Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or the Avengers. Unfortunately.
What I'm alive! Yes, I am still writing I just have a very busy life outside of fanfiction, which I'm sure most of us do. Unfortunately when I get busy my motivation to write completely disappears. I'll have more time to write once summer is here. So without further ado here is the next chapter.
Chapter 20: Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Tony stared blankly at the space where Loki had just disappeared. The past two days had been crazy trying to take down Killian and AIM. Pepper had a close call with being injected with Extremis but Tony had gotten to her in time to stop Killian thanks to Black. Pepper wanted him to remove the Arc Reactor, and he had agreed figuring he didn't necessarily need it to power his suits. It would only keep him around longer for Harry and Pepper not to have little pieces of shrapnel around his heart. He scheduled to have it done after the holidays. Pepper had also wanted him to get rid of all of his suits but he had put his foot down. He was convinced now more than ever that he needed the suits to protect his loved ones. Pepper wasn't happy but she relented, understanding that he felt he needed the extra security around to protect Harry. People were going to come after Tony Stark whether he had the suits or not whether it was for him money or his knowledge. They would know he knew how to make the technology, and without the suits he would be a sitting duck.
Tony was doubly glad that he had kept the suits now. He was going to need every last one of them to hunt down the horn-wearing bastard.
"Jarvis, tap into the satellites," Tony growled.
"Already calculating, sir. It will take some time but I will find any matches to the unique signature Loki emitted while teleporting," Jarvis chimed.
"Tony," Pepper cried. "What's going on?"
"Don't worry, I'm going to drag that wannabe god back here by his ridiculous horns. I need to find out exactly what happened to my son," Tony growled.
"Loki said Harry was still safe on Asgard. We should get in touch with Thor to make sure," Black piped in.
"Right, Magical Gatekeeper? If you're there then you just saw Loki take off, after escaping your magical jail cell by pretending to be my son. So I'd really appreciate it if you could send Thor down or if that's not immediately possible then beam me up, Scotty," Tony called.
There was a pause and then Tony was experiencing the now familiar floating sensation of traveling via Rainbow Bridge.
"Mr. Stark," the gold armor wearing, Heimdall greeted.
"Heimdall," Tony nodded.
"The King and Queen have been informed of what has occurred. You are expected in the throne room."
"Thanks," Tony said already turning to head up to the palace.
He needed to see his son, and make sure that he was all right. The Asgardian guards let him pass without any trouble, and when he entered the throne room it was to find the King and Queen of Asgard having a fierce argument.
The Queen stopped when she caught sight of Tony.
"Tony, it's nice to see you," she greeted warmly despite the anger flashing in her eyes.
Odin simply glared at him.
"Hello, your majesties," Tony nodded. "Where's my son?"
"In the dungeons where he will be staying until I get Loki back," Odin informed him imperiously.
"Excuse me?" Tony growled not even caring that he was facing off against one of the most powerful beings in the known universe.
"Your son aided Loki in his escape," Odin glared.
"We do not know this for certain," Frigga argued.
"Loki could never have managed to escape without the boy's cooperation," Odin banged his staff.
"I don't care if he did help him, which I highly doubt by the way. But even if he did it still doesn't mean that you can keep my twelve-year-old son locked up in some magical dungeon!" Tony shouted.
"Careful how you speak to me, mortal," Odin snapped.
"At least now I can see where Loki got his racial bias from," Tony taunted.
"Would you like to join your son in the dungeons?" Odin demanded.
"Yeah, sure, might as well," Tony tossed his hands in the air.
"Odin, stop this!" Frigga hissed.
"Find Loki, bring him back, and I will return your son to you," Odin intoned.
"Why don't you go get your own kid, and just give me mine!?" Tony shouted.
"I'm giving you the chance to keep yourself from becoming a guest in the dungeons," Odin glared.
"I don't care about the dungeons. I'll gladly go to the dungeons if you let Harry out," Tony snapped back.
"I cannot do as you ask. Until I have Loki in my possession, your son is considered a fugitive against Asgard," Odin slammed his staff against the floor and two guards came up to grab hold of each of Tony's arms.
Tony struggled valiantly in their iron grips. But he was only a mortal and in his haste to get to Harry he hadn't thought to grab his suit. However, if his escapades against Killian had taught him anything, it had made him realize that he was capable of getting the job done without his suits. After all his mind was a formidable weapon.
"Okay, okay, wait. I promise I'll find Loki, and bring him back. At least let Harry out of the prison cell or else I will storm Asgard, and I'll show you just how much we mere mortals are capable of," Tony snarled as the guards paused in the midst of dragging him out.
"Consider it done, Mr. Stark," Frigga reassured him.
Tony relaxed marginally. Frigga would do her best to protect Harry. But it didn't mean that Tony liked the idea of just leaving Harry here. Tony would have also preferred to see Harry in person to reassure himself that Loki hadn't harmed him his attempt to escape. Of course Odin denied him this on the grounds that Tony might help Harry escape. Tony certainly would have if he knew anything about the Asgardian prison cells. In the end he was angrier than he could ever remember being in his entire life as eh was escorted from the palace. Tony was seething as he was forcibly sent back down to Earth.
"Tony, what happened? Where's Harry?" Pepper cried.
