I don't own anything.
Fury found himself in the odd position of being half happy (quite a rare feeling in itself) and then, as he was more upset to, half frustrated. He couldn't have imagined a better end to Loki's attempt to take on earth. The Avengers ahead exceeded all expectations in their defense of their planet and were not happy taking some time off.
However Fury still felt his frustration at the uncommon bad luck with the events that occurred during the attack. It seemed his secure room was not quite secure enough. He had been foolishly hoping that the problems with the odd energy readings could have been solved by now. Now instead he had an adult four year old lost on the streets of New York somewhere who was capable of producing and controlling high amounts of energy. Fury was not happy.
Relying now on his agents, Fury knew that with his people and resources it was only a matter of time before he was found.
Shield, of course, were not the only people looking for Harry.
Bruce Magnus was sweating furiously as he sat, perched on the edge of the very expensive leather sofa. He felt completely unprepared for the approaching talk with his boss. Not only had he lost the subject but he was also responsible for the arrests of the three scientists. It was the worst possible situation, if shield found out about the organisation nothing would ever be the same. Bruce was starting to regret his career choice. He didn't want to die.
"Sir, I'm sorry. The subject is gone" Magnus blurted out.
He was unable to say anything more. He swallowed convulsively but his mouth was as dry as cotton.
"What?" Dawkins said his voice lowering and hardening, "Do you know what this means? Life times of work will be wasted if you do not recover the patient." Dawkins said the command easy to hear in his statement.
"How did this happen?" He asked Magnus.
Magnus closed his eyes, trying to block out the inevitable. Swallowing nervously once more he explained.
Ten minutes after telling Magnus to retrieve the subject or forfeit his life Dawkins was walking to report to his boss. Trying to quash the nervous feelings Dawkins thought it was times like these that he hated his job as go-between for his boss and the company. Dawkins hoped for everyone's sake that Magnus was right and that it would only be a matter of time before they found the subject.
Harry found himself quite stuck in the hospital. It was quite better than his previous accommodation (although he still found himself jumping every time he saw a white lab coat) but the fact he couldn't leave was grating on his nerves. He was starting to look at everything that had happened with a bit of a disbelieving air, why did these things always manage to happen to him?
After Harry had finished the hospital breakfast that tasted slightly like Madame Promfrey's potions he was struck by a thought that had been lurking on the edge of his mind over the last few weeks. He may be needing a bit of care and rest at the moment but where were the American Ministry of Magic? De-aging like he had would have taken a large amount of magical energy; it must have set off some serious alarms, especially because it occurred in front of muggles at the time. Even the smaller incidences that had occurred at the, that place would have been enough to get a response. Why had no one come?
Growing irritated at the reasoning in his head that just kept going around in circles Harry tried to ignore the little voice at the back of his mind asking 'What if there was no American Ministry?' It was impossible, but it was the only explanation he could come up that explained why there weren't wizards going around obliviating people left right and center. But Harry had been to the ministry here before, visiting as an Auror, he knew that they existed and was growing panicked when he started thinking about what it would mean if it wasn't there anymore. Harry banished that line of thinking from this mind, there had to be another explanation. His mind was just making up absurd scenarios from being cooped up in the hospital.
A welcome distraction came when the door swung open and Steve came in smiling in a way that reminded Harry of Remus. Before Mr Rogers had left yesterday he had promised to come back and visit Harry, and Harry strangely enough was glad he kept his promise. The staff made him nervous, especially the doctors, there was just something about Steve that made Harry somewhat calmer around him. Even if it annoyed Harry that he was only as high as Steve's knees.
"Hey little man, have you had a good morning?" Mr Rogers asked.
Harry cringed at being called 'little man' ; it was scarily accurate. Harry stared at Steve for a while, contemplating whether or not It would be wise to tell him he was actually a 27 year old wizard. He would get nowhere if everyone continued to treat him his 'age'. He would never be able to find the so far absent Ministry, but then if he didn't believe Harry then all sorts of problems would arise around Harry's mental state.
"Harry?" Steve asked sounding concerned after no response from Harry.
"Sorry, Good Morning Mr Rogers." Harry said; mentally preparing himself to tell the truth, well part of it anyway. He needed someone to not think of him as a child, it was starting to get humiliating.
"If I tell you something will you promise to think about it seriously?" Harry said "Or not call the nurse for a strait jacket." Harry added as an afterthought, chuckling nervously.
Steve, pleased that Harry wanted to share something, immediately agreed. Feeling a little honoured that the small boy wanted to talk to him, not any of the child trained nurses or docters.
"I'm not as old as I look." Harry said in one burst, not meeting Steve's eyes.
