Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the Avengers. Unfortunately.
Chapter 11: Birthday Bashing
Barely a week had passed since the invasion of New York. The news stations were continuously running wild stories about what had happened. They were printing all kinds of things about the Avengers. Some were hailing them as heroes while others condemned them as no good vigilantes demanding that they be incarcerated. Either way people couldn't get enough of talking or hearing about them.
In all the initial confusion people had barely noticed Harry's little trip on his broom. When they did finally take notice, they believed it was just some Stark technology prototype since no one had actually gotten any pictures of him flying, only a few sightings from far distances. So at least the secret of the wizarding world was safe. There were a few grainy pictures of Harry hugging Tony in his Iron Man suit. This caused all sorts of rumors and speculation about who he was, and what his relationship to Tony was. Reporters were especially eager to get as much information as they could on Tony since he was the only member of the Avengers whose identity had been one hundred percent confirmed.
The only thing Tony had to say about the public's discovery of Harry was that the cat was out of the bag even if the pictures in the paper didn't give a clear view of Harry's face. They were like a dog with a bone, and they wouldn't give up trying to figure out who he was. It was only a matter of time before they discovered who he was. Pepper was planning on holding a press conference in the next couple of weeks to explain Harry's existence. She and Tony wanted to wait until after Harry's birthday. They were throwing him a party, and then the three of them would be jetting off to Tony's private island to spend a week in seclusion away from the demands of the rest of the world.
Harry had to admit that he was extremely excited for his upcoming birthday. All the Avengers were planning on attending, and Tony had bought a bunch of traditional party games for all of them to play. The closest Harry had ever come to having a birthday party of his own before was when Hagrid had told him he was a wizard last summer, and given him his very own birthday cake. It had been the best birthday he had ever had. This birthday, however, was shaping up to be even better.
Or at least it would be if it wasn't for the fact that Harry was being plagued by the after effects of being controlled by the staff. He was experiencing random bouts of uncontrollable magic. Over the last few days, ever since his exposure to the Loki's staff, his magic would randomly surge up inside of him and explode from him. Luckily he could feel the magic when it was about to burst from him. He was able to hide himself away before the magic ruptured from him like water through a broken dam, and alerted anyone that there was something wrong with him. He was lucky that Tony hadn't had the time to restore Jarvis to spy on him.
Tony kept trying to talk more about what had happened while the staff had possessed him but so far Harry had managed to avoid it by using diversion tactics. With all of the repairs, the uproar from the press, and the Avengers and SHIELD coming in and out it wasn't all too difficult to hide things from Tony. The man was simply too busy, and for once Harry was grateful for his inability to pay attention to him.
The only time they had really talked was the day directly after the attack. Tony forced him to sit down and tell him about what had happened. Harry had reluctantly complied.
"Something was off about him, though," Harry murmured, remembering Loki's changing eye color.
"Yeah, he was bat shit crazy," Tony snorted in reply.
Harry rolled his eyes, "No, something more than that. It was almost like he was being controlled too. I mean his eyes kept changing colors, and after the Hulk smashed him it was like he was waking up from the effects of the staff. Cognitive recalibration, just like with Dr. Selvig and Clint." Harry couldn't help but think that Loki had been suffering from some sort of control. There were too many inconsistencies hinting towards it.
"No, Harry, Loki was just crazy. He…" Tony hesitated and Harry saw a flash of pain cross his features. "Loki killed Agent Coulson, Harry. Without remorse, just because he tried to stand up to him and stop him."
"What?" Harry choked, trying to hold back the instinctual rush of tears his words produced.
"Agent Coulson is dead and Loki killed him. He killed a good man. Some glowing spear didn't make him do it. He did it because Agent Coulson was in his way. He's the God of Lies, Harry. Don't let him manipulate you into feeling sympathy for him. He doesn't deserve any, especially after what he did to Agent Coulson. And to you. I have zero tolerance for anyone that hurts you," Tony growled.
Harry couldn't help the surge of hate and loathing towards Loki that rose up in him. A part of him recognized that it might not have been entirely Loki's fault but losing Phil made him squash it. He hadn't known Phil for a very long time but the short time he had known him had made a huge impact on him. He'd been one of the few adults to be entirely honest with him. He had helped him out during a time he'd truly needed it. Harry found that he couldn't summon any compassion for a man who had killed Phil willingly or not.
"Yeah, you're probably right." Harry furiously wiped away the few tears that managed to escape.
"You okay, kiddo? I know you really liked Phil," Tony murmured, awkwardly putting his arm around Harry's shoulders, and patting his arm. The two of them had come quite a long way in being comfortable with shows of physical affection. But neither of them were especially good at knowing what to do in terms of how to comfort one another.
"Yeah," Harry shrugged, leaning back against him in acceptance of the offered comfort.
"You can talk to me about it you know. Or Pepper. Pepper would probably be the better option because she's better with talking about all this emotional stuff. But I'm always here for you too. I may not be the best at it but I'll try my best." Tony rested his chin on Harry's head.
"Thanks, dad," Harry grinned truly grateful to have Tony in his life now.
"Love that you call me dad now," Tony murmured ruffling his hair affectionately.
Harry smiled. He really enjoyed having a dad now especially one like Tony. But he didn't say it out loud. It was just too corny.
"So did I ever tell you about the first time I met dear Agent Coulson?"
Harry shook his head.
"Well, technically the first time was shortly after I became Iron Man. But I met him for the second time when I was having some problems with the arc reactor. Nothing I wouldn't have solved on my own eventually but he and SHIELD came to help because they can't help sticking their big noses into other people's business. Anyway he threatened to knock me out and watch Supernanny while I was incapacitated…"
Harry had listened quietly to the story. The two of them had continued to commiserate over the achievements of Agent Phil Coulson. It went a long way towards improving Harry and Tony's mood over Phil's sudden and unfortunate death.
The morning of his birthday dawned with yet another burst of uncontrollable magic. The sudden explosion of magical energy left him shuddering on the floor of his bedroom in pain before he managed to sit himself up. He crawled back onto his bed and stretched out. He was tired and wanted nothing more than to take a nap even though he had just woken up. He couldn't stay in his room too long. Today was his birthday after all and Tony or Pepper would eventually come looking for him. The party, however, wouldn't be starting until the early afternoon. He had been so excited for his birthday party but that excitement had now been tempered by the problems with his magic.