During Tony's time in Asgard Pepper, Black, and Coulson had gotten in touch with the other Avengers. They were all accounted for except Thor who couldn't have picked a better time to go missing in action.
"Coulson caught us up to speed, Loki's free?" Barton asked stoically.
"Apparently he used some sort of illusion to switch places with Harry, and All-Asshole won't give Harry back until we capture Loki because he thinks Harry helped him," Tony growled.
"What!? He can't do that!" Black cried in outrage.
Bruce nodded his agreement his eyes tingeing with green, and causing everyone to uncomfortably shift around.
"He can, and he did," Tony said darkly.
"At least we know how Loki came by his own sparkling personality," Barton muttered.
"We get Loki, we get Harry back. If we don't I'm going to rip a hole through the universe, and Odin's going to get an uncomfortable wake up call of just why he shouldn't have made an enemy of Tony Stark," Tony swore.
"Where's Thor?" Steve questioned.
"I don't know. He wasn't there in the throne room when I was talking to mommy and daddy," Tony shrugged.
"We could use him in finding Loki but we'll just have to do what we can on our own for now," Steve said determinedly.
"Jarvis, any luck in your scans?" Tony asked.
"A similar signature to the one Loki created while leaving appeared in Europe several seconds after Loki departed. Since then the same signature has been zigzagging all over the Europe," Jarvis explained.
"Looks like we're going to Europe," Tony clapped his hands.
"I'll get in touch with some Auror friends, and tell them to keep an eye out for Loki," Black offered.
"It would be easier if we knew what Loki's goal was," Natasha spoke up frowning.
"Isn't it obvious? It's the same plan as before, take over the world," Barton said.
"Thank you for your incredible insight, Brain," Tony snapped. His whole body was tense, and the longer it took to go after Loki the more anxious he became. He wanted to get his son back.
"You're welcome, Stark," Barton glared back.
"Clint's right, whatever reason Loki came back to Earth for it can't be good for the rest of us," Steve stepped in, always the mediator.
"Unless, it's a trap to distract us, and what he actually needs is in a completely different location," Natasha argued.
"No, Loki knows he won't have a lot of time before we're on his trail. He would have gone straight to whatever he needs the most, and whatever he needs most must be somewhere in Europe but he doesn't know the exact location. That's why he's crisscrossing all over the place," Bruce insisted.
"Okay, either way, let's just get going," Tony urged.
The others agreed, and they all suited up. The Avengers plus Black all climbed abroad the latest Quinjets, and set off for Europe. Jarvis had pinpointed Loki's first arrival just outside of Paris, and so they started there.
Over the next week Tony grew more and more frantic as their search for Loki continued to have no results. SHIELD and the other Avengers helped out as often as they could. Loki was their number 1 priority but there were other problems out there in the world that needed their attention, and as of right now Loki didn't seem to be causing any real harm. He just kept moving around a lot. There was no way Tony was going to stop looking, even to take care of other things. Pepper was running the company, and Tony wasn't about to stop long enough to have surgery to remove his arc reactor. Black was the only one who was as desperate to catch Loki as he was. Black was able to help track Loki with magic a little bit but the God of Magic kept finding ways to hide himself from Black's spells. Loki also seemed incapable of remaining in one place for any length of time making it impossible for them to get their hands on him.
Nearly two weeks after Loki's escape Tony and Black had managed to track Loki to London, and he didn't appear to have left yet, unless it had been on foot or another mode of transportation. Either way Tony and Black quickly made their way to the abandoned warehouses where the signal was originating from. What they found when they got there was a bit of a surprise. Thor had finally decided to make an appearance, and he and Loki were locked in some sort of epic battle. Jane Foster, Thor's kind of girlfriend, some police officers, and a couple other civilians were standing off to the side watching them with a shocked and terrified expression.
Without hesitation Tony, already wearing his latest suit, shot into the fray between the two gods. He'd been waiting for two weeks to get his hands on Loki, and his hands were itching to squeeze the life out of his skinny neck. His surprise attack was a success since he was able to slam into Loki, taking him out.
"Stark, I knew I'd see you again eventually," Loki hissed, flat on his back from Tony's hit. Tony yanked him back to his feet by his collar, and prepared to blast him into the next century.
"I'm sticking to you like glue, Reindeer Games. You'll never get rid of me until I get my son back," Tony snarled back.
"I didn't harm, Harry. Besides he is much safer in Asgard than Earth once it starts," Loki taunted.
"What's starting?" Tony questioned despite himself. It was probably all a trick to distract him so he could get away again.
"The Darkness," Loki replied as he landed a solid blast of green fire to Tony's right side.
The blow sent Tony reeling into a wall, and caused him to lose his grip on the god.
"Bombarda!" Black shouted and an invisible force slammed itself into Loki, which had the god flying in the opposite direction.
Tony grinned as he extracted himself from the wall. Black had his back.
Black and Tony converged on the spot where they had seen Loki fall. Only to find the god wasn't there. A piercing scream had them turning to see Loki grabbing hold of Jane.
"Jane!" Thor cried rushing towards them with his hammer raised and a murderous expression on his face.
