Also available as: Epub
Harry Potter and the Invincible Technomage
Chapter Twenty-One - Year Four — Summer Vacation
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the Marvel Comics Characters mentioned herein. But, you knew that.
"Well, that was impressive," Tony noted as he compared the two steel panels that served as targets, one was dented, the other almost obliterated. "If anything, I think that the projection of a 400% increase in throughput was a bit low."
"Yeah," Harry agreed, doing his level best to refrain from performing a victory dance in the middle of the room. With his father and favorite teacher in the room, there were two too many witnesses for such a display. There was still more testing to do, and he did not have much time to do it, but it looked like he was on the right track.
"Amazing," Steven Strange intoned from his place beside Tony. "I would never have suspected that a metal, even as exotic a metal as vibranium would have such an effect of magic."
"I don't think it would work for you, Dr. Strange," Harry said as he made some notes on the configuration before carefully removing the wand from its aiming jig. "I mean, since you don't use a focus, though we might be able to inlay your gloves with the wire… but I think your gestures and ward signs might disrupt the spell matrixes as they're forming."
Despite his background in medicine, Steven Strange always found himself taken aback when Harry spoke of magic in terms of science. Still, the boy was usually right in these things, so he nodded in agreement. "Well, Tony, you asked me here for a consultation, and it is my opinion that Harry's methodology is sound and his experiments are safe-ish. Should I assume you will be somehow integrating the vibranium into a more permanent configuration?" the Sorcerer Supreme asked gesturing toward the coil of wire mounted on the test frame.
"That's the plan," Harry agreed. "Not sure just how I'm going to do it yet. I mean, I have a few ideas, but I'm not really sure what they will do. I picked up a few spare wands for testing…"
"Just keep us informed," his father laughed. "And try not to destroy anything loadbearing down here."
Harry nodded as the adults left the room, before returning to the book he had been reading before the demonstration trying to absorb as much as he could of the process for inlaying metal into wood.
"Right on time, Mr. Longbottom," the ancient alchemist said as Neville entered the room.
"Good morning, Professor de Ablo, thank you for continuing my lessons."
"I have heard that you made use of my lessons in a most imaginative and productive manner," de Ablo smiled. "Using animated warriors against alien kidnappers, I'm told."
Neville blinked. "You believe that? Most other people dismissed the idea out of hand."
Mr. Longbottom, I have lived a very long time, and I have learned a great many things. That beings from other worlds might visit for whatever reason is hardly news to me. They have been here before, and they will come again. You were correct to use your talents to teach them that we humans of Earth are not to be trifled with, and I am proud to think that what I taught you might have tipped the balance."
Neville felt himself blushing at that. "I'm ready to get started sir."
"Very good. I have reviewed your grades from the past year, your Potions have improved."
"Yes, sir." Neville nodded. "I think my earlier problems came from how unsettled I was by the Professor who teaches Potions, but after spending time in your classroom, he just isn't all that intimidating anymore."
The old man smiled. "Rarely has a student complimented me so. So, Mr. Longbottom, if you're done wasting our valuable time, we will begin this summer's lessons."
"Yes sir," Neville nodded.
"This summer," de Ablo said, taking his place behind his podium, "we will explore the science and magic behind elemental constructs."
"Hey, Harry," Franklin said as he dismounted the old Fantasticar carrying an overnight bag. Once he was clear, the empty vehicle lifted from the ground and headed back to the city. "Dad and Mom had something to do today, so I got stuck with the old 'flying bathtub'."
"You know, Frank," Harry laughed. "You and I are probably the only kids in the world who complain about the ultra-high tech methods our parents use to get us from place to place."
"The only thing remotely 'high tech' about that stupid thing is the autopilot and the dock for that god awful H. E. R. B. I. E. robot," Franklin argued.
"Frank, buddy," Harry said as he slung an arm around his oldest friend's neck. "I'm going to have to introduce you to the concept of a city bus, you'll dream about the Flying Bathtub. Besides, I really liked Herbie. He was the Hobbes to your Calvin."
"Are you suggesting that I'm some kind of psychotic maniac?" Franklin asked.
"Well, not necessarily psychotic, but maniac, oh yeah," Harry laughed again as the pair entered the house. "I can give you examples if you want."
"No, I freely admit to being a maniac, but only because you're one too."
"Well, that goes without saying," Harry admitted.
The pair came upon Jarvis directing the staff in preparing a suite of rooms on the second floor. "Can we help?"
"You could get ready to receive visitors," the Stark Family Major Domo suggested.
"That's Jarvis' way of saying I'm a slob and should go get cleaned up before I embarrass him in front of company," Harry explained as he led Franklin away toward his bedroom.
"Quite," Jarvis agreed.
"I'm only dirty because of my morning workout and a couple hours in my workshop," Harry called out as they walked away. "I am a bit smelly," he admitted to Franklin. "Time for a shower."
"So, who's coming?" Franklin asked once they reached Harry's room.
"Don't know," Harry admitted. "When I asked, Dad said 'wait and see'. The last time he did that, it was a visit from Namor."
"Uh, I don't like that guy," Franklin said as he checked himself out in the mirror over Harry's dresser, and judging himself presentable.
"Really?" Harry asked from the bathroom. "Sure, he can be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but he's not really that bad."
"It's not that he's a jerk, even though he is," Franklin explained. "It's just that he sort of had a thing with Mom before she and Dad got married."
Harry stuck his head out of the bathroom. "Seriously?"
"Oh, yeah. Mom and Uncle Johnny got into a fight a couple of years ago and he threw it in her face. They didn't know I was in the next room, and I don't think I've ever heard Mom so mad."
"Yikes," Harry agreed, returning to his shower. "I can't really imagine your Mom with anyone but your Dad. What did she do to Johnny?"
"Well, I didn't see it, but from what I could hear, Mom can make her force fields air tight, if she wants, and that doesn't stop her from yelling at someone inside her force bubble, if she's mad enough."
"Your family is so cool," Harry laughed. "When I hear people talking about them, I'm always amazed when they go on about Ben and Johnny and they never seem to realize that your Mom is the most powerful of them all."
Hermione made her way off the airplane in something of a foul mood. When her parents had announced their 'working vacation', Hermione had protested their plans for flying first class on the transatlantic flight.
Stuart and Kristine had listened patiently to her concerns, nodded their understanding and placed their reservations. Economy class… for Hermione. The elder Grangers, confident that they had worked hard to earn their luxuries, kept their first class seats.