These surges in his magic were starting to happen more frequently, and more painfully. They completely exhausted him. It felt as if all of his magic was completely drained from him. It was really beginning to worry him. He just didn't know what to do about it. What if the staff had broken something inside him? What if it had destroyed his ability to control his magic and he forever suffered from these painful and debilitating magical outbursts? Harry knew he should tell Tony what was happening to him. He was just afraid to. A part of him didn't want to find out about what was happening to him. What if they ended up finding out that something was wrong with him? Harry was pretty sure he would be devastated if he couldn't do magic. He wanted to just ignore it in hopes that it would just eventually solve the problem on its own. It was a naïve thought. He had decided though that he would wait, just until after his birthday. Tony and Pepper were working so hard to make the day special for him. He didn't want to ruin all their hard work.
He laid on his bed for several moments trying to regain his strength. The exhaustion only lasted for about ten minutes. His magic would still feel like it was completely drained for several hours but the whole body exhaustion never lasted for very long. The pain lingered a bit but he was able to ignore it for the most part as long as he didn't exert himself too much.
Once he felt some what restored he got up and headed back out into the penthouse living room. The penthouse had been cleaned but the damages had yet to be repaired. Tony wanted to frame the dents in the floor where the Hulk had smashed Loki. Pepper was against it and had planned for the repairs to be done while they were on Tony's island.
Bruce was attempting to hang a Happy Birthday banner on the wall while Tony gave him instructions.
"More to the left," Tony commanded.
"You just told me you didn't want it over there," Bruce sighed.
"Yeah, but I changed my mind," replied Tony.
"Tony, if you're trying to aggravate Bruce into turning into the Hulk again I will hurt you. The damage to the tower is already bad enough," Pepper muttered from where she was stirring something in the kitchen.
"I'm not." Tony's response was a bit too quick to be completely honest. Apparently Pepper thought so too because she narrowed her eyes at Tony. Tony flashed her a wide innocent grin complete with puppy dog eyes.
Pepper was the first one to notice him. "Happy birthday Harry!"
She set down the bowl she was stirring and came over to wrap Harry into a tight embrace.
"Thank you," Harry couldn't help the wide smile that graced his features as he snuggled into Pepper's warm embrace. It was nice to have people who actually recognized that it was his birthday.
"Birthday? It's your birthday?" Tony questioned feigning shock.
Harry pulled back from Pepper and the two of them shared a commiserating look.
"Yup," Harry agreed.
"How old are you turning again? Seven? Eight?" Tony teased.
"Twelve," Harry glowered.
"No, there's no way you can be turning twelve. I'm not that old," Tony whined.
"Face it, you're a crotchety old man now," Harry teased.
"Hey! I will never be old! Or crotchety!" Tony protested. "I just get better looking as time passes."
"Oh, trust me Tony I don't think anyone is ever going to confuse you with being an adult," Pepper assured.
"Happy birthday, kiddo," Tony threw out his arms and pulled him in to fierce hug.
Harry hugged Tony back. Life was so different for him now. He never thought he would be comfortable hugging someone like this or having people to celebrate his birthday with. But now it was just natural for Tony and him, and it was something he truly enjoyed.
Bruce gave his own congratulations. Pepper went back to making pancakes for his birthday breakfast, which the four of them sat down and ate together. Bruce was currently living in the penthouse with them. He'd tried to protest and offered to pay rent. Tony wouldn't hear of it and he wouldn't let him leave. To pacify him Tony offered Bruce a position as Harry's tutor in exchange for free rent. Of course Bruce didn't know that Tony was building him his own suite in the tower or that he was going to pay him for tutoring Harry. Tony was looking forward to the man's reaction when he found out. Harry got on very well with Bruce. The man had a gentle disposition coupled with a dry wit that Harry enjoyed. He was also extremely intelligent and was incredibly patient. They hadn't started having lessons yet but Harry was looking forward to them.
The rest of the morning passed with Harry watching while the three adults set up for his birthday party. They refused to let him help so he just had to sit and watch, and laugh while Pepper and Tony bickered good-naturedly. As three o'clock rolled around Harry's guests began to trickle in.
The first to arrive was Captain Rogers. He had a poorly wrapped present under one arm and wore a brown leather jacket.
"Hullo, Captain Rogers," Harry greeted enthusiastically to the super-soldier.
"Hello, Harry, happy birthday," he replied, smiling brightly at Harry.
"Thanks," Harry grinned reaching out to take the present and put it on the table with all the others. He could tell it was some sort of ball from the shape. It sort of awed him that he actually had a table full of presents just for him. It was already more than he had ever gotten before and it was all a little overwhelming.
"Cap, glad you could make it," Tony came up to clap a hand to Captain Rogers' back.
The two of them had an awkward relationship. According to Tony they had started off being fairly hostile to one another. After the battle they seemed to have reached some common ground were attempting to get along with one another. But they still struggled due to all of their differences.
"I told you I was coming," Captain Rogers replied with a frown.
"It's a just a saying, Cap. And here I thought you just had a problem with technology not taking things literally. Between you and Thor you have all the technologic knowledge of a monkey. Well maybe a little less," Tony teased.
Captain Rogers took the good-natured teasing well, and just rolled his eyes and sighed in defeat.
"Maybe dad can give you some lessons," Harry offered.
"I think I would be better off on my own," Captain Rogers replied.
Harry thought about it for a moment. "You're probably right."
Tony just huffed, nose in the air. "As if I would want to teach you anyway. I'd end up pulling all my hair out, and the last thing I want in this world is to be bald."
Thor and Jane Foster arrived soon after Captain Rogers. The God of Thunder was beaming from ear to ear as he escorted Jane into the penthouse as if entering a grand ballroom. He looked so happy to be reunited with the scientist. He looked like a wiggly puppy who had just gotten a new toy. Jane appeared equally smitten with the Asgardian. Thor had been staying at the SHIELD base where they were currently holding Loki while Thor got things ready to return them both to Asgard. He was still taking his brother's betrayal rather hard.
The next guests to arrive were Clint and Natasha. The super spies weren't enjoying their new fame. Their entire job description was to be anonymous, and all the news coverage with their pictures in it wasn't exactly conducive to their positions in SHIELD. They both looked a little grim but they seemed to perk up a little when they saw the Chitauri piñatas Tony had gotten. Clint especially seemed to be taking things hard. Harry had heard that he too had been under the influences of the staff. He really wanted to ask the archer about his experience while being controlled by it.
Unfortunately, Happy was still in hospital at SHIELD after being tossed into a wall by Loki so he wasn't able to attend. Tony and he had been to visit a couple of times, and he was perfectly fine they just wanted to keep him longer because of the fact that he'd had a personal run in with Loki. Dr. Selvig was likewise detained with Darcy keeping him company while Jane spent as much time as she could with Thor before he had to leave.
