Disclaimer: No rights to Harry Potter or Iron Man, I own.
The much anticipated apology. Hopefully all of Amy's avenging angels are satisfied with her wrath. (; All of Tony's supporters – get out your tissues, favorite popcorn, chips (/crisps) or whatever you prefer when watching a movie! Enjoy!
PS: This is about 4,000 words worth of an apology. Just FYI...
Pepper had been the one to tell her where and when Tony returned from Afghanistan, although she didn't expressively issued an invitation to join them. But Amy couldn't help herself so she sneaked a peek on him.
Really, Tony had her worried out of her mind. How injured was he? Where had he been hit? With what? Did the kidnappers torture him? Would he be fine?
She thought so.
Stubbornness - which, admittedly, Tony Stark possessed in abundance - provided a good basis for resilience. Although sometimes the healing process could be hindered by that same trait if you solely relied on yourself, bottling everything up, she knew from personal experience. After this whole ordeal, Tony's trust issues would only increase, or so Amy thought.
Either way, the witch had watched him greet his friends, almost absentmindedly, while his eyes clearly searched for her.
Then their gazes locked onto each other, exchanging a ton of information without a single spoken word.
Information that caused her to allow herself lenience when it came to nick naming him in her head. Otherwise she most likely would call him 'Stark' again.
In those hazel eyes lingered longing, shame, slight fear, relief, determination - and something soft, warm, beautiful.
Something the witch refused to name in case she had simply imagined it.
So instead of staying, celebrating or throwing herself into his arms like women in really cheesy movies tended to do, Amy returned to work.
Jonathan had been in a coma until last week, so there was someone who needed her more than Tony at the moment. Pepper would take care of everything concerning her (ex-)boyfriend's health while the little abused boy didn't have anyone who really cared but Amy and a few very busy nurses.
She slipped into Jonathan's room, her shift having ended twenty minutes ago. Even though the witch really wanted to sleep or eat or punch something, she always visited the small squib if she had no other, more pressing obligations. (For example, Voldemort's second resurrection counted as something more pressing, in her books.)
Jonathan seemed to be awake as he surveyed her. They had built a small measure of trust, very tentative, between them over the time he had been conscious.
"Hello, Dr. Amy," the child greeted her.
Amy smiled kindly at him. "Hello to you too. How has your day been?"
"Nurse Nina gave me a coloring book. I drew something for you," Jonathan told her, a small, happy shimmer entering his shockingly blue eyes.
He scrambled off the bed, cautiously chancing a look at her, before handing her a page depicting a stick-figure with red shoes and green dots as eyes holding the stick-hand of a smaller figure who was Jonathan. They were both waving at her from the page.
The Healer smiled. "Thank you. This is beautiful. I'll put it on my locker, alright?"
"May I give you a hug?" the small child asked timidly, blushing and averting his gaze.
Therefore the witch couldn't refuse. Even if she had wanted to.
Hugs were a rare currency for abused children.
Amy held him gently, ruffling his short hair affectionately. Jonathan reminded her of a timid, insecure version of Teddy.
"You looked like you needed a hug, Dr. Amy," the boy explained earnestly to her unasked question.
She hugged him again, not letting him go quite yet. "Thank you."
"Was Dr. Johnston a meanie to you again?"
Choking on her laughter, Amy replied: "No, he is busy somewhere else. Did you listen to the nurses gossip?"
Jonathan guiltily looked at the floor.
"It's alright. I would have probably done the same thing, Squirt," the Healer assured him, amusement leaking into her voice.
The child perked up again. "When you said talking about the nasty dreams would make them go away..."
She ruffled his hair again. "Yes. Well, my boyfriend? It's complicated. Either way, some mean guys captured him and I couldn't do anything about it but he came home today."
Jonathan blinked innocently up at her, scrunching up his nose in thought. "But you had to work?"
She smiled sadly. "Yes, that is part of the reason why I couldn't come to see him."
"And the other part?" the persistent child asked.
"We were attacked by Death Eaters. He is a Muggle, so he was quite shocked when he discovered magic is real. Then he said something very mean, left and... kissed someone else which hurt me a lot."
The child smiled at her, not quite understanding the issue. "But you are going to forgive him, aren't you? You said he is your boyfriend, so you must love him. Don't you?"
Amy sighed. Sometimes she wished she could return to thinking like a child. "Yes, I have forgiven him a long time ago. It's just hard to trust him again now." (Surprisingly, it was the truth.)
At that Jonathan nodded seriously, before brightening up again. He suggested with a wrinkled nose: "If you want you can be my girlfriend to make him jealous, Dr. Amy."
Laughing the witch ruffled his hair again.
Then she listened as he told her all about his day, learning new 'muggle stuff' and praising his precise as possible coloring in his new book. When Jonathan left the hospital in a few days, Amy would miss their little talks.