"What do you mean?" Steve said not understanding.
"I'm actually 27." Harry said quietly.
After a moment of silence Harry looked up at Steve. The man was studying Harry as though the preeschooler would disappear and an adult Harry would magically materialise on the bed (which was what Harry had been trying to achieve since he realised what he looked like).
"You're 27?" Steve asked, sounding disbelieving.
Harry nodded, even though he had been expecting a reaction, he was getting a little worried about the twisted expression on Steve's face.
"Are you serious?" Steve asked faintly.
"No I'm Harry, Sirius is my godfather" he said, quietly laughing at the well overused joke.
He regretted it a little at Steve's even more uncomprehending expression.
"Sorry about that, not the place Harry" he said berating himself. "But yes I am serious. I don't know how to explain it to you so that it makes sense. I'm not really sure what's going on myself."
"You're 27." Steve said again.
"Yeah, well mentally, physically well that's anyone's guess." Harry said sounding hopeful at the now more contemplative expression on Steve's face. He felt a little reassured, Steve wasn't looking at Harry like he had lost his mind.
"I'm not sure I believe you" Steve said slowly "But I guess stranger things have happened." He said like he was trying to convince himself that something like this was believable.
Harry snorted, "Like what?" he asked with a hint of hysterical disbelief.
Steve, sensing the change in Harry's mood, answered.
"Well I fought a man with a red skull 70 odd years ago." Steve said.
Harry blinked a few times. "What?"
Steve returned to visit Harry over the next couple of days, something both Harry and the hospital staff were grateful for. Not only because the nurses could appreciate a fine male specimen but because Harry seemed calmer around Steve. Harry and Steve chattered about inconsequential things, never anything personal. Their conversations gained strange looks from anyone else who happened to be in the room at the same time. Fortunately everyone was to busy from the aftermath of the alien attack to worry overly much about the five year old talking seriously to Steve. Harry was glad for the distraction, though it didn't leave him much time to work on a plan.
Steve's daily absences were not going unnoticed by the other residences at the Avengers tower (as Tony Stark had began to refer to it as). Bruce and Tony had been working hard for days and Tony was feeling the need for a break. So that was how Tony found himself at the kitchen for breakfast for the first time in days.
"So Captain" Tony began. "I notice you've been mysteriously absent from here for the past few days." he said with a tone that implied an explanation was wanted.
Feeling strangely secretive about Harry, Steve found himself scrambling for an excuse.
"I've, er, I've been working" Steve managed to get say, mentally hitting himself in the head at the terrible answer.
Several seconds went by. "Working." Tony said
Steve hurriedly added, "Not a job, but helping people clean up from the attack." He said, proud that he had come up with an excuse that sounded somewhat realistic.
Tony smirked, "While that does sound like something you would do, I don't believe you." he said.
Steve frowned, he was a grown man, he didn't need to tell someone where he was every second of the day.
"Fine, I wasn't but you don't need to know what I've been doing. It's not your business." Steve said sounding authoritative before grabbing his jacket and heading to the elevator (which still made him nervous to use)
Tony snorted, watching his elevator door close. Not his business, everything was his business especially what his fellow Avengers got up to. However it would have to wait; Bruce had already started today and as much as he denied it he would feel bad if he left the good natured scientist to do all the work.
In the workroom Bruce shot Tony a glance.
"You know Steve probably won't like it when you find out what he's been doing." Bruce said in his calm voice.
"How do you know about that? Do you know what he's been up to?" Tony asked abandoning his screen for a moment to interrogate Bruce.
Bruce smiled, "I have no idea, Jarvis told me what you were talking about" he answered.
As Tony muttered derogatory things about unruly virtual butlers Bruce continued.
"Maybe there's a reason that he's not sharing with us." Bruce said carefully. He was still wary about his position in Tony's tower, he didn't want to be against the first man that wasn't afraid of everything that came with him.
"What could he possibly be hiding that he wouldn't want to share with me?" Tony exclaimed in a dramatic hurt fashion.
"It can't be that bad, maybe he's found an old bird he used to know" Tony said.
Bruce just shook his head and returned his focus to his work. Whatever Steve was hiding it wouldn't be secret for very long not that Tony Stark was curious.
At the Shield base as agent walked down the metallic hall. Opening the Directors door he cringed at Fury's "What?" before stating;
"Sir, you're going to want to hear this, it's about the boy."
In another organisation Dawkins was waiting in his study. Waving a nervous Magnus inside he began to regain a little hope that the situation could improve. The subject had been located.
Whew I finally got out of the Christmas/New Years funk. Sorry for the long wait, back into it now so it shouldn't be too long till the next one. Thanks for the reviews, they are all really helpful.