The party was amazing. They played all sorts of corny party games like pin the tail on the donkey, and bobbing for apples. Clint was the master of pin the tail on the donkey and Bruce was surprisingly good at bobbing for apples. They smashed open piñatas, and ate cake both of which Thor was a master of. Harry had never seen anyone eat that much cake before, and even after he ate all the cake he pulled out a box of strawberry poptarts and proceeded to eat them as well. After all of that it was finally time to open presents. Tony seemed to have been determined to get him one of everything. He got him all his own tools and all sorts of various parts to start building whatever he wanted. He also got him a bunch of wizard gag gifts, which the two of them planned on using on the rest of the Avengers at a later date.
The best thing he got him, however, was the phone call on the webcam. He'd set it up in his bedroom so that the two of them could have a few moments of privacy.
"Hermione!" Harry cried with a huge grin.
"Harry! Happy birthday! How are you?" Hermione questioned looking worried.
"I'm fine," he reassured her.
"Are you certain? I mean aliens attacked New York City. Aliens Harry, can you believe it?" she asked, eyes wide.
"Considering I was only a few metres from them, yeah I can," Harry grinned at her.
She shook her head, bushy hair flying everywhere. She looked equally disbelieving, and in awe.
"You have to tell me everything," she pleaded.
Harry was more than willing to tell her the entire story.
"That was very brave of Tony," Hermione murmured once Harry.
"Yeah," Harry agreed whole-heartedly.
"And it must have been really difficult for you, Harry." Her brown eyes were full of concern.
"I don't know what you mean. I didn't even do anything. I mostly just stood around while my dad and the other Avengers did all the work," Harry shrugged.
"What I meant was that it must have been hard for you to almost lose your dad like that. And I highly doubt you just sat around if what you told me about your encounter with Loki is anything to go by. I also doubt you told me the whole story about that. You always leave things out to make it sound less dangerous," Hermione huffed.
"For a moment I thought I had lost him," Harry murmured, completely ignoring her questions about Loki. Those questions could easily lead to ones about his unstable magic and he wasn't sure if he was ready to talk about that just yet.
"I'm sorry you had to go through that, Harry. I know how close the two of you have become. Thinking that you had lost him so soon after finding him must have been horrible."
"It was scary and I may not like the fact that being Iron Man puts him danger. But I'm proud of him, Hermione, because if I could do the things that he could I know I would be doing the exact same thing," Harry insisted.
"I know you would be. The two of you are a lot alike in that regard, you're always putting yourselves into stupidly dangerous situations," she grinned at him.
"I guess we are," Harry agreed, grinning back.
"Right, well… tell me more about the Chitauri. I wonder what sort of planet they come from. Did you notice if they wore air-filtering devices of some sort? Could you describe them to me all of the videos and pictures weren't very conducive to making any type of analysis about them," she prattled on obviously trying to distract him.
A knock came to his door and he called for them to come in. It was Tony.
Harry grinned at him.
"Hullo Mr. Stark," Hermione greeted.
"How many times do I have to tell you, it's Tony," he sighed and shook his head looking disappointed by Hermione's manners.
"Right," Hermione replied noncommittally.
"Mini-me, Miss Manners, I have a surprise for the both of you. I already talked to your parents Hermione about this. But how would you like to come for a visit in just one weeks to our private island?" Tony asked.
"Really?" Harry gasped in excitement as Hermione's mouth dropped open in shock.
"Happy birthday, kiddo," Tony grinned.
"Thank you, dad," Harry threw his arms around Tony's neck and gave him a fierce hug.
"Thank you, Mr. Stark for inviting me. I would love to come," Hermione gushed.
"It will be nice to finally meet you in person," Tony assured with a grin.
They talked for a little bit longer before finally hanging up so that Harry could return to his guests. Hermione promised to bring her and Ron's birthday presents when she came. They both couldn't wait until they were together again. He wanted to tell her more about what had happened with Loki and the staff. During their call he had considered telling her about the magical outbursts but he didn't want to worry her, just as he didn't want to worry Tony.
He and Tony returned to the living room where the rest of the Avengers, Jane, and Pepper were still talking and having a good time. As the party was winding down one last guest arrived. Director Nick Fury stepped out of the lift still decked out in his normal leather attire.
"Who invited you?" Tony jeered still upset with the Director.
"I came to say happy birthday to Harry, Stark. And to bring by a friend," Fury motioned towards the lift and out stepped Agent Phil Coulson perfectly alive.
For a moment there was absolute silence. No one said a word until Tony finally broke the silence.
"What the hell is this?" he demanded looking really angry.
All of the Avengers looked really angry in fact, and Harry couldn't blame them. He was feeling pretty angry about the whole situation himself. He still hadn't come to terms with the fact that Phil was dead, and now to discover that he was in fact alive was shocking. It was playing with his emotions in the worst possible way, and he really didn't like it.
"We can explain," Phil said in a calm voice. But there was something off about his tone. Harry took a closer look at him. Phil looked pale, his features were drawn tight. He looked tired. He was holding himself unnaturally stiff. Harry couldn't help but think that Phil didn't look all that well.
"Explain how you lied to us? Made us think you were dead to manipulate us into doing what you wanted?" Tony snarled at Director Fury.
"He did die. If only for a short time," Fury amended.
"I was able to get in contact with a healer friend in time to repair most of the damage and save my life. The last few days have been spent repairing the rest of the damage made by the spear. It wasn't exactly a normal weapon, and the energy signatures it was putting off were affecting the speed of my recovery," Phil explained stoically.
Natasha looked like she wanted to attack both Fury and Phil. Clint looked like he would join her. Thor looked hurt and confused while Captain Rogers just looked disappointed. Bruce appeared to be trying to contain his anger over the situation.
"And you didn't think to tell us sooner?" Tony growled.
"We weren't sure if he was going to make it. It was touch and go for a while there. As soon as we did know, we told you. It's why we're here. He was just released. And lying about his death was my idea. He wasn't even aware enough at that time to make a decision like that. So there's no need to be angry with him," Fury snapped out.
"Oh trust me, I'm not angry at him," Tony snarled.
"I think it would be best if you left, Director. This really isn't the best time for this," Captain Rogers said quietly, his tone firm and commanding.
"I apologize, I just wanted to be here for Harry's birthday," Phil said.
"Not you, Coulson. Just the Director," Tony assured still glaring at the Director Fury.
Tony was really protective with his emotions. Losing Phil had really affected him and Harry knew it would be a while, if ever, that Tony would forgive Director Fury for this deception.
Director Fury just nodded his acceptance. For a moment Harry felt bad for the Director. It had to be difficult making decisions like that. Decisions that made everyone hate you even if you were just doing what you thought was right. For the most part, though, Harry was just relieved that Phil was alive and he told the agent so.
"Me too, Harry. And happy birthday. I brought you something that I thought you might like," Phil said pulling out a package.
Harry grinned up at him and took it. He opened it and burst into laughter when he found a book on Quodpot.