Although she'd be damned if she wouldn't keep in contact with the small child that she had come to care greatly for.
After her visit with Jonathan, Amy changed into a pair of black track shorts and a red tank-top. She planned to go to her boxing lessons today, regardless of the possible attendance of Johnston at her gym.
The git had gotten through all the willing nurses and set his eyes on her, the only female doctor, now. Especially after her relationship with Tony Stark became public knowledge and also, just as publicly, seemed to have ended.
Apparently his, Johnston's, flirt-methods included borderline-stalking.
Shivering at that particular thought, Amy signed out.
Nina held her back, pointing meaningfully at the TV screen in the marble foyer of the hospital. She upped the volume for the Healer. "...Tony Stark has announced the immediate shut-down of Stark Industries' weapons section this morning. As of yet it is unknown what he plans for the company's future. Stocks of the company have begun to drop drastically. ..."
Nina muted the TV again, despite the ongoing report. A slow, proud smile stretched on Amy's face.
After his bloody abduction, there really had been only two major reactions to weapons manufacturing left for Tony to choose. One: submerge himself completely in revenge, inventing even more destructive, deadly weapons for the military. Two: abandon the business fully in favor of his company's other pursuits.
At least Amy thought so, after observing him for over three months on an almost daily basis.
Nina hugged her. "I'm happy he's home again, honey, but please slap him a good one for sleeping with that Vanity Fair chit," the elder nurse pleaded teasingly with enough seriousness to indicate her true intent.
The Healer smiled. "No promises. Keep an eye out for Jonathan, would you?"
However she felt about that promise, Nina nodded nonetheless. "He grew on you too," the nurse observed warmly.
Amy smiled. "Yeah. I've been talking to him for an hour and a half today. Said I should kiss and make up with Tony. Jonathan even offered to play my fake boyfriend if I wanted him to, although he still believes girls have cooties."
They shared an indulgent smile between themselves. That little boy had sneaked into their hearts over the last weeks.
"He's a cutie," Nina agreed.
The raven-haired witch highly suspected Jonathan would find a cup of chocolate pudding on his tray for dinner tonight, despite it not being on his menu.
Shaking her head, the Healer left, crossing the street a few times to be on time for her lesson.
Amy warmed herself up with stretches and some running on a treadmill before she joined her personal trainer (a self-indulgence Hermione insisted she needed because of her mad schedule) for their session.
It lasted an hour and a half.
Somehow beating the metaphorical snot out of punching bags always helped to vent her aggression and got rid of any leftover stress from work or her social obligations as Lady of two Houses. (For example, tea with several other snobbish pureblood Ladies which do not hide that they think they're all superior to her, the one who has 'usurped' her place in their society. As if she liked to have tea with some women who, ten years ago, actively cheered for her death. Because they did and she knew they knew she knew.)
Not to mention any of the things she had to do as The-Woman-With-Way-Too-Many-Fucking-Titles.
Usually Amy relished in training so much that afterward her whole body simply collapsed in bed at her apartment, spent but feeling lighter than before.
Unfortunately, this also activated her buried 'Auror-instincts' making it hard for her to differentiate between her trainer or the Creep (aka Johnston). Whoever tried to get in her space - as both aforementioned men had painfully discovered - got a punch in the face and a kick to where it really hurt.
Johnston hadn't learned his lesson yet though, annoyingly. Flirting at work, following the witch to her gym and insisting on lunch-breaks with her apparently didn't provide enough opportunity to hit on her.
Maybe she should consider a restraining order if nothing helped, the Healer thought.
So when someone seemed to try to creep up behind her, Amy reacted on instinct.
Only it happened to be someone else entirely than who the Healer expected.
"Ow! Fucking hell, Amy! I get that you're still angry at me but seriously?" Tony managed to wheeze out - after catching his breath.
The witch blushed brightly. "Sorry for kneeing you. I thought you were this creep from work. How was I supposed to guess that you'd come here of all places?" Amy defended herself, while pushing him on an abandoned chair in a corner, subtly conjuring an ice-pack for the billionaire.
Her keen eyes were cataloging every visible injury, scar; each little difference from the Tony prior to Afghanistan.
"I told you I wanted to apologize! And I meant it. So please give me a few minutes to explain?" he asked. His usually confident tone nearly bordered on begging.
Amy pulled another chair out from a pile, sitting across from him and waiting for the explanation. The witch was involuntarily flattered he'd come to New York, so soon after his capture, just to apologize.
"I can't heal you completely or they'd notice," she muttered, very embarrassed.
Tony waved it off. "'S alright. Nina said you'd be here, so I followed you. Anyway, apology. I had this really sappy idea of hijacking your favorite nurse and surprising you at the hospital with flowers and chocolates and some other romantic sh-stuff but that didn't work out. Obviously."