Tony was terrified that Loki was about to teleport away again, and he would have to go back to his fruitless searching again. But suddenly a powerful burst of red energy shot outward from Jane. It sent all of them flying backwards. Loki especially went soaring backwards through the air being the closest to the source of the blast. Thor was the first to climb back on his feet, rushing to Jane's side. She seemed close to fainting. Tony was up next. He checked on Black whose pride was more bruised then anything else. Loki was unconscious from the force of whatever energy Jane had just expelled. Hoping that it would be all right to leave him alone for the time being Tony made his way over to Thor and Jane.
"What was that?" Tony asked flipping up his faceplate.
"I do not know. I must get her back to Asgard as soon as possible. Something is very wrong. A mortal should not be capable of such a strong blast of energy," Thor worried as he supported Jane whose head was lolling in a disturbing manner.
"Right, and maybe while you're there you could tell your dad to give me back my kid? I mean where have you been, Thor? Loki escapes from prison and your All-Pops refuses to let Harry go unless I get your crazy brother back to him. I needed your help," Tony cried.
"I apologize, Tony, my friend. War had broken out in several of the realms, and I needed to stabilize them or else all out war could have spread throughout the realms leaking over into Midgard. I only just received news of what had occurred with Loki. Before I could speak to my father about it, Heimdall informed me that Jane was in danger, and that Loki was close by. I made the choice to come after them first," Thor apologized.
"Okay, fine, whatever. I understand. I'll grab Loki, and we can all head up to Asgard to get everything sorted out," Tony sighed.
Tony went to grab Loki but was enraged when his hand went straight through the illusion.
"No!" Tony shouted.
"He can't have gotten far, Stark," Black tried to calm him down.
"I must get Jane to Asgard. I will speak to my father about Harry's release, and then I will return as soon as I am able to," Thor assured them, hesitant to leave.
"Just go," Tony sighed, beyond frustrated with the way things were turning out.
Thor nodded, and called for Heimdall. Tony watched as Thor and Jane disappeared feeling slightly helpless. It had been two weeks since he'd last seen his son, and as of right now he was no closer to getting him back. Tony tried to shake off this sudden melancholy. He was Tony Stark. He was just crazy enough to get anything he put his mind to done. Feeling sorry for himself wasn't going to solve anything. Depression was completely not his style.
"Stark! Over here!" Black called.
Tony turned to see Black waving at him from inside the building. Tony made his way over him, and stepped inside the old warehouse.
"Is that a floating truck?" Tony frowned.
"Yup," Black nodded.
"Huh, Jarvis scan the area," Tony commanded as he moved through the area.
"There's some interference, sir, but it seems to be some sort of atmospheric anomaly. The energy saturating this particular area is not native to this planet," Jarvis answered.
"Is it some sort of portal?" Tony pondered.
"It couldn't have been here that long, wizards would have discovered it with all the foreign energy its giving off," Black commented. "Could Loki have caused this? Maybe he was trying to get back to one of the other realms?"
"I don't know. Jarvis wasn't there some sort of planetary conversion supposed to be happening sometime soon?" Tony questioned, trying to remember where he'd heard that before.
"I'm not sure, sir. I will check," Jarvis responded.
Black and Tony both whirled around when they heard a clatter. They instantly turn around to see Loki trying to right himself. The god was a little dinged up but not too bad. He was still dangerous. Black and Tony carefully blocked his exits. Although, considering he could teleport it wasn't going to really stop him.
"I didn't do this," Loki waved his hand towards the truck.
"Loki," Tony hissed aiming the repulsor beam in his direction.
Black likewise raised his wand towards Loki.
Loki lifted his hands in surrender. "I mean no harm. The force inside of the mortal woman has temporarily halted my abilities."
"Right, like we're going to believe that," Tony frowned.
"You will listen to me if want you Harry safe," Loki replied superciliously.
"Is that a threat?" Black growled.
"No, a fact. Asgard was the safest place from the coming events. However, Thor bringing the mortal woman there has made it a direct target. She has absorbed something very dangerous, something that has been lost for a very long time. I came here to find it. It is something very powerful and it can be used to spread darkness to the entire universe," Loki explained.
"Seems a little melodramatic for my tastes," Tony muttered.
"It's called the Aether, and it was a powerful weapon used by the dark elves. Bor, Odin's father defeated the dark elves and sealed the Aether away in a forgotten place. Some of the dark elves escaped and now with the upcoming convergence between the realms they are stirring. They are coming to collect the Aether and they will use it, and the convergence to spread darkness to all the realms. I sensed the Aether as the lining between the realms has started to thin over the last fortnight, and have been trying to locate the correct path that would take me to it. I came to collect it—"
"To use it," Tony muttered.
"To collect it," Loki spoke over him. "To keep it from the hands of the dark elves. However, Jane seems to have absorbed the Aether into herself. Something that will undoubtedly kill her weak mortal form if it is not removed. But Thor should not have taken her to Asgard. The dark elves will now head straight to Asgard to try and to gain control of the Aether. Asgard will soon be under attack, and Harry will be right in the middle of it."
"I have no idea if all of this elf talk is true but in the event that it is what's your plan?" Tony asked.
"I need to get to Asgard, and get the Aether far away from it," Loki answered.
"Oh, no. I'm not just going to let you go off on your merry way and trust you to do the right thing after all of the trouble you've caused," Tony shook his head.
"The pathways, I must take to get back to Asgard are too dangerous for mortals," Loki insisted.