"I thought I could change your mind about your dislike of Quodpot," Phil said.
"I'm not so sure about that," Harry informed him. He didn't think he would ever like another sport better than Quidditch.
Phil laughed and then he flashed Harry one of his rare smiles. Reaching over he ruffled Harry's hair affectionately before going over to be greeted by the Avengers. He was enthusiastically welcomed by Pepper, Captain Rogers, Thor, Jane, and Bruce. Tony, Clint, and Natasha all seemed a bit more standoffish. As time went on the three of them thawed out a bit, and got over Phil's supposed death. Harry understood that Phil didn't have anything to do with the deception. He was angry at the Director but he was just thrilled that Phil was alive, and had even made it to his birthday party. If there was one person that he could talk to about what was going on with his magic it would be Phil. His survival also made him reconsider telling someone about the change in Loki's eye color.
During the party Tony had invited all of the Avengers to come live in the tower once it was finished. Bruce of course had already taken him up on the offer. Natasha and Clint said they would think about it. Captain Rogers reluctantly agreed after some prodding from Tony, and Thor said he would be glad to call the place home when he was on Midgard.
The party had lasted much longer than they had all expected to. Despite the rocky start they had had, all of the Avengers had really come together to form a fairly solid team. Everyone got along really well, and their shared experiences really brought them all together. But eventually it was time for them to head out, which Harry was grateful for since he could feel his magic beginning to build inside him once more. He needed to get to his room before his magic burst from him, and everyone was made aware of his condition.
He was just about to make his escape too when Phil called him over.
"Is everything all right, Harry?" the agent questioned.
"Yes, of course. Why wouldn't it be?" Harry replied quickly, feeling anxious and doing his best to suppress the building magic despite the pain it caused him.
Phil's eyes narrowed on him. Harry didn't know how but somehow the man suspected something.
"I don't know why wouldn't it be?" Phil repeated.
"I really need to get something from my room," Harry hedged and tried to walk away.
"Harry what's happening to you?" Phil questioned softly.
"Nothing wrong with me," Harry snapped.
"Whoa, kiddo, what's going on here?" Tony asked as he walked up to the two of them. His brow was furrowed as he looked from Phil's concerned features to Harry's angry ones.
"Nothing," Harry murmured sullenly.
"There's something wrong," Phil said solemnly.
"What? Harry, what's he talking about?" Tony asked looking a little worried now.
"Nothing is wrong with me," Harry repeated despite the fact that the build up of his magic was beginning to make him feel lightheaded.
"You don't look so good, kiddo," Tony said reaching out to touch his feverish brow.
The moment his hand made contact with his forehead he was thrown back by the backlash of his magic running through him. Tony was tossed across the room into the couch, the force causing the couch to topple over.
"Dad!" Harry gasped.
He was afraid to run to him though. His magic was still surging through him and he was afraid he might hurt Tony more if he touched him. Captain Rogers was the first one to reach Tony's side. He helped the stunned man to his feet.
"What the hell was that?" Clint demanded. The archer had pulled out a handgun and was looking for the threat.
"Me," Harry whispered. "There's something wrong with my magic. Ever since Loki used his staff on me. I can't control it anymore. It just keeps lashing out of me. Something is broken inside me."
Harry couldn't hold it back anymore. The swirl of his emotions became too much and he lost the little control he had over himself. He broke down, and the magic exploded out of him like a shockwave. He cried out in pain and as if from a distance he heard the sounds of cries and crashes as everyone tried to get out of the way of his burst of wild magic. When the surge finally ended Harry dropped to his knees. He wasn't able to stay upright any longer. He was exhausted and in pain. He fell forward to lay on the floor in hopes of regaining his strength. He needed to check on everyone. He had to see if his uncontrollable magic had hurt anyone.
When he did manage to look up, Harry was horrified by what he saw. Bruce was changing. Before his eyes the quiet and calm doctor was becoming the raging Hulk. Once the transition was complete he took a brief look around the penthouse. His eyes locked on Harry and he let loose a loud, angry roar as he recognized him as the source of his pain. He took one menacing step towards Harry before pausing. He looked momentarily conflicted as if a part of him knew Harry was a friend but also viewed him as a threat. Before he could make up his mind Thor's hammer slammed into him. The Hulk crashed through the recently replaced glass of the penthouse and into the building directly opposite. The Hulk was quick to shake it off and take off to smash the next building.
Thor and Captain Rogers were the only ones who had managed to get to their feet after the surge of magic. Thor looked ready for battle and immediately leapt after the Hulk in an attempt to contain him.
"Thor and I will take care of the Hulk. Everyone else stay put, and figure out what's happening with Harry," Captain Rogers ordered before he too set off to help Thor settle down the Hulk.
Clint was helping Jane and Pepper to their feet while Tony was getting himself back up onto his feet for the second time. Natasha was crouching besides Phil her normally expressionless face showing the minutest hint of worry. The recently healed agent looked even paler and more drawn where he sat leaning against the couch he'd crashed into. But he waved away Natasha's attempts to check on him in favor of pulling out his mobile to make a call. Harry just watched feeling sick inside at having caused the chaos around him.
"Harry, are you okay?" Tony asked limping as he made his way towards him.
Harry flinched back when he reached out to touch him. He was terrified that he might hurt Tony again.
"Don't pull away from me, Harry," Tony warned.
"I don't want to hurt you again," Harry murmured.
"I'm tougher than I look," Tony assured and before Harry could protest again he pulled Harry up into his arms.
"What happened, Harry? What was that?"
"My magic. I can't control it anymore. It just keeps exploding out of me," Harry choked out.
"How long has this been going on?" Tony was now holding him out at arms length. His hands were firmly placed on Harry's shoulders trying to force him to meet his eyes. It was only Tony's grip on shoulders that was keeping him upright. He was more exhausted than previous episodes and he'd never had two outbursts in one day before. This thing with his magic was getting worse.
Harry shrugged, staring stubbornly at the floor.
"Harry?" Tony said warningly.
"Ever since Loki used the staff on me," Harry finally muttered.
"Why didn't you tell us? Why did you just let it go on like this?" Tony demanded.
"I didn't want to worry you," Harry replied.
"Harry, I'm your dad. It's my job to worry about you. You need to tell me about things like this. Something could be seriously wrong." Tony glanced at Phil who was watching them both with concern. The two shared a look that Harry wasn't able to decipher.
"That's exactly the point," Harry exploded yanking away from Tony's hold. "What if something is wrong? What if I won't be able to do magic anymore?" Harry whispered in fear.
"Then you can't do magic anymore. It doesn't change anything you'll still be my son. If you want to fly I'll build you a suit. Not being able to do magic isn't the end of the world."
"You're right. I know you're right but magic is what made me special. It saved me from the Dursleys," Harry whispered.