This was almost exactly not what Hermione had intended. Rather than spending the flight quietly reading next to her parents, Hermione ended up in the middle seat of three, with a gentleman, who was evidently the world's foremost expert on absolutely everything, in the aisle seat. Said expert spent the entire 9 hours and forty minutes of the flight talking, talking, and talking.
A small part of her mind wondered if this was how her classmates saw her.
An older woman who evidently had a bladder slightly smaller than Hermione's change purse occupied the window seat. Despite of this rather obvious medical defect, the woman spent the entire flight, when she was not on her way to one of the plane's toilets, ordering drinks from the flight attendant. Coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, they all flowed into the woman, only to request an exit moments later, necessitating yet another trip to the loo.
In short, it had been an exceedingly long flight.
Hermione exited the Jet way into the concourse to find her parents waiting for her under the flight arrival monitors, both of them smiling the way they did when they knew that their extremely intelligent daughter might have learned a lesson that she had not been expecting.
"Enjoy the flight, Love?" Kristine asked.
"It was great," Hermione lied, refusing to give them the satisfaction of admitting she had been wrong. "So many interesting people in economy."
"Good to hear," Stuart nodded, not buying it for a minute. "Well, luggage claim and customs it this way," he gestured at a sign over the concourse. "There's supposed to be a car waiting for us."
"Happy's back," Harry announced having spotted the limousine pulling into the mansion's circular driveway through the window of his room. "I guess we'll find out who the visitors are."
"Frikken Namor," Franklin complained.
"Nah, it wouldn't be Namor," Harry laughed. "He wouldn't have needed a car."
"Stupid wings on his ankles," Franklin agreed. "So who is it?" He asked joining Harry at the window.
"Don't know," Harry admitted. "A family looks like. I should head down to do the welcoming thing, since Dad's not here. You coming?"
"This is what Jarvis calls 'The Conservatory' Harry said as he continued with the tour of his home. "We call it the music room, because of the piano and the stereo system."
"This place is huge!" Parvati said looking around the vast room before settling down on one of the room's four sofas.
"Yeah, we don't use it much, my Dad is usually working on a project or two, and I've got a stereo in my room, so it's mostly for parties and company."
"You seemed surprised to see us, Harry," Padma laughed as she settled onto the sofa across from her sister.
"No one as much as dropped a hint," Harry laughed as he sat next to her. "Though Dad did say something about 'evening the odds' when we were arranging for Franklin to spend a couple days.
"So, Franklin," Parvati asked, "what do your parents do?"
Harry laughed at the expression on his friend's face.
"Shut up, Harry," Franklin said as he settled on the same sofa as Parvati. "Laughing boy thinks it's funny when I meet his friends who have no idea who my folks are. My whole life, everyone has known my parents, even people who have never met them. Meeting people who don't know them… well, that's just weird."
"They're famous then?" Padma asked. "Like Harry's father?"
"Way more famous than Dad," Harry laughed again.
"They're heroes," Franklin explained. "The whole family, Mom and Dad, Uncle Ben and Uncle Johnny, they've got powers."
"We've got powers," Parvati said as she transfigured the lamp beside her side of the sofa into an egret, and then back again.
"Parvati!" Padma scolded. "Remember what Daddy said, just because there isn't an underage magic law here, that doesn't mean we need to build bad habits."
"When I go back," Harry said, trying to keep the peace between the sisters, "I usually keep my wand inside my robes until I'm back on the express, just to keep from breaking the rules. Most people around here won't even blink if you start casting, as long as you're not doing anything dangerous, they'll think you're a new hero, showing off."
"Cool," Pavarti nodded. "So, what do you lot do for Muggly fun?"
"Muggly?" Franklin asked.
"She means, no magic," Harry explained. "Well, we've got the grounds for, you know, running around in; we can use some of Dad's prototypes…"
"Pass," Pavarti said. "That sounds too much like school. What else?"
"Well," Franklin temporized, "we could head into the city, tour the Baxter Building, hit an arcade… and these two better not be video games ringers like your buddy Neville,"
"Neville is a prodigy," Harry protested.
"Yeah, right. He destroyed my high score, and his name is still on the stupid machine."
"I'm not sure about an arcade," Padma said hesitantly, attempting to reconcile Neville's stories of his summer visit with the Starks with these new stories. Neville had said something about having been att
"Well," Franklin hesitated, "there's always shopping…"
Neville ducked as the shaft of animated water shot out, missing his head by scant inches. The Gryffindor rolled to his left avoiding the next attack, rising as he did so, his wand firmly in his hand.
"Why did I think this was a good idea?" he asked himself as he cast every drying charm he knew. Repeatedly he cast before moving to a new position and casting again. The Water Elemental was weakening, but far from out of the fight.
Then it occurred to him, the best way to fight fire was with Water, so it followed that the best way to fight water was with Earth. His wand twirled in his hand, causing a human shaped lump of ground to stand erect. Neville groped at his belt for a vial, he glanced at it to make sure it was the right color. The glint of blue in his hand put his mind to rest. The red vials animated water elementals and another one of those would likely ruin his already marginal day.
He tossed the blue vial onto the mound of dirt, and then focused on imposing his will on his new creation. The 13 year old could not help but smile as the newly animated Earth elemental started thundering its way toward the rampaging Water construct.
"Oh, dear," Augusta Longbottom said as she looked out on the grounds watching her grandson struggling to bring his creation under control.
"Impressive," de Albo nodded, watching the same scene.
"Are you serious, Esteban?" Augusta asked incredulously. "Neville appears to be fighting for his life," she winced as the Water construct sent another shaft at her dodging grandson. "Are you sure we shouldn't intervene?"
"Intervening would be the very worst thing we could do. It would forever stunt the boy's advancement, blunting his edge. Every new student I've ever had has had an aspect of elemental power that he excelled at, and one that he had to struggle to control," the wizard noted. "For Neville, his favored aspect is Earth. The Earth aspect came to him easily, likely an extension of his interest and talents with plants. Air and Fire came with a bit more effort and focus, but he hasn't managed to maintain control of water for more than a few seconds."
"So, you knew this was going to happen?"
"Suspected more than knew," de Albo laughed. "Your grandson is amazingly focused for his age. His frustration at not having control of the water aspect had me suspecting that he would try to work out his issues beyond the reach of prying eyes. It is the rare student who strikes out on his own like this." He gestured to the boy as he ducked another attack and responded with his own magic. "What has escaped your notice is that he has been almost constantly casting for more than twenty minutes."
