A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the Marvel Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
A/N2: I continue to be amazed at the attention this particular fic is getting. To answer a couple of reoccurring questions that keep coming up in reviews:
- No, this isn't a Harry/Hermione fic, and it won't be. To start with they are 11 years old. They are kids. If interest (yours and mine)continues with this story I intend it to go for the full seven years, ending the June before Harry turns 18. There will be dating, and partying, and perhaps a little sexual experimentation, but no life long bonds (at least in the scope of the story) Harry (and Hermione and Padma) will date (each other as well as others), will think he/she/they are in love, and be wrong. Remember the average High School romance lasts all of 6 weeks (according to an old issue of Psychology Today I've got laying around her somewhere.)
- Some people think I write Harry too mature. Maybe I do. Eleven was a very long time ago. I'm making him as immature as I can.
- Some feel Harry's too reliant on his Techsuit. Of course he is. He is a young kid with limited magic. He is advanced for his age, but not in comparison to adult wizards. He has been trained wandless magic (the transfiguration of the match stick to a needle wandlessly was what startled McGonagall, not the fact that he did it.) When threatened by Snape or the Troll, his first response is to use his weapons suite.
- The question has also been asked "who would give an 11 year old access to weapons like that?" Well considering the world he comes from, where kidnappings are common (even though they turn out to be exceedingly bad ideas bringing down on occasions the literal wrath of god(s) on the pointy little heads of the perps), perhaps a better question might be who would allow 11 year olds access to the general purpose weapons that allow their users to do everything from tickling to killing their opponents the level of the attack limited only by the Waver's intent. I am of course referring to wands.
- Yes, I made James Potter out to be the bad guy in the Snape situation. Remember the goal for Harry wasn't historical accuracy, but to defang Snape by shaming him into acting like an adult. Harry has no memories of James or Lilly, and isn't emotionally invested in them at all. As far as Harry is concerned (at least for now) he has a father, and his name is Tony Stark.
- At any rate, thanks for the interest and the reviews. Even if you hate this story thanks for reading.
Harry Potter and The Invincible TechnoMage
Chapter Four - That will Leave a mark.
May 9 1985:
Stark Industries Project Achilles facility
French Lick, Indiana.
"Well," said the large man with yellow eyes, his body covered in blue fur. "I can state categorically that this field is not a product of a mutation. There is no energy signature on file that matches this, and there is no indication that this field has any basis in biology. Not to mention the damned thing keeps burning out my sensors." He had made his observations while hanging upside down from the over head pipes. The small boy was no longer frightened, and seemed to find Hank McCoy, PhD. M. D. and several other initials to be quite amusing.
"Then what is it Hank?" Tony Stark was deliriously happy to have found a survivor, but to find him in an unassailable force field was disconcerting. Especially since said force field was far and beyond anything his technology was capable of producing. McCoy was one of the best in his field well versed in Avengers Secrecy protocols and less than an hour away when the call went out.
The large blue man did an extremely complex dismount from the pipe over the boy and his force field, which involved a wide swing, tucking into a double somersault, before landing before the boy, who clapped happily. McCoy bowed deeply to his appreciative audience of one before turning to Stark with a shrug, "Magic?"
This worried Stark. Magic made no sense; it couldn't be measured or quantified. He hated magic, though he had to admit it had its uses. "Should I call Wanda?"
The blue man shook his head. "This isn't Wanda's kind of magic. I'm not sure who would be best to call for this one, but when it comes to magic of whatever kind, you usually can't go wrong by calling Stephen Strange.
Hermione and Padma screamed at the sight they found when they turned. The troll had been cut in half, everything above the waist was utterly gone, what remained of the below the waist portion of the Troll was laying before a kneeling Harry Stark. Both the girls choked off their panic and ran the few paces to their friend.
What they found was horrifying. The clothing on his upper body had completely disintegrated. His torso was covered in a dark gray silk like garment to which the tentacles were attached. The flesh on his arms was for lack of a better term cooked. Meaty portions were cracked open and oozing... grease? His face was horribly burned, his left eye swollen shut, his right, milky.
"te... te... Techsuit. Phone." The boy said between split lips, in painful gasps. A small plastic device fell to the floor. "Techs... Techsuit. Shutdown" The tentacles drooped to the floor lifelessly and the dark gray garment split along his breast bone to show his chest, which was just as horribly damaged as his arms and face.