"What makes you special is just being you, kiddo. I mean you're already half special without even trying because you're my son," Tony said with a grin.
An unwilling chuckle escaped Harry's lips.
"Right," Harry agreed.
Tony grinned back. "Now let's figure this thing out. Agent tell me you were just on the line with some awesome House-like magical doctor who can make a diagnosis in two seconds."
"Close, I called my older brother. He's a healer and he's the one who took care of me while I was recovering. He should be here any moment," Phil informed them. He was now sitting on the couch with Natasha hovering nearby keeping a close on him and a wary one on Harry.
And as if on cue there was a loud crack. A man in dark green scrubs appeared in the middle of the room. He looked like an older version of Phil with thin blonde hair, light blue eyes, and a more open, friendly expression. He had a large black bag with him.
"Phil, are you all right?" he questioned his first concern obviously being his brother.
"Fine, fine. Everyone this is my brother Healer Jack Coulson. He's the head healer at Sacred Spells Hospital in Massachusetts in the magical maladies department. Jack this is Natasha, Clint, Pepper, Jane, Tony, and his son Harry. Harry is the person I called you about," Phil introduced pointing everyone out to him.
Jack Coulson's light blue gaze locked on Harry. His gaze was assessing and he quickly pulled out a few objects from his bag.
"Hello, Harry. It's nice to meet you. Phil's told me a lot about you," Jack greeted with a warm smile.
"Hullo, nice to meet you too," Harry replied.
"Why don't you and your father come right over here so we can take a look at what's going on with your magic," Jack patted one the vacant couches.
Tony put his arm around his shoulders and steered him over to the couch. They sat down and Pepper came around to sit on Harry's other side. Harry turned to give her a timid smile. She looked worried and quickly reached out to grip Harry's hand.
"Thank you for coming on such short notice," Pepper murmured squeezing Harry's hand.
"Oh, it's no problem," Jack assured pulling out something that looked like a stethoscope but had a triangular shaped blue stone on the end. "Now Harry I would like to hear a bit about what has been happening from your perspective."
Harry slowly explained everything that had happened to him since his run in with the horrible, mind controlling staff.
"Hmm, well let's take a peek at the levels of your magical core." Jack moved to put the stone over Harry's heart but the moment he did the stone glowed an intense bright blue. Jack yelped and pulled back.
"Are you all right?" Harry asked in concern.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," he assured.
"What was that?" Tony demanded.
"That was Harry's magic reacting to the magic in the scrying stone," replied Jack calmly.
"And I'm guessing it wasn't supposed to have that reaction," Tony observed.
"No, not exactly," Jack said gently, and he put away the rest of the magical objects he'd originally pulled out. He was now wearing a poker face that was similar to Phil's and that's what drove home that this thing was much more serious than Harry originally believed. "Let me just try a few more things."
He pulled out his wand, and began to cast a couple of spells. A few had volatile reactions and after a few moments Jack set his wand aside.
"So what's the diagnosis, doc?" Tony questioned, brow furrowed.
Jack's grim expression said it all. Harry's heart dropped into his stomach. He was going to lose his magic.
"You see every witch or wizard has a magical core. This magical core holds a witch or wizard's internal magic and enables them to connect with the magic in the world around them. Every magical core has a lining or a shield. It contains the magic and keeps the core separate from the rest of the body. This barrier allows a witch or wizard to have a measure of control over their magic. This magical shield is also the reason why witches and wizards need a focus, like a wand, to draw their magic out of this shield and interact with external magical forces. Of course in periods of extreme distress breaking through this barrier becomes much simpler and magic bursts through the shield. This is why when we are young we have accidental magic. Our magical shields are also a bit thinner and less stable. As we grow older we train ourselves to safely draw magic through our shields from our cores and use it towards the purpose we desire. Some are capable of moving magic through this shield without a wand. But it is very difficult and only the most powerful of wizards are capable of wandless magic.
"The magical lining also has another purpose. It acts as a protective barrier between the magical core and the body itself. A mortal body isn't meant to be completely suffused with magic at all times. Short periods for extremely powerful spells are all right but of course risky and dangerous. Magic in its purest form is an almost sentient entity, and can unintentionally cause damage if its not properly contained. Without this shield protecting the magical core their magic can cause a witch or wizard a lot of damage," Jack explained carefully.
"That's all great to know and all but what exactly does that have to do with Harry? What's going on with my son, Witch Doctor?" Tony demanded.
"As far as I can tell…" He sighed, taking a deep breath before he could continue. "As far as I can tell when Loki used the spear to control Harry the energy in the spear completely destroyed the barrier around Harry's magical core to gain access to it, and control it for its own purposes. That is why he keeps having these magical outbursts. There is nothing to keep his magic in his core anymore. Magical cores are constantly able to replenish themselves and so his core is naturally continuing to restore itself. Unfortunately, there is nothing to contain that magic anymore or to tell it that it's completely full. Once it's fully restored it doesn't know what to do with itself and it just comes bursting out or when he's feeling a particularly strong emotion it lashes out with nothing to filter it or hold it back.
"The feelings of weakness afterwards are caused by the complete emptying of his magical core. The pain is from the magic rushing through his entire body through pathways that it really shouldn't be," Jack continued carefully.
"What does this mean for Harry?" Pepper questioned fearfully. Her body was tense and Harry could read the fear in her features. Harry himself was numb with fear and what all of this would mean for him.
"Unless we can find a way to somehow rebuild his magical shield, his condition will become fatal. Not right away, but it seems his condition is steadily worsening and if something isn't done soon I believe he could only survive a few weeks at the most," Jack told them solemnly.
"There's a way to do that right? Rebuild his magical barrier-thing?" Pepper gasped out, tears in her eyes.
Tony was just staring straight ahead, his eyes not looking at anything. Harry's heart was pounding in his chest. This entire conversation couldn't be happening. He'd never been so terrified in all his life. He never expected that anything like this could ever happen to him. He'd faced death before at the hands of Voldemort but this somehow seemed more horrifying because this was something that he couldn't fight.
"We can try. But I won't lie to you. I've never seen or heard of an occurrence of someone's entire shield being destroyed. Even sealing small holes in the shield has been met with few instances of success. A wizard's magical shield isn't meant to be broken. In all honesty I'm surprised he's still alive. When healers speculate what would happen if a person's shield failed most believed it would be instant death from the influx of pure magic to the body. But of course that is pure speculation."
"Then you don't actually know if it could be fatal," Phil stated since Tony still seemed incapable of speech.