"That's fine because I'll just call Heimdall right now and we can all just go back via the Bifrost," Tony argued.
"If you bring me back that way, Odin will just lock me up in the dungeons," Loki argued.
"Good, right where you belong," Tony nodded.
"Without me, Asgard will be destroyed," Loki glared.
"And that's my problem because?" Tony questioned. "I'll have my son back by then."
"You idiot. If Asgard falls who do you think will be next?" Loki glared.
"I think we Earthlings have proved that we are more than capable of taking care of ourselves," Tony argued.
"You won't be able to fight the type of darkness that the dark elves are going to spread," Loki argued.
"Okay, then enlighten me. Tell me what I should do," Tony said sarcastically.
"Let me get back to Asgard on my own. I will take the Aether far away from Asgard—"
"No way, Rock of Ages, you'll take this Aether thing and I'll never see you again, and then I'll never get Harry back. You're coming back with me to Asgard," Tony glared.
"Very well, Stark, if you insist," Loki snarled back. "But you are making a huge mistake."
"Scotty, we've got Loki," Tony called.
"I tried to play nice, Stark, and it seems like enough time has passed for my abilities to return," was the only warning Tony got before Loki disappeared once more.
Tony cried out in rage but it was far too late.
Harry spent two, awful days in Loki's cell. Frigga came to visit him all of the time and made sure he was well taken care of. She informed him that Tony had known almost immediately that Loki wasn't him. Tony had called to Heimdall who in turn told Odin and Frigga. His dad had apparently even stormed Asgard demanding that Odin let Harry go. Odin had refused obviously, but he offered Tony a deal to recapture Loki and Odin would let Harry go. Frigga was very, very angry with Odin over the whole situation, and Harry was pretty sure that Odin had been sentenced to the Asgardian equivalent of the doghouse for the foreseeable future.
Tony's swift actions made it so that Harry had only been in the Loki's cell for barely an hour before Odin came storming down to confront him about what had happened. Harry had related the events, and Odin had seemed to accept that Harry hadn't willingly participated in his escape. But he still blamed Harry for what happened, and so he was going to make Harry stay in Loki's cell until Tony managed to get Loki back. However, Frigga held quite a bit of power in Asgard, and she was able to get Harry out in two days. But that didn't mean that Harry was just free to leave. Oh no, Harry was confined to his room, which in the long run made his imprisonment not all that different than being in the cell. Harry wasn't allowed to leave his room. Frigga continued to come to his room during all of her free time, and she continued to be supportive to him.
As the following weeks passed, and there was no word from, Harry began to get a little worried. How long was he going to be stuck in Asgard? He really liked Frigga, and Asgard was beautiful but Harry wanted to go home. He missed his dad, Pepper, Sirius, and all of the Avengers. He missed Hermione and Ron. He missed the tower, and the Malibu mansion even if it had already been destroyed. Harry was getting restless, and he was beginning to contemplate escape. Loki had told him about the pathways between the worlds, and Harry was beginning to get desperate enough to try them. They may be dangerous but how long would Odin be willing to wait for Tony to bring Loki back? Harry had faith that his father would do his best to get Loki back but Harry was also aware of just how cunning Loki could be. It could be a while yet before Tony managed to get him back. Harry had already been here several months, and Harry didn't want to sit around here much longer.
His chance to escape came along when Thor returned with his mortal girlfriend Jane. Harry didn't have the chance to see them for himself but Frigga told Harry about Thor's encounter with both Loki and Tony. Thor hadn't been able to stay for too long because Jane was apparently very sick. She was carrying an ancient weapon inside her that Loki had been trying to get his hands on. If the weapon wasn't removed soon it was very possible that Jane could die.
There was another important fact about the Aether. It had once been used by enemies of the Asgardians, the dark elves. Everyone was concerned that they weren't completely destroyed, and soon they would start coming after the Aether. Frigga seemed worried, and secretly gave Harry a key to unlock the door to his room in the event of an emergency.
Harry waited patiently for his chance to use that key, and it came surprisingly quickly. When he heard the sounds of gunfire, and shouts Harry knew that it was time to get out of there. Asgard was under attack. It would be easy to slip away from Asgard in all of the chaos, if he was careful of course. It was very possible that he might get caught in the crosshairs of the battle.
Harry exited his room carefully. No one else seemed to be around this particular section of the palace. Harry's room was located in the royal wing of the palace. He would have to make his way through several open sections if he wanted to make it away from the city, and to the closest stable portal. Harry wished he had access to his trunk, and to his invisibility cloak. But Odin had taken away all of his things. Harry could only hope that Hedwig was somewhere safe in all of this craziness.
Harry kept a close eye out for anyone who might sneak up on him whether they were dark elves or Asgardian soldiers it wouldn't be good for him. He felt a little bit like a ninja as he crept around corners, and ducked under windows. From the glimpses he got from the windows it was pure chaos outside. There were all sorts of flying crafts and the Asgardians were doing their best to fight them off. But by the shudders affecting the castle they weren't entirely successful.