"Can't see." He whispered, his breath coming in pants. "Hur... Hurt bad. Use phone outside wa... war... WARDS!" he slowly fell back. Padma caught him from the back and eased him to the ground. "push 2 until phone dials. Te... tell Jarvis, Ch... Ch... Chaos magic problem. Hurt... hurt... hurt bad."
Padma picked up the phone. "Do you know how to use this?"
"Yes." Hermione looked into her friends eyes. "We've got to get him to the Hospital Wing. We've got to find a teacher, to get Harry help and to let them know about that." She gestured at the troll's remains. Then her eyes widened. "Oh my god."
Hermione pointed beyond the remains of the troll to the huge hole punched through the side of the castle.
"Miss Patil! Miss Granger! Mr. Stark!" the call came from behind them. They turned to see the staircases realigning again, Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick were hurrying toward them. "Are you alright? What was that horrible sound?"
"A troll had us trapped here Professor." Padma said, trying her hardest not to look at Harry and not to be sick. "He... Harry saved us."
Minerva McGonagall looked at the remains of the troll and damage to the castle in shocked amazement. "Mr. Stark did this? His Muggle weapons are capable of this?"
"Minerva!" Flitwick barked "We can worry about how he did it later, first we need to get him to Poppy so she can keep him alive."
"Of course Filius, You levitate him to the Hospital Wing; I will bring your Ravenclaws along so that Poppy can ensure that they are unharmed."
"Professor McGonagall. Harry gave us this." Hermione displayed the miniature telephone. "He asked us to use it to contact his father and inform him of Harry's injuries. We have to go outside the wards to use it."
"Surely that can wait Miss Granger. I can't see what his father could do in this situation."
"Harry said that his injuries were due to 'chaos magic'. He was in a lot of pain and going into shock. Harry's done a lot of things that don't make any sense, but work anyway. Maybe his father does have some insight into this situation. What could it hurt to tell him?" Padma asked.
Minerva McGonagall reflected for a moment, and then nodded. "Alright we'll go outside the wards and try that Muggle device. Do you know how to use it Miss Granger?"
"Yes. It's just a smaller version of my parent's cellular phone. Harry seemed to think he'd get service out here. I don't know how, but it can't hurt to try."
It took almost 15 minutes to make their way out of the castle and down the path to the school gates. The gates opened to McGonagall's touch.
"We are outside the wards now Miss Granger. You can try to use the Muggle device now."
Hermione nodded, wondering how she knew where the wards ended. She pushed the power button on the keypad of the tiny phone and watched as it displayed its startup functions. After several seconds the handset chirped and 'Satellite Signal Acquired' appeared on the screen. She pressed and held the number two, releasing it when the tone changed. The display changed to 'Dialing' and she raised the handset to her ear. She listened to the odd single tone ring sound she recognized from American television and Movies. On the third ring, the line was answered on the other end.
The instant recognition of the man on the other end that it was Harry's phone calling startled her for a second.
"No sir. I'm a class mate of Harry's named Hermione Granger. Harry asked me to call and ask for Mr. Jarvis."
"This is Edwin Jarvis Miss Granger, how can I help?"
"Harry's been hurt. He said to tell you it was a 'Chaos Magic' problem, and that he's badly hurt."
"I see. Could you hold on please?"
She looked to Padma and Professor McGonagall. "He asked me to hold on. I think he's getting someone who can tell us what to do."
"Amazing device. Instant communications. Where are you speaking too?"
"I don't know Professor. Somewhere in America. Harry lives in New York City, probably there."
"Miss Granger?" Came the voice on the phone.
"I have located Miss Maximoff, and we are arranging transportation for her. Could you stay where you are with this phone line open for a few more minutes?"
"Yes Sir, but..."
"Please don't worry Miss Granger."
"What is it Hermione?"
"He said he's found someone named Maximov or something and is arranging transportation. Then he asked me to hang on some more."
There was a quiet pop, like someone opening a jar sealed at a higher pressure. Standing in front of the students and professor were two women.
The younger of the new pair was perhaps in her mid twenties, with dark red hair. She was dressed in Muggle clothing that emphasized her sheer femaleness. The other woman was clearly older than McGonagall, tall and white haired she held herself with a regal-ness that spoke of learning and not suffering fools gladly.