"What?" Augusta gasped. "He can't do that!"
"Clearly, he can," de Albo chuckled. "Raw untrained power and an aptitude for alchemy? Young Mr. Longbottom will go far. And look, he's realized the best way to tame his weakness."
Augusta looked down into the yard, "an Earth Golem?"
"Golem?" de Albo sniffed. "Please Augusta; an Elemental is far more than any golem. It seems that Mr. Longbottom had determined that combining the Water Elemental with an Earth Elemental will result in a hybrid."
"A 'mud' Elemental?" Augusta guessed.
"Quite," de Albo agreed as Neville's Earth creation thundered up to and merged itself with the Water creature. "His control of the Earth aspect will stifle the rebellion of the Water aspect nicely."
"Why didn't you just tell him how to do it?"
"I was going to as part of tomorrow's class. I always give my students a chance to explore on their own. Neville is the only the seventh of my students to discover the concept entirely on his own, and the first in most of two hundred years."
The Alchemist looked on with approval as the combined Elemental submitted to the boy. "Yes, I expect great things from young Mr. Longbottom."
"Are you sure this thing is safe?" Padma asked, her hands curled in a tight grip on the armrests of her seat.
"Safe?" Parvati shouted, the wind whipping her hair as she looked over the side. "This is great! Better than a broom even!"
"Relax, Padma," Harry said from her side. "The Fantasticar hardly ever crashes. Anymore."
"Not helping!" Padma ground out.
"Helping?" Harry asked incredulously. "Who said I was trying to help? Did you think I'd forgotten about being the 'slow Ravenclaw'?"
"Ignore him Padma," Franklin said with a shake of his head. "My Dad designed this thing to be utterly safe carrying a much heavier load than it is now. The only time this model of the Fantasticar has ever crashed was when it was brought down by an attack, and even then no one was even slightly hurt."
"Dude," Harry interjected, "Your Dad bounces, Johnny can fly, Ben could shrug off a fall from orbit and your Mom has force fields."
"Did I mention that it has ejector seats? I can arrange it so you end up having to walk," Franklin snarked.
"Shutting up now."
"Damn straight," Franklin agreed. "The Fantasticar is perfectly safe, Padma. We'll be landing in about two minutes. I still need to check with my Mom about heading out to go shopping, so I can get you guys a tour of the World Famous Baxter Building."
He paused for a moment surveying the faces of the two girls, "which you two have never heard of. Uncle Johnny is right; we need to fire the team's publicist."
"What's a publicist?" Parvati asked as she settled into her seat.
"Someone who makes sure the world knows about you and what you do," Harry explained.
"Why?" she asked.
"Marketing, mostly," Franklin explained as the flying bathtub started a shallow bank to line up with the landing pad. "My family makes some of our money off things with the Fantastic Four's likeness, and images of the team's equipment. I mean it's not a major portion of the team's income, that comes from Dad's inventions, but it amounts to a nice chunk of change. The Team's publicist makes sure that people know what is available and also makes sure the Team gets their share of the money."
"Ah, like the Harry Potter dolls," Padma nodded, causing Harry to face palm.
"You've got dolls?" Franklin asked, wheeling about to look at Harry.
"We don't want to talk about that. I had nothing to do with it, it was thought up by the manager of my estate and I made some major coin off it. So, just drop it, ok?"
"Parvati," Franklin laughed as the Fantasticar landed, "you have to send me one of those dolls. Whatever they cost, I'll cash in my birthday bonds. I NEED one of those dolls."
Harry jumped out of the flying bathtub. "I said drop it."
Franklin helped the girls from the Fantasticar and led the group to the elevator. "So," he said conversationally as the doors slid closed and the elevator began its downward descent, "by any chance, are these dolls, anatomically correct?"
This was when Franklin Richards discovered how it felt to be the target of a silencing charm.
"From Franklin's sign language," Susan Richards laughed, "I'm going to have to assume that you are responsible for his current silence, Harry. Do you think you could stop doing whatever it is you're doing? I was never any good at charades."
Harry smiled and gestured, only the tip of one of his testing wands showing in his hand.
"About time," Franklin complained. "Some people have no sense of humor."
"And some people…" Harry began his retort.
"Boys, that's enough. Company, remember?" Susan scolded gently. "Is someone going to introduce the young ladies?"
"Sorry," Harry said, obviously embarrassed. "This is Padma and Parvati Patil, they're magic users like me, and from my school."
"Welcome to the Baxter Building," the blonde woman said with a smile, "You seem surprised by something, Padma?"
"It's just that you… All the Muggles we've met…" Padma hesitated, "all the normal people we've met seem to be so… at ease with our having magic. That is so different than what we've been told to expect."
"Well, in my work, I've encountered magic users," Susan admitted. "And not just Harry either, occasionally we've come across villains who use magic in their plots and crimes. Besides," the woman smiled slyly just as she faded from view. "I've never really believed that there is any such thing as a 'normal person'."
"You didn't even say an incantation!" Padma said her shock evident.
"This isn't magic," Susan explained. "My powers were caused by the mutagenic property of high orbital cosmic ray exposure." The woman returned to visibility and the two girls felt themselves lifted from the floor. "I can make myself and other people and things invisible, and I have the ability to create force fields."
"That's what we're on?" Parvati asked, looking down and stomping on the invisible platform she and her sister were standing on.
"Yes," Susan nodded, lowering the girls back to the floor. "We all have certain abilities. Yours are magical, and mine just seem to be that way."
"We wanted to take the girls out for lunch and some shopping," Franklin said.
Susan thought for a moment and then nodded. "You'll need some money then," she said crossing to where her purse lay and pulled two twenties from her wallet, then frowning, reconsidered and added two more. "Remember, young man, these girls are visitors here. Take them someplace nice, not one of those nasty street vendor carts you two ruffians like so much."
"Ben and Johnny like them too," Harry said defensively.
"I love Ben and my brother with all my heart, but between them, they have all the class of 3rd graders on a sugar high," Susan sniffed. "It was nice meeting you ladies, have fun in the city, and try to keep these barbarians under control. Be back by five so you can get back to Harry's by five thirty."
Seven hours later, two exhausted young men dragged themselves into their shared bedroom, following Jarvis' suggestion that they should cleanup for dinner.
"Dear god in heaven," Franklin said as he collapsed onto his bed. "I thought shopping with my Mom was bad."