Harry eventually made his way to the first somewhat exposed area. It was an open terrace with a domed roof over the top with a clear 360-degree view of Asgard. He paused before he attempted to cross the area to make sure that there wasn't anyone there. Harry was glad he did because in the next moment what Harry could only guess was a dark elf appeared. Jane and Frigga both stepped into sight as well. The dark elf demanded that Jane be handed over to him. In answer Frigga pulled out a dagger to fight him. Harry could only watch in awe as Frigga stood up to him without a hint of fear, and easily held her own against him. It was all happening so quickly that Harry didn't have time to decide if he should step in to help her. A second dark elf appeared this one was massive and monstrous in appearance it grabbed hold of Frigga at the orders of the first elf who Harry suspected to be Malekith so that he could go after Jane. Harry didn't think. His magic reacted without conscious thought and lashed out at the creature holding a sword to Frigga's back, sending it stumbling back a few steps.
The blast of power left Harry exhausted but it had only managed to momentarily break its hold on Frigga. However, it was enough for the Queen of Asgard to get away, and move to a safer location away from Malekith and the large dark elf. Malekith ignored Frigga and made a grab for Jane only for Jane to turn out to be an illusion. Malekith ordered the larger dark elf to go after Frigga again but Thor arrived in a burst of lightning, blasting the dark elf in the face. The damaged Malekith and the other dark elf wisely made their escape. Thor and Jane instantly made their way to Frigga to ensure that she was all right. Harry wanted to make sure that she was all right himself but he knew that now would be the perfect time for him to slip away without anyone even realizing that he had escaped.
Harry turned to leave.
"Harry," to his shock it was Odin that had called his name.
Harry reluctantly stopped and turned back to face the Allfather. Odin had joined Thor, Jane, and Frigga while Harry's back was turned.
"Thank you," Odin said, his blue eyes were full of sincerity.
"I didn't really do anything," Harry shrugged.
"The Kursed would have surely killed me had you not intervened," Frigga argued, proving that she had known Harry was there all along.
"I didn't want you to get hurt," Harry said.
"I owe you my sincerest gratitude, and I apologize for the way that I have treated you," Odin continued.
Harry remained silent. After all what was he supposed to tell him? That he forgave him? Because at the moment Harry didn't, and he was afraid if he told him so that it might cause him to go back to hating him. Harry might not forgive him but that didn't mean he wanted Odin to hate him again. Odin's hate was kind of a scary thing.
Luckily Thor butted in. "Father we must go after them. Take the fight to them and away from Asgard while we are vulnerable."
"No, Thor, we must secure Asgard first. No one leaves without my permission," Odin commanded as swept from the room.
"But Malekith is the only who can possibly remove the Aether from Jane and spare her life," Thor cried.
"Thor, just be patient, we must take a note of the injured, and the fallen," Frigga assured, she patted Thor on the cheek and kissed Harry on the forehead before she took off after Odin.
"We must find a way to go after Malekith," Thor frowned, glancing worriedly at Jane.
"I might know a way," Harry offered.
Thor looked to him in surprise. "Truly?"
"Loki told me about some of the secret pathways to the other realms. So it depends on which realm you need to get to," Harry shrugged.
"We must get to Svartalfheim," Thor explained.
Harry thought about it. There was a portal directly to Svartalfheim close by. It would be difficult to get access to but it was one of the more reliable ones that Loki had told him about.
"I think I might know a way. But we'll need one of those flying boat things," Harry explained.
Thor grinned. "That can be arranged."
They waited until the next morning to enact their plan once Thor had gotten the chance to speak to his friends, and gotten their help with their escape plan. Harry was fairly certain that Frigga had an idea of what they were up to but she did nothing to stop them, in fact she helped by keeping Odin distracted. The next morning they enacted their plan. Several fights and a wild ride later Thor, Jane, and Harry made it into Svartalheim. The dark elves' ship was sitting in a valley with the dark elves themselves making their way towards their ship.
"Harry, Jane, remain here. I will approach them," Thor informed them.
"Are you sure that's the best idea? Harry worried.
There were quite a few dark elves down there including the large one who almost stabbed Frigga.
"We have no other option. They are the only ones who can remove the Aether from Jane, and while Malekith is vulnerable in drawing out the Aether I will strike him with Mjolnir destroying them both," Thor explained.
"Tell him you're giving Jane to him in order to save Asgard," Harry suggested.
"He'll be suspicious," Jane nodded her agreement.
"He'll be suspicious no matter what but hopefully he'll want the Aether too much to do anything else," Harry shrugged.
They honestly didn't have a lot of options in this situation. They had to get the Aether out of Jane or she would die, and the only one who could that was Malekith. Thor had to approach Malekith even if it was a suicide mission.
With that Thor went down to confront Malekith. Understandably it didn't go well. Thor's strong suit wasn't exactly smooth talking. For the first time since his betrayal Harry actually wished that Loki was here. He would have known how to handle this situation. The dark elves ended up dragging Jane and Harry out by force by threatening to shoot Thor. Harry had caught a glimpse of just what those things could do, and it wasn't pretty. It was like watching someone getting sucked into a mini black hole, and that was definitely not a fate that Harry wanted Thor to suffer. As soon as Jane was within his grasp Malekith wasted no time in pulling the Aether from her. Jane collapsed back to the ground but she was still breathing so that was certainly a plus.