"It is. All of Harry's internal organs are suffering from the damage of the constant extreme exposure to the pure magic. Of course as witches and wizards we are magical beings so we have a strong, natural tolerance to magic. We can all live through this everyday exposure with hardly any adverse affects. It's part of our world after all. But the constant, extreme exposure that Harry's going through isn't meant to happen to us. It's like someone is constantly sending powerful spells at him all at once. Overexposure to any type of energy can be harmful to anyone. Then if you factor in that the barrier was destroyed by an unknown, alien energy the effects can be even more unstable," Jack explained gently.
"So there's no hope," Pepper whispered in distress. Harry's heart clenched at the thought.
"No, of course not. There are several things that we can try. Of course if I knew a bit more about the staff used to destroy his shield maybe I would have a better idea on how to go about repairing it. But I and my team will do our best to help you, Harry," Jack assured.
"Would it be helpful if you spoke to someone who knows more about the staff?" Tony asked suddenly, snapping out of his dazed staring. He now seemed to be almost hyper-focused, staring at Jack with intense brown eyes.
"Yes, of course," Jack agreed.
"Mr. Stark," Phil protested at the same time Pepper warningly said "Tony, you can't mean to—."
"You want to ask Loki?" Clint demanded cutting her off.
"Anything that might better the odds," Tony replied, deadly serious.
"I don't think he'd be willing to work with us," said Clint.
"Oh, he'll be willing," Tony growled.
"All right then, I'll make sure we get access to him," Phil whipped out his mobile and proceeded to make some calls.
"The sooner we speak to Loki the sooner we can come up with a game plan," Jack told Phil. Phil nodded in understanding.
Pepper wrapped her arms around Harry whispering reassurances into his hair. Harry leaned back against her feeling numb with fear. He had never imagined that his magical outbursts would come to this. None of this felt real. Tony suddenly turned to Harry and grabbed him by the shoulders. He turned his body so that they were facing one another.
"Everything is going to be just fine. I won't let anything happen to you. I promise," His eyes were fierce and Harry found himself relaxing slightly after hearing the conviction in Tony's voice.
"I believe you," and Harry did. In that moment Tony seemed like he was capable of making anything happen and Harry had complete faith in him.
Tony just nodded in acceptance of his belief.
Just a few moments later Phil had gotten them access to Loki. Jack didn't want to risk apparating him, which Harry discovered was a method of teleporting wizards used to get from place to place quickly. He didn't like the way that Harry's unguarded magical core was reacting with the magic he himself had been using to examine him. Jack was afraid that apparating with him might exacerbate his condition. They took one of Tony's cars instead. Tony drove while Pepper, Phil, Jack, and Harry rode with him. Natasha and Clint were following them in their own car while Jane was staying behind to apprise Thor and Captain Rogers of what was happening if they returned to the tower.
The trip to the secure SHIELD base was made in taut silence. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts and fears. Harry was incredibly grateful for the people in his life. They were people that he had come to trust and count on, and Harry was grateful for them.
Director Fury met them at the entrance. Phil quickly explained the situation and the Director was more than willing to let them see Loki. The Director escorted them down the hall towards the holding cell where they were keeping the god. Tony kept his arm around Harry's shoulders and Pepper was holding his hand. Jack and Phil followed along beyond them.
Loki's glass prison was carefully guarded by a dozen SHIELD agents in full battle gear. Inside Loki was laying on a metal cot still dressed in the same leather armor he'd been wearing when Harry last saw him. An addition to his attire was the muzzle-type thing he was wearing over his mouth and chains around his wrists and ankles. He was also still sporting various cuts and bruises that he'd sustained while being beaten by the Hulk. It went to show how strong the Hulk was if the god hadn't been able to entirely heal from them yet.
Fury had the guards move aside. They trained their weapons on the chained god while Fury went into the cell and removed Loki's muzzle.
"We need to have a little chat with you, Loki. It seems you made an even bigger mess than we thought," Fury growled before stepping back out.
Loki slowly moved to his feet and walked as close to the glass as the chains he was wearing allowed him. His gaze flicked quickly over all of them, resting for a moment longer on Harry. Harry noted his eyes were still green.
"And what is it that you wish to blame me for, Director?" Loki drawled in a careless manner.
"Trying to murder my son," Tony snarled.
Harry was pretty sure that if Loki wasn't in that cell Tony would be attacking him right now.
Loki snorted. "I assure you I was never going to actually harm your son, Stark."
"Yeah, sure. Intentional or not, you've still hurt him," Tony snapped.
"What's happened?" Loki demanded turning to look back at Harry more closely.
"He's dying, and we need your help to try and save him," Jack informed Loki stepping up to the glass.
"Explain," Loki demanded, still imperious despite being a prisoner.
Jack gave him a quick explanation of the situation. Loki listened closely, hand under his chin, and eyes focused with a sharp intensity.
"Is there any information you can give me about the staff that might help us restore the shield around his magical core?" Jack questioned.
"Perhaps. Let me examine him myself," Loki commanded, once Jack had finished his explanation.
"You think I'm going to let you get your hands on my son again?" Tony snorted.
"You will if you want him to survive," Loki replied.
"We don't need you," Tony snapped.
"Oh, but I believe you do. Isn't that right?" He turned to glance at Jack.
The healer's face flushed slightly.
"What does he mean by that?" Tony questioned.
"The mortal magic user is out of his depth. He has no idea what to do in a situation such as this. I am your son's only hope, Man of Iron," Loki taunted.
"Is this true?" Tony turned to Jack, a desperate look on face.
"There are many different things that we can try. Nothing that is a one hundred percent guarantee. We've never dealt with anything like this before. Do you think that you can do better?" Jack asked of Loki.
"I am of Asgard. I have a knowledge of magic that your people never will," Loki replied arrogantly. It seemed his ego was something that hadn't been affected by the staff. If he'd been under its effects at all.
"So you think you can heal me?" Harry asked.
Loki's light green eyes locked with Harry's darker emerald.
"I believe so. I would need to examine you to be certain," he replied and for some reason Harry believed him.
"And how can I trust you with my son?" Tony demanded. At this point he looked desperate.
"I would give you my word that I would not cause any other unnecessary harm to him," Loki vowed.
"You're the God of Lies like I can actually trust your word," Tony rolled his eyes.
"I trust him," Harry said.
Tony stared at him like he was crazy, and maybe he was. But he didn't think he had anything to lose at this point.
"Oh no, he's not going in there. That's just what he wants you to do. He'll use you as a hostage to escape," Fury growled.
"It may be our only option to save Harry's life, sir. And I think all of us are willing to take that risk," said Phil calmly.
"I have to agree with Phil. Loki really should have a look. In this instance his knowledge of the subject is much greater than my own. And if he has a surefire way to heal Harry than all the better," Jack agreed.
Fury glared at Loki. "Just let it go on the record that I think this is a stupid ass decision. And the moment your ass gets out of line I'm shooting you. You got it?"