"Yeah," Harry agreed as he entered the bathroom. "I kind of expected it from Parvati, but Padma was almost as bad once we got into Macy's."
"You expected it from Parvati, and you still stuck me with her?" Franklin asked incredulously.
"You weren't stuck with her," Harry laughed over the sound of running water. "Padma and I had sort of started hanging out at the end of the school year."
"Revenge will be mine," Franklin rumbled in his best Victor Von Doom impression. "I will steal your girlfriend. She seems the type to be intrigued by a budding master of time, space, and dimension."
Harry emerged from the bathroom and regarded his best friend with an arched eyebrow. "Master of time, space and dimension?"
"Hey, reality manipulation and full psionic powers here," Franklin laughed. "Master of time, space and dimension describes me perfectly."
"And modest, too," Harry nodded. "That's a long name if you decide to go with that."
"Oh lord I know," Franklin agreed. "There's an annual required seminar at Xavier's about picking a name for your public personae. Right now, I'm leaning toward Psilord."
Harry frowned. "Sounds like a villain name."
"What?" Franklin asked.
"The 'lord' thing," Harry explained. "You know, the baddies are always calling themselves King, or Master, or Lord, like that."
"I hadn't thought of that," the blond boy admitted. "I'll have to think about it some more, I guess. What about you? Still sticking with Pulse?"
Harry shook his head. "No, between my magic and the things I've learned to do with Dad's tech, I think I'm going to end up using Technomage."
"I don't know," Franklin said, "I mean, sure, it fits your power set and all, but don't you think something like The Janitor would fit better?"
"The Janitor?" Harry asked incredulously.
"Well, yeah," Franklin nodded. "I mean, when we team up, I'll win the fight, and then you can use your magic and stuff to clean up the mess."
Harry launched himself across the room at his friend. "I'll clean up your mess!"
The resulting wrestling match resulted in the pair needing to restart their cleanups from scratch.
"What was fun," Parvati said as she hung her new outfits in the closet of the bedroom she shared with her sister. "Too bad that Franklin boy is such a snooze."
"You've been hanging out with Lavender too much," Padma protested. "For someone brought up in science, Franklin is perfectly nice."
"Well," Parvati said with a small smile. "If you feel that way, we could always swap for tomorrow. You can entertain Franklin, and I'll steal Harry away from you."
"I don't think so," Padma laughed.
"Our first fight over a boy," Parvati mused as she draped one of her new blouses over herself and examined her appearance in the oddly silent mirror. "Too bad you'll lose."
Franklin Richards picked up his cereal bowl and slurped the remaining milk noisily.
"Classy," Harry commented.
"All too true," Franklin laughed as he stood up and rinsed his bowl in the kitchen sink. "Well, I've got to head out; my ride should be here any time now."
"Thanks for hanging out this week," Harry said. "The girls are going to miss you."
"I can understand that," Franklin laughed. "As irresistible as I am, how could they not?"
"Lucky for them, they're heading to New Salem in a couple of days, so that will probably soften the blow," Harry laughed. "Mistress Harkness arranged for a tour."
"Eh, New Salem," Franklin shook his head. "That’s a collection of psychos gifted with new and special kinds of crazy."
"You're prejudiced," Harry noted.
"Getting kidnapped to that place will do that," Franklin agreed. "They kept me out for most of it, but I do remember Mom kicking butt when she came for me. I think that was the first time I understood just how scary Mom can be."
Franklin's watch chimed. "Well that's my ride."
The faint whine of turbo fan thrusters showed the truth to his comment.
"I'll call you sometime next week," Harry called as Franklin exited the house.
"Cool," Franklin called out. "Later, Harry."
Harry smiled and returned to his notes. Turning test wands on the lathe was harder than he had thought it would have been. It had taken him more than fifty tapered dowels before he had been confident enough to try the first of his test wands.
Only to have the wand snap during its fifth revolution. It turned out that the wand core changed the mechanical properties of the wand. That had led him to ordering a box of tapered dowels with their centers cored out.
After much trial and error… so very much error… he had seven of the cored dowels left and four test wands ready for an inlay attempt.
"Good morning, Harry."
Harry looked up from his notes. "Morning, Parvati."
"I'm Padma, Harry."
Harry smiled. "Sure you are. Come off it Parvati, I've lived in the same dorms as Padma for three years now. It will take more than swiping one of her hair hairclips to fool me. You two aren't that much alike."
"We're identical, Harry," Parvati protested.
"Sure you are," Harry laughed again, returning to his notes. "There's cereal in the cupboard if you don't want to wait for breakfast in the dining room."
"It's so good to see you," Padma said hugging her best friend.
"It's good to be here to be seen," Hermione laughed. "I had no idea we were coming to visit."
"Dad snuck the Patil's visit in on me," Harry pointed out, "but I knew you were coming."
"Good for you Harry," Hermione said, patting Harry on the shoulder.
"We're leaving the day after tomorrow," Parvati pointed out. "We've got a tour of New Salem."
"New Salem?" Hermione asked. "Oh, I'd love to see New Salem."
"We could ask our parents," Parvati suggested, "I'm sure that it wouldn't be a problem…"
"No," Hermione said wistfully, looking over to her parents where they were exchanging their own greetings with Harry's father and the elder Patils. "The purpose of these vacations is to do things with my Mum and Daddy, since I'm gone for so much of the year. As much as I'd like to go, I'd best stay here with them."
"You have got to see the library," Padma said, taking Hermione by the arm and leading her into the house.
"Hey!" Harry called after them. "It's my library!"
Greer Nelson stood in her bathroom staring at the stick in her hand, willing it to finish its process and produce a negative result. She moved an errant strand of hair from her eyes as the viewing window produced a +.
She moved her right hand to her stomach in an almost instinctive attempt to touch the new life growing inside of her. How was Sirius going to react to this? They had been dating for seven months now, and had been intimate since the start… The Englishman had been telling her that he loved her for weeks now…
How had her birth control failed?
The were-tiger swallowed and squared her shoulders. Sirius deserved to know. Turning, she opened the door.
"Here, kitty, kitty, kitty," he snarked from where he lay on the bed, looking so very delicious. "I was starting to worry… Should we get you a sandbox?"
"That joke wasn't funny the first time you told it Sirius," Greer said as she slid onto the bed beside him.
"It's part of my charm," the Animagus admitted, pulling the test stick from her unresisting fingers. "What's this?"
"It's a test stick," Greer said.