"Miss Granger?" asked the older of the pair.
"May I use the telephone please?" The shaking girl handed over the handset. "Thank you. Jarvis?" She said into the phone. "We have arrived. We will keep you appraised as to young Mr. Stark's condition." She smiled at something the man said. "Yes, I'm sure she is. Thank you." and she broke the connection.
"Why did Harry use chaos magic?"asked the younger woman, her speech had an odd inflection as if English was not her first language.
"Harry, Hermione and I were attacked by a Mountain Troll. Harry defended us." Explained Padma.
"He is in the Hospital wing?" Asked the older woman. Both girls nodded. "Wanda, this is where he is." Padma had the feeling that something passed between the pair. "Make haste, the wards shouldn't inconvenience you."
The younger woman disappeared with a pop.
"But you can't apparate into Hogwarts." Protested Hermione weakly.
"There are many kinds of magic Miss Granger, though Hogwarts won't teach you this. It is true that Wizarding Magic will not allow you to apparate into the grounds of Hogwarts. Several of the other types of magic have no problem with Wizarding wards at all. Introductions I think. You are Hermione Granger. That means you must be Padma Patil." Padma nodded. "I am Agatha Harkness. I am an alumnus of Hogwarts, Hufflepuff class of 1680." She smiled. "And how are you Minerva? It has been a few years."
"I am well Aunt Agatha."
Poppy Pomfrey was running every diagnostic she could think of. The boy was dying, that much was evident, but precisely how he had gotten so injured still eluded her, supposedly he had been attacked by a Troll, but his injuries didn't seem to have any relationship with any troll Poppy had ever heard of. He appeared to have been... cooked, from the inside out. Harry's body was shutting down, and there was nothing she could do about it. Every potion she tried failed to work. Every spell she cast to heal him seemed to work for a second, and then the injury regressed. It was as if his magic was actively fighting any repair attempted on his body.
She turned when she heard the pop of apparition. A statuesque young woman in Muggle clothing stood before her.
"I am here to help Harry Stark." She said simply.
Waving the woman to the dying boy was an automatic gesture on the Healer's part. If this stranger could help, great, perhaps Poppy would learn something new.
"This damage is due to exposure to Chaos Magic. I will try to pull the remaining Chaos from his body so that you can heal him."
"Who are you?" asked the Healer.
"I am Wanda Maximoff. It was by watching me that Harry discovered his access to Chaos Magic. His body is not ready to deal with the power he has access to." She stood over the boy, spread her arms and started to mouth the words of a chant silently. Sickly yellow tendrils rose from the boy's body to coalesce into a sphere of the same color. Her chanting went on for more than thirty minutes, the sphere of unhealthy energy continued to grow.
May 9 1985:
Stark Industries Project Achilles facility
French Lick, Indiana.
"Hello little friend." The man wearing the red cape with gold trim "What kind of magic are you using here?" Stephen Strange activated the Eye of Agamotto. The All-seeing eye told him what he needed to know.
"Any luck Stephen?"
"Indeed Tony. Your little friend here is a wizard."
Stark's brow furrowed. "But he's no more than five years old, how could he possibly have learned this level of magic?"
"You misunderstand Tony. Little Harry here is a wizard. Wizards are a subset of humanity with a biological access to magic. They do need training in the use of their magic, but as children they often have bouts of what they call 'accidental magic'. This 'accidental magic' tends to be sporadic, uncontrolled and as the name indicated accidental."
"This is sporadic? This is uncontrolled?" Stark gestured toward the force field surrounding the boy.
"Like any natural ability, there are those gifted beyond what passes for normality. Little Harry here is the Michael Jordan of Wizards. He is expending enormous amounts of magic and doesn't seem to be tiring in the slightest. Amazing really."
"Can you break it?"
"I've had dealings with British Wizards before. They don't like me much, I'm afraid. This shouldn't be too difficult." Strange began to gesture with hand signs while calling on various demons and minor deities. Bands of energy leapt from his hands to the electric blue bubble that was the shield for young Harry Potter.
Stark stepped back to watch. None of this made the slightest bit of sense. Which of course was only one of the reasons he hated magic in all its forms. Strange kept at his assault for another 15 minutes until the shield dissolved to nothing.
