he knew he was about to receive.
The tension was broken, as usual, by Stark.
"He must reeeally like you. You're gonna have that hickey for days."
Harry didn't regret turning Tony into a lamp. He didn't think he ever would.