Loki just nodded, glaring right back at the Director.
"Um, I still haven't agreed to this yet," Tony moved between Harry and Loki.
"Dad, I agree with them. You were the one who wanted to ask Loki for advice in the first place. And I want Loki to examine me if there's any hope to help me," Harry said firmly.
Tony stared at him for a long time before turning to glare at Loki. "If you harm one hair on my kid's head I'll make what the Hulk did to you look like love taps."
Loki dipped his head in acknowledgement of the threat.
Fury nodded to the guards. They opened the doors and trained their weapons on Loki. Harry moved to enter the cell. Surprisingly, however, Tony came in the cell with him. Loki and Tony eyed each other warily before refocusing their attention to the matter at hand.
"Come and sit here, Harry," Loki motioned to the metal cot in the center of the room.
Harry did as he asked trying to not show just how afraid he was to be in the god's presence once more especially after what happened last time.
Loki moved to stand in front of him. "Now, I am just going to do a brief scan to see the problem for myself and see if what I have in mind is feasible."
Loki placed his hands on either side of Harry's head, they weren't touching him just hovering close by. Harry could sense his cool magic as it flowed over him. Loki closed his eyes concentrating at the task at hand. Several tense moments passed before Loki backed off. His expression was grim and Harry feared for the worst.
"It is beyond the capabilities of your mortal magic," Harry could practically feel everyone's shoulders slump in defeat at Loki's words. "But there is something that I might be able to try. If you are willing?"
He looked to Harry and then to Tony.
Harry took a deep, fortifying breath. "I trust you."
"Well, I don't. What exactly are you planning?" Tony demanded.
"I would pour my own magic into Harry's body and use it to wrap around his magical core to mold a new shield. This would, in essence, completely change the structure of his magical core. It would reorder it and recreate it into an image of my own core since my magic will leave an imprint of itself behind for such a complicated undertaking," Loki explained.
"And why can't you just heal the shield thingy instead?" Tony questioned.
"Healing it would suggest that some of it still existed. Some of it may have still been left directly after freeing himself from the enchantment but the subsequent magical expulsions have destroyed any remnants of the shield. I have nothing to work with so I have to create something entirely new," Loki stated calmly.
"And how will pouring your own magic into him not just exacerbate his condition and kill him instantly?" Jack questioned frowning.
"Not if I'm careful and direct it straight to his core," replied Loki.
"This is purely theoretical. You have no idea if you can recreate a new shield and core. And if you do succeed you have no idea the effects it might leave him with," Jack argued.
"But he will be alive and any of the consequences wouldn't be life threatening," Loki countered.
"You can't know that!" Jack his eyes narrowed.
"I can, I've spent over a millennia studying magic to predict the effects with incredible accuracy," Loki sniped back.
"Okay, okay. Do you have any other ideas, Witch Doctor?" Tony demanded, butting in on their argument.
Jack slowly shook his head.
"Fine, then just do whatever you have to do to save my son, Sitting Bull," Tony snapped.
Loki glared at Tony for the nickname before he turned back to look at Harry.
"Will it hurt?" Harry asked not really caring all that much if it did or not as long as it saved him. He'd just turned twelve he wasn't ready to die yet.
"No," Loki assured.
"Then what are you waiting for?"
Loki smirked. His hands once more went to the sides of his head. This time however he placed his surprisingly cool fingertips against his temples. Loki's eyes locked with his own and he could feel Loki's presence entering his mind. Harry gasped as he was suddenly falling through flashes of his own memories. He saw himself in his cupboard, weeding in the garden at Privet Drive, on the roof after being chased by Dudley's gang, the snake at the zoo, and Hogwarts. The flashes stopped and Harry found himself standing in the Gryffindor common room.
"It's rather garish with all the red and gold. But then so is your father's suit," drawled a familiar silky voice.
Harry turned to see Loki standing by the fireplace. The two of them were completely alone in the normally boisterous common room. It was rather eerie.
"What's going on? How did we get here?" He was utterly confused. Everything felt so real. Had Loki teleported them to Hogwarts?
"We aren't actually in Hogwarts. We're in your mind," Loki shrugged as if it didn't matter.
"And why are we in my mind exactly? I thought you were going to fix my core," Harry was worried that Loki had betrayed them.
"I chose to settle your conscious in a place you would feel comfortable while we wait for the process to be complete," Loki explained.
"Right, why did you agree to do this, again?"
"Why do you trust me?" Loki countered.
"I don't know. It just seemed to me that what happened at the tower wasn't entirely your fault. It looked like you were under the effects of the staff too," Harry replied.
"That is where you are wrong, child. The events that occurred in New York were entirely my doing. Don't make me out to be some sort of sympathetic villain who is truly a hero underneath," Loki sneered.
"I'm not. And I noticed you didn't deny that you were being controlled by the staff," Harry pointed out.
"Clever, child," Loki chuckled. "You were able to fight off the staff's effects. Don't you think I could have done the same if I truly wished to?"
"So you were being controlled?" Harry persisted.
"To a degree," Loki shrugged but Harry couldn't help but think that he looked a bit uncomfortable at this line of questioning.
"So nothing you did was your fault."
"It is my fault, you foolish boy. I hate my father and my brother. I wanted to see them destroyed. That was all under my own power. Perhaps I did not truly wish to take over Midgard but I did want vengeance against Asgard. I was merely given the tools to do so."
"You're missing the point. All that stuff you did it wasn't you. You shouldn't be imprisoned for it," Harry argued.
"I will serve my time and that is all there is to it. Now stop distracting me this is much more dangerous than I let on," he said idly.
"What!?" Harry cried.
"Don't worry, it's not dangerous for you. If it fails you'll be in no worse shape than you were before."
"What about you then?" Harry questioned.
"I'm changing your magical core, Harry, to reflect my own. Changing from a mortal core to an immortal one. It's not a simple thing. In fact it's not something that anyone bar the All-Father should be attempting."
"Wait, you're turning me into an immortal?" Harry frowned at him.
"No, that would be entirely impossible. Only the All-Father has the ability to gift the true powers of an immortal. What I am doing should only change your core. I'm rebuilding your magic with my own, which is why I am forced into recreating it in the image of an immortal, a Jotun to be exact considering I myself am a Jotun. It is the only way to salvage it since your wizard magical core is hopelessly torn to shreds. Of course there might be some unforeseen effects. This has never been done before."
"What kind of unforeseen effects? Will I still be able to perform magic the same as before?" Harry questioned warily.
"Well, for the most part yes. You should still be able to channel your magic through your wand in the same manner you are accustomed to. You may also be capable of feats that you weren't able to before while others may be more difficult. It is my own magic being used to recreate your core. I mentioned before I will leave an imprint on your magic." At Harry's continued glare Loki sighed and added, "In essence I will become your magical parent since your core will be modeled after my own with slight variations."