"A 'test stick'?" Sirius laughed. "You muggles have the oddest things. Why would you need a stick that takes tests?"
"The stick doesn't take the test, Sirius," she explained patiently. "It is the test. See that little dimple?"
"The one with the X in it?" He nodded. "Ok, what was the test?"
"That's not an 'X'," Greer sighed. "It's a plus sign. It shows that the test was positive." She paused, seeing the confusion in his eyes, "That stick tells me you're going to be a father."
His all too familiar grin lit up the room. "A father? Me? That can't possibly end well." He examined the stick closely. "Alright Stick, who is going to be the mother?"
"Sirius," Greer whispered. "The test stick says I'm pregnant."
"You're pregnant?" Sirius asked, his grin disappearing.
"I think so, I need to confirm with a doctor, but all the signs are there and the test stick confirms it."
"You're pregnant?" Sirius repeated.
"Yes," she agreed.
"You're pregnant?" Sirius repeated a third time standing up.
"And you're the father," Greer said, her hope evaporating at his reaction to the news.
"A father?" he echoed weakly. "Me?"
Greer's heart broke when Sirius disappeared from the room with a crack.
"REMUS!" Sirius shouted as he appeared in the parlor of #12 Grimmauld Place.
"Merlin's beard, Sirius," Remus said, closing his book. "Put some trousers on, will you?"
"What?" Sirius asked, looking down in surprise. "Oops, I forgot. Kreacher?"
"Bad, shameless, naked, Master called?" the elf asked when he popped into the room.
"I need a change of clothing,"
"Of course, bad, shameless, naked, Master," Kreacher nodded as he popped away.
"Remus, I had to tell you, I'm going to be a father."
"Is this good news or bad news?" the Were asked.
"Hey," Sirius protested as he accepted his clothing from Kreacher and began to struggle into his trousers.
"With you, Sirius," Remus noted, "it could go either way."
"Of course it's good news," Sirius protested. "Greer just told me. She has a stick."
"A stick?" Remus asked. "Wait, she just told you? Where is she?"
"Her apartment in New York."
"She's in New York? Did she call you?"
"No," Sirius shook his head, clearly wondering what Remus was on about. "I was in bed and she came out of the toilet with her stick and told me, so I came to tell you."
"Her stick ?" Remus asked again. "No, never mind. She told you and you portkeyed here to tell me she was pregnant?"
"No, I apparated…" the light suddenly dawned on the Animagus. "From New York. Remus, how did I apparate from New York?"
"I have no idea," Lupin admitted. "Extremely long distance apparition isn't unknown, just very, very rare. Some people think that it has something to do with extreme emotional states, like accidental magic. So, what did you say when she told you?"
"I said…" Sirius's brow furrowed. "I don’t think I said anything. I just came here."
"All right, Greer told you she was pregnant, and you disappeared without saying a word to her about how happy you were," Remus pointed out. "How do you suppose she's feeling now?"
"Shit," Sirius said eloquently, before he started patting at the pockets in his clothing. "I don't even have my wand. I have to get to Diagon Alley, I need an international portkey. KREACHER!" Sirius bolted from the room, screaming the elf's name.
Remus sat for a moment shaking his head. Hearing the door slammed as Sirius left the house, he sighed and reached into a pocket for his Patil/Stark Magitech telephone. Punching the number he had stored for the American Cat woman, he raised the device to his ear.
"No… No… Calm down." He said after listening to the woman for several seconds. "He didn't leave you. It's your own fault for falling in love with an idiot. Sirius's first reaction was to brag to me about his achievement."
"Yes, something like teleportation. The trip from New York was a lot farther than his normal range, and he can't get back that way. He's working on getting back to you now. If it's any consolation, James Potter did the same thing when Lily told him she was pregnant with Harry. Well, James was dressed, and he only made it about four hundred miles, but basically the same thing."
"No, don't worry. As soon as he realized what he'd done to you, he started rushing back. I would guess he'll be at your door in a couple of hours at the latest."
"Don't thank me," he protested. "We've been taking care of each other since Hogwarts. It's what friends do."
"Oh, and Greer? Congratulations."
"So," Harry asked after the Patil family vanished from the front lawn. "What do you want to do now?"
"I don't know," Hermione admitted. "I sort of thought that there would be heroes everywhere. I mean, you father finances the Avengers."
"Ah, I see," Harry nodded as he headed back into the house. "You love me for my contacts."
"I don't love you at all, you prat," Hermione protested, following him inside.
"Hmm," Harry hummed as he picked up a telephone and dialed a number. "Hey, it's me."
"How rude," Hermione huffed.
"I said I'd call," Harry said, continuing his conversation on the phone. "Mind if we come by?"
"Me and a girl."
"No, a different girl."
Hermione glared at Harry at that comment.
"Ok, we'll be over before lunch,"
"Yes, my treat," Harry said as he hung up the phone.
"And what if I don't want to go anywhere?"
"Then you can stay here, miss lunch, and Frank and I can play some video games," Harry suggested as he left the room.
"Hey Dad," Harry called. "Can Happy give us a ride to the city?"
"I don't see why not," his father answered from deeper inside the house.
Hermione stood with her hands on her hips, while wondering just who 'Frank' might be.
"The Baxter Building?" Hermione asked in wonder, looking up at the building as if she were staring up a Merlin himself. "Frank is Franklin Richards?"
"Yep," Harry laughed. "Get hold of your inner fangirl Hermione, you look like a tourist."
"I am a tourist, you prat!" Hermione pointed out.
"Yeah, that's not obvious at all," her friend said with a big grin.
"And Padma got to see all this last week?"
"No not really," Harry shook his head as he led her into the building's Lobby and waved to Fin Fang Foom, who returned his wave energetically. "About 10 days ago, Padma and Parvati came with Franklin and me on a trip to the city; neither of them was really much interested in the Fantastic Four, so they passed on the tour."
"Oh," she said. "Who were you waving to?"
"The best Chinese Chef in the city," Harry explained. "Maybe we can go there for lunch. He used to be a 30 meter dragon."
"Funny Harry," she sniffed. Why did he always try to take the mickey? "A hand scanner?"
"Yep," Harry agreed as the machine read his palm. "Keeps the riff raff out."
"It let you in," Hermione laughed as she entered the elevator.
"Ok," Harry agreed, pushing the button for the Fantastic Four's reception area. "It keeps most of the riff raff out."
"So, Professor Richards will be here?" Hermione asked.