Thor instantly went on the offensive and sent Mjolnir flinging at Malekith. Harry employed some of his skills learned from Frigga and Loki. He still hadn't gotten his new wand yet but he had reasonable control over his new magic. He sent blasting curses at the dark elves closest to him to give himself some space to think about his next move. The dark elves were a lot faster and stronger than himself. If it came down to a physical fight Harry would definitely lose. Thor loosed a cry of rage when Malekith started making his escape. But the Kursed dark elf stayed behind to keep Thor from going after him. The Kursed dark elf was powerful enough to require Thor's full attention, which meant that Harry was left with the couple of remaining dark elves to fend off for himself. Harry knew for certain that there was no way he would be able to hold them off for very long.
A cutting curse to the arm of one of the dark elves evened the odds a bit more. It still wasn't much help in the long run. The remaining dark elves were just playing with Harry now. Eventually one succeeded in knocking him to the ground while another lifted a staff to impale Harry. Harry glared up the dark elf defiantly, trying not to show just how terrified he was.
Out of nowhere the dark elves were sent flying. Taking their place was Loki's grinning visage.
"You," Harry glared up at Loki.
"Are you all right, Harry?" Loki asked, concern etched into his features. But Harry couldn't trust that concern any longer. Not after what had happened between them.
"I'm fine," Harry snapped as he climbed to his feet, ignoring the hand Loki offered him. "Of course I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for you."
"Yes, things didn't quite go as planned," Loki murmured. "Wait here, I'll take care of the rest."
Harry watched as Loki moved confidently to engage the dark elves in battle. Thor was still locked in a fight with the Kursed. Harry went after Jane. She had woken up but looked slightly confused about where she was. Harry helped her move to a safer location in a cave just a small distance away. She soon discovered via a call to her mobile that there was a portal to Earth somewhere in the tunnel. Harry left her to figure it out, and went back to check on how Thor and Loki were holding up in the fight. Thor was struggling with the Kursed, and to Harry's surprise Loki went to help. Together the two of them were able to dispatch the Kursed but not before Loki was stabbed through the chest. Harry rushed to Thor and Loki's side.
"I apologize… to both of you," Loki choked out. His skin slowly lost all of its color, and his green eyes caught Harry's.
"Loki, brother," Thor cried, holding Loki tightly.
"It's all right," Loki assured.
"I will tell everyone of your noble sacrifice," Thor swore.
Loki only gave the barest of nods before his eyes closed, and he slumped to the ground. Thor gently laid him on the ground, and brushed a bit of dirt from Loki's forehead. Thor turned to Harry and embraced him. Harry awkwardly returned the hug still too shocked to really comprehend that Loki was dead.
"I am sorry, nephew, but we must get to Midgard, and stop Malekith," Thor released Harry.
"Of course," Harry nodded, his eyes kept flicking back to Loki's utterly still body.
"Where is Jane?" Thor asked gently.
"She's in the cave over there. I think she's going to be okay," Harry shrugged.
"Good, let's go find her and together the three of us will make our way back to Midgard," Thor started making his way towards the caves.
But Harry didn't follow him.
"Harry?" Thor glanced back at him, frowning.
"I'm going to stay with him," Harry looked back at Loki's body, something about this wasn't quite adding up in Harry's mind.
"Harry, I cannot leave you here unprotected," Thor argued.
"I'll be fine, all of the dark elves are on Earth now, and I can't just leave Loki's body here. What if something happens to him?" Harry demanded.
"Harry, my brother is gone. There isn't anything you can do for him," Thor told him gently.
"I know but he still doesn't deserve to just be left here," Harry argued.
Thor still hesitated.
"Go Thor, you need to save the universe. I'll be fine," Harry insisted.
Thor sighed, "I will come back once I have defeated Malekith."
Harry waited patiently until Thor had disappeared into the cave with Jane.
"I know you're not dead," Harry stated dryly.
Loki didn't so much as twitch. Harry took a deep breath. He knew he was right. Loki constantly wore a powerful illusion to hide his Jotun features, and protect others from the effects of his freezing skin. Harry thought he knew enough about illusions now to know that if Loki were to actually die he would revert back to his Jotun form without his constant stream of magic to power it anymore.
Harry sighed, and knelt down to poke Loki. Again there was no reaction. Harry had the slight panic that maybe Loki was really dead, and he was just in denial. He may have betrayed Harry but it didn't mean that Harry wanted him dead. The thought of him of really being dead was surprisingly crushing. Harry thought of something else that would get Loki to stop playing dead.
"All right you've left me with no choice. I'm going to tickle you," Harry announced.
Instead of going for the more easily accessible armpits, Harry moved around to his feet. He pulled off both of his boots. He transfigured a nearby rock into a feather, and mercilessly started to tickle his feet. It wasn't long before Loki started to twitch despite his obvious efforts not to. Finally Harry's efforts paid off, and Loki lunged upward.
"You insufferable child," Loki glared at him.
Harry grinned, and tickled Loki again for good measure. Loki yanked his feet away, glaring at him.
"Please, tickling you is the least I could have done after what you did to me," Harry snapped back.
"Be glad that I came back at all," Loki sniffed, pulling on his boots.
"You don't get to act all defensive here. You were the one who used me to break out of prison," Harry pointed out.
"It was for a good reason," Loki replied.
"And what reason would that be?" Harry asked.