Amy bit her bottom lip to keep herself from smiling. Why in the world had Tony decided to talk about his feelings today? With her of all people? She would have thought Pepper or maybe Rhodey to be the ones the genius turned to now.
Despite his evident uncomfortableness, Tony soldiered on: "Anyway, I saw you this morning. You know, when you were trying to hide behind that mini-van and secretly checking up on me although you were supposed to work? Yeah. I realize this might not be the perfect location for an apology but at least when I'm done talking you can properly beat me up so there."
Amy shook her head. "I'm no going to 'beat you up'. Johnston just creeps up on me trying to grope my arse and I can't always reign in my, er, instincts."
"Even after ten years?" Tony sounded so uncharacteristically surprised by that admission.
However, a grain of understanding, of dawning realization, began to grow in his eyes. Something Amy had not wished for. It meant he had literally gone trough hell these last months. (Not that the witch expected anything else, but some hope had remained, after all.)
She smiled sadly: "No. I doubt I'll ever get complete control over myself."
The genius simply nodded, filing this information away for later. "Back to my apology. Please don't interrupt or I'll get sidetracked. Okay? Awesome."
Despite herself, the witch thought his nervous rambling quite endearing.
He seemed to have put a lot of thought into what he wanted to say so Amy allowed him the space he needed.
"So. I came here to tell you two things. First off: I'm regretting ever having hurled that accusation at your head. See? Big boy words. Extra for you."
Maybe his quick mind was working against him because the to-mouth-filter literally vanished whenever Tony talked faster than normal.
Or got nervous, apparently.
"I acted like an ass, I know. Who would've thought that was real, though? It's...awesome but I'm a scientist. At first I didn't want to believe it but the ambush and then your little trick proved the existence of it to my brain. You introduced a hypothesis, experimented slightly and showed your results. Very scientific, actually."
By now Amy had to bite her lip a bit harder. Especially because Tony's hair defied gravity (due to him constantly running his hands through it) much like her's when she was younger and Petunia insisted on what passed as a homemade pixie-cut.
The madly intelligent genius honest-to-Merlin rambled now.
"So, yeah. I could accept it. But I can't understand what you see in me. Literally I can't. You're this amazing, stunning doctor who saves lives and the world on your off-days. You could have anyone you wanted and it just didn't make sense why you chose me. I'm not exactly responsible, a gentleman or a family person - or anything else you deserve. I'm feeling like this villain with the mustache corrupting the innocent princess or something. Besides, Obadiah's crap was still fresh in my mind. So I blurted out the first thing on my tongue. It was foolish and wrong."
Tony took a deep breath. He flinched slightly as his chest heaved. The sling the genius wore during the press conference had gotten lost somewhere on his way to New York.
Amy looked at him with concern but respected his wish for her to hear him out. Later, she promised herself, her maybe-boyfriend would be subjected to a thorough examination.
"For that I'm very, very sorry. Even more so for getting too drunk to refuse that blonde. It should have been you. I realized my mistake the second I woke up and could think clearly. And I know sorry isn't going to cut it. That's okay. I just wanted to apologize because you deserve a proper excuse."
This definitely was not what she had been expecting him to say.
Obviously he had spent some time considering their relationship. Amy could read his sincerity, his genuine shame, clear as day. Apparently, the genius decided to let her in, taking off all of his masks.
Just for her.
It said so much more about his concern, feelings and intentions than anything his words could have told the witch.
However, Tony hadn't finished quite yet. "Secondly, while I was stuck in a fucking cave, of all places, I thought a lot about you. What I wanted to tell you if I got another chance, that sort of stuff."
Suddenly the inventor became very serious. Some of the earlier nervousness vanished as he gently grabbed her bandaged hand, tracing the white textile with his calloused fingers.
Never in a million years had Amy expected this confession to actually go on.
"So here goes. Initially, when we met for the first time and you didn't seem all that fazed by my name, I was fascinated. I'm not sure if you noticed but it was a challenge to me. At first I just wanted to learn more about you but when I couldn't find an Amy anywhere under your description, I got really curious. That's why I was so persistent when we met again at that gala. You looked drop dead gorgeous, by the way."
The Healer had an inkling where this might go, but held her tongue. There was something welling up inside of her torso she hadn't felt for such a long time, it could - had to - be an hallucination.
"No one had ever not wanted me for just being me. You did though. In hindsight, it's kind of obvious. You didn't buy my crap so I had to act more like myself than most people ever care to look. But you're clearly not 'most people', which is why I began to trust you slowly. You fascinated me. Strangely enough, I didn't want to just get in your panties but make you happy too."
Tony continued to run a hand through his hair, getting embarrassed by his own emotional confession. Meanwhile, Amy lost the fight against her control, letting a small, genuine smile slip through her defenses. It seemed to reassure the genius.