"Maybe. It's hard to tell with him," Harry explained as the elevator rose. "Sometimes he gets an idea and he's flying to Europe or Antarctica or somewhere like that. Other times he's needed for an emergency consult somewhere."
"But you said…"
"When I spoke with Franklin, all four of the Fantastics were planning to be in residence today," Harry continued.
"What did he say when you told him we'd be coming by?"
"His exact words were 'Oh god, another one?'" Harry laughed. "He and Parvati didn't exactly hit it off."
The elevator doors opened to reveal the reception area. "Greetings Harry Stark," the woman behind the desk said.
"Hi Roberta," Harry responded. "I'm here to visit Franklin, who should be expecting us. This is Hermione Granger."
"Franklin is busy getting yelled at about the state of his room," Johnny Storm said as he entered the reception area. "I'll take them back, Roberta."
"Well this is a revoltin' development," Ben Grimm rumbled.
"What is Ben?" Susan Richards asked.
"This Hermione girl is the first kid to visit that has been more interested in the String Bean than in me," the Thing explained. "Am I losin' my touch?"
"Ben," Susan said patiently, her eyes never straying from the sight of her son and his friends watching Reed's demonstration, "she asked to touch your skin, just like everyone else we've ever met socially, and even had some interesting questions about your dermis, some that I hadn't even thought of before, to tell you the truth. You're just going to have to learn to share your fans with Reed."
"Hmph!" the Thing huffed. "At least she doesn't have the hots for the Matchhead."
"Johnny knows precisely how dead I would kill him if he even thought about looking at a girl her age. I'm more concerned about Franklin," Susan concluded.
"Sue," Ben laughed, "all kids have messy rooms, you've already yelled at him about that."
"Not his room, Ben," Susan sighed. "Look at him. He can't keep his eyes off Harry's little friend."
"Frank's finally noticed girls?" Ben asked, paying closer attention to his favorite nephew.
"He's noticed A girl," Susan corrected her friend. "After the way he acted around the Patil twins, I thought I still had some time before he started acting like a teenager."
"Well that's probably your fault," Ben theorized.
"Boys like girls that remind them of their mothers," Ben said as he tried mightily not to start laughing. "Franklin apparently likes smart girls. At Xavier's he mooned over Kitty Pryde for a few months before she moved to the UK. Then the smart one of the twins was obviously interested in Harry, so Frank slipped into the whiny sabotaging wingman mode. Now Harry brings over a smart girl that isn't anythin' more than a friend."
Susan blinked. "I can't believe I missed the pattern."
"Yer a mom, Susie," Ben laughed. "Yer not supposed to notice things like that, while those of us who went through all that when we was kids get to laugh at the new victims."
Whatever 'experiment' Reed was demonstrating suddenly detonated in a spectacular manner, causing Harry to start laughing, Hermione to start jumping up and down while applauding, and her darling son to stare vacantly at the exuberant girl.
He had only met the girl two hours before… surely, he couldn't be that smitten already… Could he?
"Thank you for coming, Susan," Tony said from his place at the head of his table. "I wanted Stuart and Kristine to have a chance to meet one of the more 'normal' influences on Harry's life."
"Normal?" Susan asked. "Us?"
"Well, you," Tony laughed. "I don't think I would much enjoy a world where Reed was considered 'normal'."
"I'll have you know, I'm exceedingly normal," Reed disagreed.
Laughter filled the room as the salad was served.
"Ah, luxury," Susan sighed as she began to eat.
"Luxury?" Kristine Granger asked. "I would call this level of service luxury surely, but the media would suggest that this would be somewhat normal for you, Mrs. Richards."
"Oh, please, call me Sue," the blonde laughed. "I was referring to the luxury of normality. In the years we've been married, I think I could count on one hand the number of dinner parties Reed and I have attended that didn't end in disaster, invasion, or the wait staff trying to kill us."
Sue turned to the waiting Jarvis. "You and your staff aren't planning on trying to kill us tonight, are you Jarvis?"
"No, Mrs. Richards," Jarvis responded, "not tonight."
"There you have it," Susan nodded. "A nice quiet night, meeting new people, good food, and no one trying to kill us. Luxury."
"My robots are not that bad!" Reed disagreed. "They hardly ever go on rampages anymore."
"They're laughing again," Harry noted.
"Yeah," Franklin agreed. "That's usually a good sign."
"Good sign of what?" Hermione asked as she reached for her third slice of pizza. Being at Hogwarts for ten months out of the year had taught her to appreciate the luxuries of modern international foods when and where she could. As much as she would have liked having dinner with the adults and perhaps especially with the world famous Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, there was something to be said about friends and good pizza.
It did not hurt that New York Pizza lived up to its reputation.
"A sign that good things are happening," Franklin explained, working very hard at not staring at the girl. "Harry tells me you follow the Hero community, so given who my parents are, you've probably got some idea of what my life can be like sometimes."
"I hadn't really thought of that," Hermione said. "Do you ever wish you had powers? I mean, so that someday there could be a Fantastic Five?"
Franklin and Harry exchanged a look, something that Hermione did not miss. "You do have powers?"
Again, Franklin looked to his best friend, and Harry shrugged in response. His intent was clear, that on its own made Franklin's decision easier. If Harry trusted this girl, how could he not?
"Yeah," he admitted. "It's not really a secret; we just don't talk about it much."
"What are they?" Hermione asked, "A combination of your parents' powers?"
"I wish," Franklin asked.
"Your life would be a lot easier if you stretched invisibly," Harry snarked.
"Then, what can you do?" Hermione insisted. "If you can tell me, I mean."
"I change reality," the younger Richards admitted.
"And he's a Psi," Harry added.
"Yeah, some Psionics is involved, but mostly I change reality."
"Oh," Hermione said thoughtfully, clearly trying to understand why Franklin would be so reticent about having such power. "Can you show me?"
"Oh, good lord, no," Franklin said shaking his head.
"Not without his folks, the Avengers, Shield, and probably Dr. Doom all showing up to find out what was happening," Harry said. For a moment, Hermione thought Harry might be snarking again, but the uncharacteristically serious expression on her friend's face put that notion to bed.
"Ah," she nodded in understanding, "you 'change reality', and I can see how that might attract attention."
"I don't have much control yet," Franklin admitted. "I'm going through training, in carefully controlled situations, but even then, sometimes it gets away from me."
"What do you mean?" she asked cocking her head to the side as she considered someone her age with the power to manipulate the world around him, without the need of a wand
"Well, back in May, I was working with my tutor, and I sort of accidently made the color blue smell like buttered popcorn."