"I went to collect the Aether. I briefly sensed its power while I was on Midgard last, and I thought that I would be able to collect. However, I did not imagine that Thor's Midgardian woman would unwittingly stumble upon it, ruining all of my plans," Loki huffed.
"Right, and why did you want the Aether again?"
Loki just glared.
"Perhaps world domination?" Harry suggested.
"You could not understand what I am attempting to achieve," Loki said.
"Maybe not, but if it was anything like what happened with the Chitauri it wouldn't have ended well," Harry said.
"What could you possibly know? You are a child, a mortal child. You know nothing of what I have been through. I deserve to be a king," Loki spat.
"Okay, what would you do once you were king?" Harry asked curious. "Would you make the lives of your people better or worse?"
"You're questioning my ruling abilities? I have been raised to rule Asgard since I was child, right alongside Thor," Loki declared.
"Oh, so that's why you're so upset. You thought you had a chance to be a king, and Odin took it away by naming Thor his successor," Harry mused.
Loki glared. "Insolent child, do not presume to know me or my motivations."
"It must get lonely pushing everyone away. You feel like you have to because you don't believe in yourself anymore. Instead of just being a mischief-maker you think you have to be the monster. But you don't, Loki," Harry tried to reassure him.
"This conversation is pointless. I have better things I could be doing. I need to leave," Loki announced.
"I'm coming with you," Harry replied.
"Absolutely not," Loki growled.
"I'm not letting you get away," Harry glared at him.
"You don't have a choice," Loki smirked.
Before Loki could implement whatever escape plan he had Harry launched himself at Loki. Loki wasn't expecting the sudden attack, and his balance was thrown. The two of them went tumbling down a hill and through a portal. They ended up in another realm. Loki was hissing like a cat that had been dunked in water. He tried to shake Harry loose but Harry refused to let go. Of course if Loki really tried he could have yanked him off with his greater strength and powers. But Loki seemed unwilling to hurt him by forcefully yanking him off.
"Let go you wretched child," Loki snarled.
"No," Harry growled back. "You're coming back to Earth and turning yourself in."
"I will not," Loki growled.
"Where else are you going to go?" Harry asked.
"I had a plan," Loki hissed.
"We're making a new one," Harry announced.
"You want me to return to Midgard and become the prisoner of mortals when I could have my freedom?" Loki demanded.
"You're always going to be hunted no matter where you go. If you turn yourself in to SHIELD you could come to some sort of agreement with them. I bet they would make a deal with you for some of the information you have on the worlds beyond Asgard. You wouldn't have to run all the time," Harry explained.
Loki looked thoughtful for a moment. But then he frowned and opened his mouth to give what was probably a very scathing retort only to be interrupted by a growl.
Loki turned allowing them both a both of the giant behind them. He was about fifteen feet tall with a bunch of different horns, and a large spiked club in his hand.
"Asgardian," the creature hissed.
Loki opened his mouth to correct him but the creature didn't give the chance. He swung the club at Loki. Loki barely had enough time to spin out of the way. One of his arms came up to instinctively clutch at Harry's back while the other snapped out and fired off green fire right into the face of the giant. Harry wiggled to separate himself from Loki so that he could help fight the creature. Now that Harry wanted to let go it seemed that Loki didn't want to release him.
"Put me down!" Harry cried struggling to get free.
"You're safer right where you are," Loki announced as he dodged another swing. Dirt and grass flew all over them as the club slammed into the ground right beside them.
Several of Loki's copies suddenly popped into existence. It was enough to confuse the giant, and for Harry and Loki to slip away.
"Thank you for protecting me," Harry muttered as Loki finally released him.
"Yes, well, you are technically of my blood, and I couldn't exactly allow such a creature to kill you," Loki answered, looking highly uncomfortable.
"Oh," Harry nodded.
"There is a portal to Midgard this way," Loki announced.
He started walking, glancing back at Harry to indicate he should follow. Confused by the sudden change, Harry jogged to catch up.
Harry didn't know how long they traveled for. Both Harry and Loki were silent as they walked. Harry was thinking over why Loki had decided to stick with him, and Harry could only guess what Loki was thinking about. As they walked through the beautiful otherworldly realm Harry realized that all he wanted was to go home. He wanted to see his dad. Why should he care if Loki came back to Midgard? It wasn't his job to make sure Loki served justice. Besides Loki had saved his life twice. If he wanted to go Harry wouldn't try to pester him to change him mind.
"I will return you to your father, and then we will part ways," Loki eventually spoke up.
"Where are you going to go?" Harry questioned in concern once more.
"I don't know yet, and before you get any ideas don't think for a second that you are capable of convincing me to return with you to Midgard. I have better things to do," Loki replied stiffly.
"Right, world domination," Harry rolled his eyes.
"My plans are far too complicated for a mind as tiny as yours to comprehend," Loki sniffed.
"If my presence offends you so much why don't you just leave then?" Harry glared.
"Were you not just the one clinging to me?" Loki quirked an eyebrow at him in amusement.
"That was before," Harry answered.
"Before what?" Loki demanded.
"Before I decided I shouldn't care what you do anymore," Harry announced.
"Any why have you come to this conclusion?"
"Because I realized that I don't have the right to tell you what to do," Harry explained.