"My magical parent?" Harry questioned slowly to make sure he had heard the god correctly.
"Yes, you'll have three parents: Stark, and your witch mother are your genetic parents, and I will become your magical one since you will be inheriting your new magical core directly from me."
"And why would you do this? Why are taking this risk for me? And why would you let me inherit your magic like this?" Harry didn't believe Loki was a particular malicious person but he also seemed the type to do things that really only benefitted himself.
"I am only doing this to repay a debt. It is my fault that you are dying, and so I should be the one to save you. You would have never been harmed if it had not been for me, and my thirst for vengeance or my desire to prove myself. It is only right that I be the one to save you. I may have been under the spear's power but as I said before if I had tried harder in the beginning I could have stopped all of it from happening. I also admire your courage and would not wish to be the cause of your demise. I apologize for harming you," Loki said, eyes downcast.
"Apology accepted," Harry told him.
Loki gave him a quick, crooked smile that Harry recognized to be a real smile. The first he had seen from the God of Mischief. Without warning Loki jerked forward with a cry, nearly falling to his knees.
"Loki?" Harry stepped towards him, concerned by his unexpected stumbling.
"I'm fine," the god regained his footing but he looked a little bit more insubstantial than he did before. Almost like one of the ghosts in Hogwarts.
"What's wrong?" Harry was feeling a little off himself. He was beginning to feel unnaturally warm.
"A problem has arisen and there is only one way that it can be remedied," He stepped towards Harry a knife appearing in his hand.
"You can't just tell me something like that, and then pull out a knife," Harry cried backing up.
"To ease the process and make sure your body accepts the new magical core I need to give you in an infusion of my blood. The blood of an immortal. I didn't think it would come to this but the process is a bit more arduous than I initially perceived. Your body is having a difficult time accepting the transition of your core and giving you an infusion of my blood will ensure that it does," Loki explained.
"If you wish for this to work we must exchange blood," Loki slashed his palm without hesitation.
"But isn't this all in my head? How can we actually exchange blood here?"
"I'm a god, Harry, of course I can accomplish something so simple," Loki replied dismissively.
"What will having some of your blood do to me?"
"Nothing, it shouldn't have any effect beyond easing the transition of your core," Loki assured still holding out the knife.
Harry took a deep breath. He was out of his depth in a situation like this. There was nothing for him to fight, no puzzle for him to solve. The only thing he could do was trust that Loki knew what he was doing. Harry reluctantly held out his hand to Loki. He dragged the blade quickly across his skin. It stung a bit but it was easily ignored when Loki pressed their cut palms together. Harry could feel Loki's blood surge through him. It zinged through him, lighting up neurons and energizing every muscle. He could feel his magic reorganizing itself within him. It felt wonderful. He hadn't realized just how damaged he was until he was put back together again.
When the change was finally complete he found himself waking up in the real world. He could still feel the cool power of Loki's magic passing through him as it slowly withdrew from his newly built magical core. There was a strange prickling on his hand that gained his attention. He glanced down and saw a smooth white scar on the palm Loki had cut while the two of them had been inside his mind. It was proof of what Loki had done to him. The Asgardian gently pulled away from Harry. He looked even paler and thinner than he had before. His cuts and bruises seemed to stand out even more. He looked utterly exhausted as he fell back against the cot barely able to stand up.
"Harry? Are you okay?" Tony demanded suddenly in front of him.
"Yeah, I think I am," Harry replied turning to glance at Loki. "Thank you."
"Yeah, thanks," Tony muttered unwillingly.
Loki just nodded, giving Harry a small, smug smirk before his eyes seemed to slide shut of their own accord.
Tony quickly ushered him out of the cell. Those waiting outside greeted him with warm embraces. The entire process seemed to have only taken five minutes even if it had felt much longer to Harry. Everyone was just glad that it seemed to have been successful. Jack quickly checked him over to make sure he was going to be all right.
"So he's going to be okay?" Tony questioned.
"Everything seems to check out. His core is completely stable from what I can tell and any damage to his internal organs has been healed," Jack informed them. "Of course we'll do several check ups to make sure that everything remains stable."
"We'll keep the wannabe ruler of the world here in case anything goes wrong," Fury growled.
"What is this about keeping my brother, Director?" Thor appeared wearing his battle armor, and covered in dirt and sweat.
"Your brother actually just helped fix a problem he created. But to make sure he actually fixed the problem, we'll be keeping him close at hand in the event we need to consult him again," Fury told Thor.
"Perhaps you should tell me what has happened," Thor requested brow furrowed.
Phil, Fury, and Jack quickly filled in the god on just what had happened. Thor's brow furrowed further at the part about the magical transference.
"Magic is not my area of expertise. I trust Loki's knowledge wholeheartedly. If he said that this will heal the son of Tony then I believe him. I would consult more on the matter with my father if you wish? There are none more knowledgeable than he," Thor offered.
"Yeah, that would be great," Tony agreed.
"Very well," Thor nodded and then went to check on Loki.
Pepper, Tony, and Harry said their goodbyes to the SHIELD agents and healer Jack before leaving. They had decided to get out of there to make the most of the rest of his birthday.
"My birthdays just never turn out well," Harry muttered, although he was extraordinarily grateful that he would be living to see another birthday.
Tony chuckled. "I promise next year no aliens, no dying, no gods well maybe Thor. But, honestly that oversized teddy bear barely counts as a god. We'll go to my island and just spend the month there. I'll even have them build a couple of waterslides."
"You don't need to build waterslides for me," Harry insisted.
"Oh, they're not for you. They're for me. I always loved water slides," Tony reminisced.
Harry laughed and threw his arms around Tony who pulled him close. He wanted to enjoy the rest of the day with his dad and Pepper.
"Let's get ice cream," Harry said.
"Lots of ice cream. Big sundaes with fudge and caramel and whip cream," Tony agreed.
"Sounds like a wonderful plan to me," Pepper agreed smiling at the two of them.
Harry smiled at them. He was happy that everything turned out all right, and that he had people who cared so much about him. He would think about the consequences of what Loki had done to him later.
I was going to wait and write in Coulson's return until I had watched more episodes of SHIELD. Because in the very first episode Maria Hill mentions something shady about him 'not knowing' after Coulson explains what happened to him leading me to believe that they are actually hiding something from him about his being stabbed. But because Coulson is a squib in this story I just went with my own ideas on how he survived. I also didn't want to draw out his death when I knew he was going to come back eventually.
The next chapter is Chapter 12 and is titled Don't Touch My Stuff and will be the long awaited confrontation between Tony and Dumbledore.