"Thank you Stephen. I've been terrified that we would loose this youngster at well." The waiting medical team rushed to the boy to bundle him away for medical attention. "I'm surprised it took so long."
"I was trying to break the shield without injuring the boy inside."
"Well it worked. Well done."
"I didn't do anything. I tried but couldn't make a dent." Earth's Sorcerer Supreme looked a tad embarrassed. "The shield dissolved when he fell asleep."
The four women had made their way back to the castle. Agatha Harkness found herself under a barrage of questions from the bushie haired young girl. Her Indian friend did not ask questions of her own, but listened intently to the answers Agatha provided. It pleased her to no end that Harry had found friends such as this pair.
"Aunt Agatha, why did you come here? You know what the Ministry will do."
"I know what the Ministry will try to do Minerva. They might be a bit surprised. Why did I come? My favorite student in most of a century needed my help. You would do the same Minerva. The teacher is strong in our line, always has been."
They approached the Great Hall and Dumbledore's voice rang out, there was a fury in that voice that neither of the first year girls has ever heard before, and one Minerva had heard only rarely.
"You've gone too far Tom. The troll you let loose in the castle had hurt one of my students!"
They were now in a position to see into the Great Hall, where Dumbledore was dueling with Quirinus Quirrell. Snape was on the floor, stunned, and Quirrell was facing away from the Headmaster, his turban removed and his head at an odd angle. Where there the back of Quirrell's head should have been, there was a face, the most horrifying face either of the girls had ever seen. Chalk white with glaring red eyes and snake like slits for nostrils, it mocked Dumbledore.
"Hurt him Albus? I intend for young Mr. Potter to die, slowly and painfully for what he had done to me. Perhaps I will kill those he cares for in front of him to prolong his suffering. Look at me! Reduced to vapor and memory, I only have form for as long as I possess another. Once I have the Stone you will never be able to stop me old man!"
Dumbledore never answered; rather he began a chain of charms and hexes that flew at the possessed DADA professor at blinding speed. Every single spell was dodged, deflected or diffused.
"Idiot." Murmured Agatha Harkness."There's only one way to deal with a possession." The older woman made a few gestures and a black band of magic leapt from her body and impacted on Quirrell's body, where it pushed a hazy black mist from the professor's head. Quirrell dropped like a puppet with its strings cut. The haze hung motionless in the air for a moment before rocketing straight up with a horrible wail.
Dumbledore raged at the aged woman"What did you do?"
"The only thing that could be done. You had already killed the host." She gestured toward Quirrell's body. "The only thing that will defeat a possessed corpse is to expel the possessor. You were wasting time and energy."
"You shouldn't even be here. You were banished for all time!"
"No Dumbledore, the old fools tried to banish me. I left of my own free will, and I return the same way, to see to an ill student. Is that a problem?"
"I will be calling the Aurors to deal with you."
The woman shrugged. "They are your Aurors, if you don't care what happens to them, why should I?" She peered into his eyes for a moment. "You asked Minerva to contact me, and get angry when I appear? Does your hypocrisy know no bounds Albus? You were much easier to deal with when you were younger. Back then you didn't let things that happened before you were born and that you do not understand inspire you to righteous indignation toward one of your teachers."
Dumbledore paled. No one had made it past his occlumency shield for more than a century, and this woman did it without his even noticing.
"You know of course any attack against me will lose you Harry for all time."
"If he knew about it." Hissed the wizard.
"Threats Albus? And in front of so many witnesses." She smiled ruefully. "Call your Aurors if you must, I am going to the Hospital wing to see young Mr. Stark. I believe these young women should be looked at as well; it has been a rather stressful night for a pair of first years. Come along ladies."
Padma and Hermione shared a glance between themselves, then in succession the faces of their Headmaster, Deputy Headmistress, and Agatha Harkness, then each other again. Padma shrugged and Hermione nodded. The pair followed the aged witch to the Hospital Wing. They wanted to see how Harry was doing.
May 10 1985:
Stark Industries Project Achilles facility
French Lick, Indiana.
"Tony, I swear to God, I am going to fly to England and kill a woman."
"Calm down Pepper." Stark looked up from the estimates for rebuilding the control room. "What's wrong and who do you need to kill?"