Loki looked surprised. "And suddenly you have proven yourself to be more mature than Thor."
Harry laughed. "Thanks."
"Although almost everyone is more mature than Thor. And I suppose you do have the excuse of only being twelve," Loki offered.
The rest of their trip to the portal was done in companionable silence. Once they actually reached the portal they were both awkward once more.
"I hope you accomplish whatever you want to do," Harry said awkwardly.
"Even if it is your so-called 'world domination'?" Loki smirked.
Harry shrugged and smiled back. "I guess."
Loki laughed. "I hope you have a safe trip back to your father."
"Thanks," Harry nodded, wondering if they should shake hands or something now that they were semi on good terms again.
"Tell you father and the other Avengers I hate them, and that they hold no chance of finding me unless I wish it," Loki boasted.
"I will. So I suppose this is goodbye then?" Harry asked.
Loki glanced away, and heaved a put upon sigh. "I suppose I can come visit from time to time. Keep your father and the other Avengers on their toes."
"Yes!" Harry agreed quickly with a grin.
Loki smiled at him. "Very well, I will see you soon then."
"I'll hold you to it," Harry nodded.
Loki patted him awkwardly on the shoulder. "Goodbye, Harry."
"Bye, Loki," Harry waved before stepping through the portal.
The ride through the portal was only slightly better than a portkey. It spat him out somewhere in a pasture with goats. Fortunately there was a nice farmer nearby who let him use his phone to call his dad.
"Harry!?" his dad sounded out of breath.
"It's me," Harry confirmed.
"Thank god," Tony Stark sighed in obvious relief.
Harry gave him the address of where he was from the farmer. He was apparently in Ireland. His dad promised that he was on his way. Tony was actually in England. He and Sirius had been helping Thor battle the dark elves. They'd won of course, and were just helping up with some of the clean up when Harry had called him. In the suit his dad should be there in no time at all.
The farmer whose name was Jim. He made Harry something to eat, and the two of them sat on his front porch while they waited for his dad to come pick him up. Jim didn't even bat an eye when the slightly beat up form of Iron Man dropped down on his front lawn.
Harry on the other got up and sprinted as fast as he could into his dad's waiting arms. Tony squeezed him back. They held on to each other for a long time before Tony reluctantly dropped him back to his feet. But Tony didn't let him go too far. He kept his hands on Harry's shoulders and just stared at Harry, checking him over for injuries.
"Kiddo, you are a sight for sore eyes," Tony grinned once he realized Harry was all in one piece.
"You too, dad," Harry agreed, flashing an identical grin back.
"I was ready to storm Asgard with an army of robots? In fact I already came up with a design for one while simultaneously panicking over your capture," Tony explained.
"They didn't keep me in the dungeons. Frigga wouldn't let Odin," Harry assured him.
"Right, she seems like she's even scarier than Pepper. Oh, Pepper. Sh-ugar. I forgot to call her and tell you're okay. She's going to kill me," Tony quickly made the call.
Of course Pepper insisted on talking to Harry, and he had to reassure her multiple times that he was all right. Once that was done Jim invited Tony in for some supper too, and Harry told Tony all about what had happened to him since Harry had been sent to Asgard.
"Wait, Loki saved you?" Tony frowned.
"Yup, twice," Harry nodded.
"Damn," Tony hissed.
"Thanks," Harry glared.
"Oh, Merlin, you know I don't mean it like that. Its just now I owe that horned jerk," Tony pouted.
"Well, he did throw you out a window so I think that means now you're sort of even," Harry offered.
Tony perked up. "Yeah, right, okay."
"He did say he might try to visit me," Harry informed him casually.
An evil grin spilt Tony's face. "Do you know what that means?"
"Do I want to know?" Harry asked warily, wondering how he'd ended up with two insane parents.
"We're going to booby trap the tower. Black knows quite a few magically pranks and with my sheer genius we'll definitely find a way to pull one over on old Rock of Ages," Tony laughed.
Harry sighed. "Great."
"Yes, it will be," Tony continued to rub his hands together like some corny movie villain.
Harry decided he was just going to have to accept the chaos that was about to begin. At least they would finally be going back to the tower. He'd missed the other Avengers.
"Also you're not going back to Asgard ever again. Or at least not until Thor is king. Frigga can come visit you on Earth. I'll even make her a special guest suite," Tony informed him.
"Agreed," Harry nodded. Odin had sort of forgiven him. But Harry decided he preferred to stay more local.
"We'll send you to that school Agent mentioned," Tony said.
"Salem Academy," Harry wondered how the school differed from Hogwarts. Maybe he'd ask Hermione. She would probably know.
His dad and he stayed with Jim the goat farmer until SHIELD sent a jet to pick them up. The two of them made a bed on the floor in the back while Natasha piloted them home. Harry fell asleep half way across the ocean, safe in his dad's arms.
Thank you everyone for all the continued support of the story. Just three chapters left plus an epilogue but I'm afraid you shouldn't expect another update until the summer.
For those who might be interested Tsume Yuki has picked up one of my prompts about Regulus Black being reincarnated as Harry Potter. It's only one chapter so far but its really amazing, and I can't wait to see where it goes.
I have a couple of other prompts up as well as half finished stories that can be adopted as well.
Again thank you and until next time!