"Gorgeous, there's a whole list of things I like about you. Your eyes, because they always tell me exactly what you're thinking. Your hair which is always tousled. Your laughter. Seriously, I get turned on whenever I hear that. It's ridiculous and embarrassing. Your scars because they show how strong you really are. Your height because it's a perfect fit when you're sleeping next to me. Your temper. Rhodey told me what you did to those cowards. I watched the video feed, by the way. It's scary, dangerous but incredibly sexy."
By now Amy was blushing madly. Tony noticed, of course he did, but only smiled softly in response.
"That's another thing I like about you - loyalty. You're just an incredibly good person that doesn't expect anything in return for her generosity except for civil politeness. I don't know how you can still maintain so much innocence or goodness after all the shit you've been through. You're too forgiving for your own good sometimes and I lo-like you for that even more than I already do. That morning when you cooked breakfast in one of my shirts...
"Look, I realize you're not some damsel in distress and you can take care of yourself. I also realize that I'm no knight in shiny armor or shit like that. Far from it. But I want to try and just become a better person. Someone who might actually deserve to be with you because right now I am definitely not-"
In that precise moment, Amy leaned forward, gently grabbing his face and kissed him deeply in order to shut him up.
Tony kissed back. "Please let me finish or else I won't ever get this all out?"
Nodding, the witch continued to listen.
"I'm a selfish, arrogant ass. Don't deny it! I am. But I really do love you and I seriously don't know who I'm supposed to trust right now and you're the last person to ever betray anyone. I know this is probably too soon..."
Then the genius muttered something indistinguishable under his breath that sounded like 'wannamoveinwithme?'
Despite similar incidents where Amy herself had rushed out something, she couldn't discern what in the world he wanted. She was simply too stunned to interpret nervous-speak at the moment. "I'm sorry, but what was the last bit?"
Tony braced himself with another deep breath. "I love you, Amaryllis Lilith Jamie Dorea Potter-Black. So will you move in with me? Just for a while if you don't want to make it permanent and you don't have to quit your job or anything. I mean there are ways to travel magically, aren't there? We could make this work..."
Despite all of her earlier anger, disappointment and caution, Amy found herself kissing him again before her brain caught up with her actions.
Over the last three months she had brooded a lot about their fight and knew it was partly her fault that things had escalated so spectacularly.
"You're not the only one who messed up three months ago, Tony. I explained it quite clumsily or could have told you earlier. As to my job – a clinic in Beverly Hills offered me a nice spot as the second-in-command for the emergency room. I'm not going to miss the rain too much, trust me, but I want to stay until my latest patient will be released which should be around next week," Amy replied, trying to apologize for her own part in this mess.
"I mean this way you can be better protected from mundane threats and I get your magical protection. Right?" Tony argued right back, seemingly not having heard much from her retort.
The witch laughed relieved, tension seeping out of her body by the second. "You prat! I love you too, Tony. You don't need to bribe me. But if we really are moving in with each other, even temporarily, then there are a few things we need to arrange."
"How about we get some nice Italian food, then talk?" the genius suggested.
Amy didn't mind. Not at all.
The newly reunited couple was too busy kissing and apologizing to each other to notice two redheads watching them from the doorway. Both women smiled, relief evident in their expressions.
"I'm Pepper Potts, Tony's PA," the taller of the two introduced herself, keeping her eyes on her injured charge.
"Ginny Weasley-Thomas. I'm Amy's sister," the other elegantly dressed woman explained politely. She was smaller in height but more athletically built.
"Nice to meet you," Pepper replied, smiling slightly.
"You too. Amy told me about you. I was going to curse him to hell and back for hurting Amy's feelings but getting punched and kneed by her is probably worse - even though it was an accident. When she did that to Malfoy, the git couldn't stand upright for a day."
The Stark PA smiled deviously. "What did that man do?"
"You don't know? Well, he was Amy's school-rival. I think he had a crush on her but didn't know what to do about it. He insulted her parents one too many times in Eighth Year," the Chaser smirked with a hint of maliciousness. "Although I must say Tony's little speech redeemed him quite well."
"Oh, do you have any more embarrassing stories?" Pepper asked, a strange glint in her eyes.
Suddenly the two redheads' expression matched.
"Trade you?" they asked simultaneously.
Laughing, Pepper nodded. "Deal."
Ginny grinned, mentally rubbing her hands impishly. "Alright. I just have to call off the overprotective prat-brigade."
"I think this is the start of a beautiful partnership," the PA muttered.
Ginny's smirk only grew in proportion.
PS: I'll still update 'Developments' but it takes a while to finish my latest idea. Sorry. I just changed the status, because the chapters are individual one-shots. Alright?
Hoped you enjoyed!