"I tracked down little Harry's only surviving relative. Turns out she isn't a really a relative, she's the sister of the Uncle. No blood relation. I told her that Harry was alive and she said, and I quote"Drown the little bastard, he's always been nothing but trouble." And the bitch hung up on me.
"You've got to be kidding."
"I wish. Tony the child services are telling me that with no living relatives, he'll end up being sent to an orphanage. Do they actually still do that?"
Stark's brow furrowed. "Damn. He's no more than five years old. I can't let that happen."
Pepper Hogan, nee Potts blushed. Tony, he's such a sweet kid, I asked if I could adopt him. They told me that since Happy and I have divorced, I can't offer him a stable home." Tears formed in her eyes. "We can't let the little guy get lost in the system like that."
Stark thought for a moment. He had always taken care of his people. If someone was hurt or killed on the job, he had always taken care of the family...
"Pepper, get me Stewart, Myers, and Stuben out of Gotham Cityon the phone. They've handled both of Bruce Wayne's adoptions, Oliver Queen's as well. They'll handle this one too."
"Tony, they won't let me adopt."
"Not you Pep. I'm going to adopt him. But you're going to help me. He's going to need a mother figure."
Not for the first time Stark International's highest paid employee hugged her boss.
Wanda still stood over the boy, with her arms spread wide, chanting the incantation to remove the remnants of the Chaos Magic from his body. The yellow sphere of magic pulsed over the boy, as the last of the tendrils separated from his body.
"I need something made of metal to put this in." The redhead said, holding the beach ball sized sphere of magic suspended in the air with some effort. "Iron would be best."
Minerva McGonagall had been watching since she had followed her Aunt and students to the Hospital Wing five minutes before. She took a porcelain bedpan and transfigured it into an iron bucket and placed it on the ground next to the strange witch. The sphere of magic was carefully lowered into the bucket. The magic fused to the iron and the entire bucket glowed for a second.
"Your potions should work now, your healing charms as well."
"Thank you. I was terrified I was going to lose him." Poppy immediately poured the first vial of healing potions down the unconscious boy's throat.
Wanda collapsed into one of the chairs. "He should be alright Mistress Harkness."
"I don't understand." Hermione spoke up. "What happened? What magic doe he know, and why did it hurt him like that. I was never so frightened in my life."
"That was Chaos Magic. Harry knowing it is my fault I'm afraid." The redhead said. When it first manifested for me, I was practicing with it. Harry was watching me. It never occurred to anyone of us that he might be able to access that kind of magic before his body was capable of channeling it without destroying it's self. We almost lost him at 9 years old. His father developed the limiters that keep him from accessing the Chaos Magic. For this to happen he had to choose to disengage the limiters."
"He knew what would happen." Said Padma. "He dropped those silver things and told us to turn away."
"He did that to save your sight and to keep you from getting burned." Wanda shook her head sadly. "His immature use of the magic creates a lot of heat and light, as you can see from his body, more than enough to burn or blind someone close. I'm afraid we were not the best example for Harry. Sometimes I think he is too willing to sacrifice himself to protect others rather than run and lead others away."
"No!"Hermione almost shouted. "His first instinct was to run from the troll, he tried to lead us away. But the staircase moved and we were trapped. He did that to himself to protect us."
"I'm sorry; I wasn't trying to denigrate Harry. He's been my friend for more than 5years. He's a wonderful boy."
"We were just up in the Astronomy tower working on a project. We were teasing him about mislabeling some stars and nebula, and then that troll showed up and now Harry's all hurt, a professor was possessed, and... "Padma started to cry. Hermione clung to her and started crying herself.
Minerva looked to Poppy who was still working on Harry. She nodded. Minerva reached into the cabinet next to the door to Poppy's office and removed a pair of vials.
"Ladies." The pair of girls looked up into the eyes of their transfiguration teacher, blinking away tears. "This has been a rough night for the pair of you, and you've held up better than many witches twice you age, but its catching up to you now. Drink these." She handed each of them one of the vials. "Those potions will help you sleep. Get into those beds. You'll still be here in the morning; Harry should be a bit better then."
Dutifully the pair climbed into the beds and drank the potions. They were asleep before they finished lowering the vials to the side tables.
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