"That was you?" Harry laughed. "She and Padma blamed it on me."
Hermione ignored Harry's comments to focus on Franklin's admission. "You accidently made a color have a scent?"
"And I made Brussels sprouts taste like a train whistle, but I don't think anyone noticed. It was only for about five minutes before my tutor figured out what I'd done and helped me fix it," Franklin blushed.
"Some people would say having Brussels sprouts taste like a train whistle would be an improvement," Harry laughed.
"No, I didn't make them taste like a metal steam whistle," Franklin explained. "I make them taste like the sound of a train whistle."
"And you did this all the way to Scotland?" She demanded, before her eyes widened in realization. "You affected the entire world?"
"Well, yeah… but… Look it's complicated, Dad hasn't quite verified my range yet, but he thinks that when I do my party tricks I might be changing reality throughout the entire universe."
"Well, that was pleasant," Tony Stark said as the limo pulled into the traffic flow leaving the Airport.
"I think you had as much fun with the visits as I did," Harry laughed.
"I won't deny that having people around who can't bench press a bus was a bit refreshing," Tony admitted. "Should I be concerned that most of your friends are girls?"
"Funny Dad," Harry noted.
"I try, Franklin and Hermione seemed to hit it off."
"I thought it was hilarious the way Frank was trying to be all cool about it," Harry said. "It did get me the time I needed to get the vibranium wire inlayed into a couple of my test wands."
"Oh, yeah," Harry nodded. "I think I'm almost ready to try it on my primary wand. I'm going to do a few more test runs before I try it but…"
"But what?" Tony asked.
When Harry did not answer, Tony turned to examine his son. The boy was sitting, his eyes wide, and his face expressionless. That triggered all of Tony's danger alarms. Harry was out of body again?
"Happy," Tony said slapping the intercom. "Get us home. Right now."
"Something's happening with Harry," the billionaire said, pulling his son into a protective hug. "Get us home."
Once again, Harry found himself on a featureless plain tinted in reds and purples. Madam Webb was sitting on her black throne, waiting for him.
"Good evening Mr. Stark."
"Again with the dog and pony show, Madame Webb? I know that you know how to use a telephone; do all of our meetings have to be like this?
The woman smiled. "Allow an old woman her sense of mystery, Mr. Stark. I have called you here to warn you of impending danger."
"What is it this time?" Harry asked. "Last time you convinced me that I needed to return to Hogwarts. Therefore, I did. What is this year's big secret?"
"The evil wizard has yet to return, though his followers have made an appearance."
"They did?" Harry asked, now intensely interested. "Where? Was anyone hurt?"
"There was a sporting competition in England among the wizards of many nations that ended three days ago. During the celebrations for the end of the competition, a contingent of Voldemort's 'Death Eaters' terrified the crowds. Many were hurt in the panic; a family of mundanes was tortured briefly. No one died, but someone projected a spectral symbol into the sky. Oddly that symbol seemed to frighten the assembled Death Eaters as much as it did the wizards they were abusing."
"A snake intertwining a skull," Harry nodded having read the histories of the Voldemort war. "Voldemort's mark."
"Indeed," she agreed.
"Ok, so something happened at the Quidditch World Cup, which had nothing to do with me, and I was nowhere near the scene. What makes you think this is a danger for me?"
"That attack was simply the precursor to events to come, that most certainly do involve you. There will be a competition of magic and daring."
"Another one besides the World Cup?" Harry asked. "There wasn't even a rumor of something to come after the World Cup. What is it?"
"I… am not sure," the old woman admitted. "The magics involved muddy my sight, but I do know that you are entered into this competition against your will, and will face danger such as you have never known."
"Entered against my will? That stinks of Dumbledore," Harry sniffed. "What is the old man after this time?"
"No, not Dumbledore," Madam Webb disagreed. "While he will attempt to use the situation to his advantage, he is not behind the plot."
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose. "All this psychic stuff gives me a headache. Is there any way to avoid all of this?"
"Not without putting others at risk," the old woman sighed. "Knowing what is to come should give you some advantage."
"If I knew what was coming, sure," Harry agreed. "Unfortunately, all I have is knowledge of being forced into a contest and impending danger."
"Sometimes that is the best one can hope for, Mr. Stark. I do know one other thing, you will have an unexpected ally, and a rival will become a friend."
Well, Harry thought as he closed his eyes and nodded. An unexpected ally and a rival becoming a friend? Clear as mud. "Send me back."
"Harry?" Tony asked. "Are you alright?"
Harry shook his head to clear it. He was still in the car?
"Madam Web again," he said in way of explanation.
"Doesn't that woman know how to use a telephone?"
"I asked the same thing," Harry laughed happy to find a bit of humor in the situation. "She has a warning. There is going to be some kind of contest at Hogwarts this year, and I'm going to be entered against my will. It's evidently part of a plot by Voldemort."
The billionaire's face went blank the way it did when he was thinking. "And what is your plan to respond to this plot?"
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "I've only just found out. But, I think I'm going to need to ask to be let out of our agreement concerning my armor. I don't think I can wait until I can understand each subsystem to integrate it into the suit any longer. I'm going to need your help."
"Damn it, Harry. Give me one good reason to let you go back to that school."
"You'd go," Harry said simply.
"And what makes you say that?" Tony demanded.
"You went up against Fin Fang Foom when you knew you'd lose, I mean before he got that job in the Baxter Building."
"Foom was a dragon," Tony pointed out.
"You lost to him after he became a chef too," Harry laughed.
"I still say he's evil and holding a grudge," Tony huffed. "I don't care what he says, a bowl of hot and sour glass noodles isn't supposed to vaporize your sinus cavities."
"And do we need to discuss that you've fought the Hulk, several times and lost."
"I said a good reason," Tony huffed. "Not a list of the more stupid things I've done in my life. And I beat the Hulk that one time."
Harry just grinned at his father.
"Fine," the elder Stark agreed. "I'll help you do your upgrades, but you better believe your little school is going to be subject to more monitoring and oversight than it's had in its entire thousand year history."
"Bombing from orbit isn't the answer for everything," Harry objected.
"It's a good answer for a whole lot of things," Tony disagreed. "And you make a good point; a dedicated satellite over Hogwarts would make me feel better, and that satellite having a few precision kinetic packages would make me feel a lot better."
"There is nothing precise about orbital bombardment," Harry sighed.
