Author's Note: Sorry for such a big delay but I'm working full-time and preparing for college right now. I will have a lot of writing time coming up in the next couple of months so updates should be coming more frequently. I don't own Harry Potter, the Avengers, or Demons by Imagine Dragons. I hope you enjoy the story and please review!
Chapter 12: Demons
When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the Saints we see
Are all made of gold
'They seem familiar' is all Harry can think as he lies on the once immaculate lawn of the most recent New York Senator; thrown into the golden-roofed gazebo by the newest of the Avengers enemies.
His attack plan had failed and he would just have to give up on it and try to come up with something on the fly until he could make contact with the rest of the team. Which was just as well because instinct had always worked for him better than any plan ever had.
Harry groans as he rolls over and the gash on his back opens even wider, coloring the ground in liquid rust. He repairs his shirt (Pepper had bought it for him) with a wave of magic before frisking his pockets painstakingly as he searches for his communicator and feels the first brush of panic bubble in his belly when he can't find it.
It is with much relief that Harry spots the shine of Starks' new communicator in the rubble behind him. With bruised and cut hands (no matter how quickly the wounds were healing) he dragged himself to his communicator.
"-rry. Harry! What's your status?!" Jerking the ear piece away from his ear, Steve sure could yell, Harry replies, "I was downed, stable now." It isn't really a lie, he was technically stable even if he had a pole through his chest.
"Good. Meet the team at the entrance to the Mansion ASAP." Clipped and cool, someone who didn't know Steve wouldn't be able to detect the worry underneath the rigidness of the Captain. (The team knew Harry hated worrying them)
As Harry begins the tedious process of standing up he realizes he could've used magic to get the communicator- 'sometimes I can be so stupid!' He thinks angrily to himself; but his mind moves on when he finally places what the newest enemies remind him of.
Dementors. They reminded Harry of Dementors. Only more twisted, more dismal.
They didn't wear cloaks of shadows and despair like Dementors. Instead these humanoid creatures (humanoid if only for their body shape because they had no mouth, no nose, no eyes. Just two empty holes that seemed to hold every misery known to every race to ever exist in the entire whole of the universe) had charred skin (or was it scales?) that looked like someone- or something- had set them on fire.
They looked melted- worse in complexion than when Harry saw that twisted, malevolent crippled child portion of Voldemort's soul at Kings Cross Station cowering under a bench all of those years ago.
By the time Harry made it to his feet the wind was howling –a high-pitched shriek that never ended and never quieted. For a moment Harry paused trying to imagine how his team was faring in this cold weather.
Thor was on Asgard and Bruce was on the Helicarrier so they were both safe.
Natasha had a functional goose-feather coat with thick pants and shin-high, fur-lined combat boots. And Natasha had dressed Clint so no worries there (he was hopeless without her). Tony had heated armor and Steve was equipped with the super soldier serum so he didn't feel the cold either.
Harry resolved to make tea for Natasha and Steve when they got back and hot chocolate for Tony and Clint because although they were prepared for the weather they could still feel it was cold and Harry simply couldn't.
Cold was his kingdom, his domain, after all.
Harry was running as fast as he could an old, deadly sword gripped in his right hand and a dagger with some form of electricity –or magic- buzzing around it in the left hand when Tony caught sight of him.
Tony lands next to the front gate and slides his mask up both in preparation for Harry's arrival and because of the dried blood on Harry's shirt (Tony knows he'll be fine but it doesn't stop the worry) when one the creatures jumps from the top of a tree (and whywhywhydidn't they check before relaxing?!) and drops straight onto Harry's back sending him to the ground and even when the creature ('monster' his mind whispers) stands, Harry does not.
And Tony almost screams but pushes aside this moment of weakness to blast the monster who hurt Harry out of existence.
Anthony Stark was always the most dangerous (lethal) when defending those that were his.
When your dreams all fail
And the wounds we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood's run stale
It was warm and bright and laughter filled the air. Harry watches with a half-smile on his face and his back against a giant, thick Oak tree as Luna tries to tame Hermione's hair. Beside him Neville smothers his giggles with his hand and Ron doesn't even attempt to.
This is peace.
Harry lays back and kicks his trainers off to run his bare feet through the plush, green grass and sticks his hands in the grubby pockets of his jeans. He snuggles into his Weasley jumper as he basks in the summer sunshine and just soaks up the happiness.
He doesn't know how long he lays their listening to his family before the sky starts to darken and the grass starts to brown.
Harry sits up in panic. "Luna! 'Mione! Neville! Ron!" But they are not there ('haven't been in a long time' your mind whispers cruelly)
This peaceful dream world collapses beneath him and he is falling through dark and light, sound and the absence of it until he is starring at the face of a frantic Tony Stark.
"What happened?" You groan tiredly (because it's been a long, long day)
I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There's nowhere we can hide
Tony doesn't want to worry Harry about the damage the team took shielding him from the enemies –what did Harry call them? Dementors? So maybe they should call them Dementor Warriors? No, that's too lame; they'll have to fix it later…'focus Tony, focus' he chides himself- Harry is getting impatient so Tony just tells him he was knocked out by an enemy.
"How long was I down?" Harry asks suspiciously.
Natasha, bless her, replies evenly, "Not that long, not long enough to hinder us." The 'permanently' goes unvoiced but not undetected by everyone except Harry.
But Harry smiles in relief because Tony knows (Everyone knows) that Harry's greatest fear is letting someone down. They're trying to fix it- every single one of the Avengers, even Director Fury- because while Harry is immortal, this drive to serve and save everyone will destroy him just the same.
There is no more time to chat before Harry is corralling them all back towards the gate. Only to stand on steady legs, raising his sword and dagger (and Tony will have to ask Harry about those later) up in defense of their team, like a king defending their kingdom.
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come
He stood proud in his tight, black leather pants and emerald green long-sleeved shirt (courtesy of Pepper) as he looked down at his enemies. Harry closed his eyes briefly before jetting forward, moving too fast for even Natasha and Clint to follow.
He wielded his sword with accurate slashes and parries. He only used his dagger once when he saw one of the creatures creeping behind Steve from the corner of his eye. Harry threw the dagger harder than he ever remembered throwing one before, embedding it with some of his magic so it would reach the intended target's neck, dropping him before he could cause his family harm.
It was amazing to watch. Flashes of metal and sprays of blood being the only clue to where Harry was at- or had been.
All too early (for the Avengers who loved to see Harry fight) the battle was over and Harry smiled tiredly at them before looking down and grimacing.
The others start in alarm before Harry exclaims, "Pepper's going to kill me!"
The team exhales loudly threw their noses in exasperation- expect Tony who knows exactly how dangerous Pepper can be.
Clint punches Harry's arm in warning. "Next time kid, try not to scare us too much, huh?"
And with a squawk of indignation on Harry's part for being called a kid the team begins their journey home.
(And 'No, they didn't leave so early to avoid clean-up duty!' Tony claims the next day during a team meeting with Fury)