"Harry!" Hermione called from across Platform 9 ¾ as she rushed toward him.
"Hey, Hermione," Harry said as she approached.
"Did Franklin give you a letter for me?" she demanded.
Harry offered his friend a jaundiced look. "You know very well he did, I was in the room when he told you he had on the phone."
"I was worried you might have forgotten it," she explained.
"It was yesterday morning," Harry noted as the withdrew a folded envelope from the back pocket of his jeans and held up just beyond her reach.
"It's mine! Give it to me!"
"You and Frank, both," Harry responded, handing the letter over, "are just pathetic."
"Hush you!" Hermione said as she ripped the envelope open and began to read.
"Mr. Stark," an adult's voice interjected.
"Good morning Madam Longbottom," Harry said when he turned to face the woman. "Did you have a nice summer?"
"I did, please tell your father I was asking after him," the woman said. "Neville, good luck with the new school year. I hope to hear that your success from last year continues."
"Yes Gran," Neville said dutifully.
Hermione was still reading her multipage letter, so one they were alone Neville nudged Harry. "I can't wait to show you what Professor de Ablo taught me this summer. What's with Hermione?"
"She visited over the summer, and I stupidly introduced her to Franklin."
"Oh," Neville nodded. "That bad?"
"If you two don't shut up," Hermione said, looking up from her letter, "I'm going to hurt you."
"Yeah," Harry nodded after his slightly psychotic friend returned to her letter. "That bad."
"There you are," a new voice entered the conversation. "I've been looking everywhere; I was starting to think Jarvis was pulling my leg with his story about a hidden train platform."
The trio of students turned to face the new voice to find a young woman's head sticking through the brick wall of the station.
"Hello to you too," Harry laughed. "Hermione, Neville, this is Kitty Pryde, a friend of mine from home. Kitty, this is Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom, friends of mine from school."
The young woman, clad in jeans and a long sleeved tee shirt stepped through the wall as if it was not there. Perched upon her shoulder was a small…
"Dragon!" Neville said backing away in alarm, groping for his wand.
"What?" Kitty asked in confusion when she noticed that several people had started pointing sticks at her in a threatening manner. "This is just Lockheed." She reached up to scratch the cat-sized dragon's head. "He's a big sweetie!"
"Hrmph!" the miniature dragon agreed, a wisp of smoke issuing from its nostrils.
"It's ok everybody!" Harry called out. "Lockheed only looks like a dragon, he isn't one. He's not even from Earth."
"So, Kitty," Harry asked once the crowd had, for the most part, put away their wands, "what was so important you brought your little menace to frighten everyone?"
"Little menace?" Kitty asked in a hurt voice.
"He's tried to flambé me," Harry pointed out. "Twice."
"That's just his way of showing affection," the Mutant girl protested. "Look, Harry, I'm going to be away for a while…"
Leaning closer, Kitty whispered "off planet, big mission."
"They're all 'big missions'," Harry scoffed. "Ok, you're going to be away. And?"
"And Lockheed can't come."
"No." Harry shook his head.
"Harry, you know you're one of the few people he really likes," Kitty protested.
"Only because he enjoys ruining my day," Harry pointed out. "Not happening."
"Oh, Harry," Kitty affected a pout, "for me."
"That's not fair."
"I'll send you a picture of me in uniform," her pout deepened and she reached out to life his chin, forcing him to maintain eye contact.
"Totally not fair," Harry protested again. "I've sort of got a girlfriend, this isn't going to work."
"I'll watch him for you!" Neville volunteered.
"Oh all right," Harry signed. "That little psychopath of yours would probably cook Neville. I'll watch him. But he'd best behave."
"I knew you would," Kitty enthused. "You'll be staying with Harry for a while, Lockie, be a good boy for him."
"Hrmph!" the miniature dragon huffed as he jumped from Kitty's shoulder to Harry's, taking care to ensure his tail bashed into his new caretaker's nose as he settled in to face forward.
"Owe!" Harry yelped as he grasped his nose. "You little jerk!"
"You two play nice, thanks Harry!" With that, Kitty Pryde turned then passed through the brick wall as if it were not there.
"Harry," Neville breathed as he watched the young woman's jean clad butt pass through the wall, "why didn't you introduce me to her last summer? You know all the best people."
"Hrmph!" Lockheed rumbled from Harry's shoulder.
"No one asked your opinion," Harry said to the mini dragon as he started pushing his friends toward the awaiting train. "You best be on your best behavior, or I might let Hagrid take care of you."
A/N: Who's Who in this chapter:
H. E. R. B. I. E. - also known as the Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics. A robot created by Reed Richards to watch over his son and his emerging powers. Said powers frequently surged, destroying the then current HERBIE, only to have the robot replaced with updated software and power limiting abilities. Ultimately, the elder Richards determined that power-limiting dampeners that Franklin would wear under his clothing were superior to any robot nanny, so the H. E. R. B. I. E. series was discontinued.
Namor — also known as the Sub-Mariner (real name Namor McKenzie ) The mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis (the mechanics of sex between an air breathing human and a water breathing Atlantian have never been explained). Namor possesses the super-strength and aquatic abilities of the Homo mermanus race, as well as the mutant ability of flight (via a pair of feathered wings on each ankle), along with other superhuman powers. Portrayed alternately through the years, as either a good-natured but short-fused superhero, or a hostile invader seeking vengeance for perceived wrongs that misguided surface-dwellers committed against his kingdom. The first known comic book antihero, the Sub-Mariner has remained a historically important and relatively popular Marvel character. He has served directly as a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Invaders, the Defenders, and the X-Men as well as fighting all of them on occasion.
Kitty Pryde — A mutant with has the ability to render herself and anything she touches intangible, which allows her to move through solid objects. This power also disrupts any electrical field she passes through, and lets her simulate levitation. She is a member of the X-Men, and Excalibur, teams of mutant heroes who fight for peace and equality between mutants and humans.
Lockheed - A member of a highly advanced dragon-like extraterrestrial race, who are capable of traveling through space via special astral ships which transport their essences. Their society is similar to insect hives, with the individual being only part of the "Flock." Lockheed resembles a small dragon about the size of a cat. He has purple skin, sharp claws and teeth, two small, curved horns protruding from the back of his head and wings that enable him to fly. He can breathe fire with extreme intensity and is a surprisingly formidable combatant for his size. His mind is immune to telepathic probing, and he is empathic and able to understand human speech. He is also capable of speaking several human languages, but rarely does so.